U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May Makes Her First Statement As The Country's New Leader

Theresa May has taken over as prime minister after David Cameron ended his six-year tenure. She becomes the second female prime minister of the UK 26 years after the first, Margaret Thatcher, resigned.

Mrs May has started to form her cabinet with key appointments announced late on Wedneday.

Key cabinet appointments

  • Philip Hammond becomes chancellor

  • David Davis takes on new role as secretary of state for Brexit

  • Boris Johnson becomes foreign secretary

  • Amber Rudd takes over as home secretary

  • Michael Fallon remains defence secretary

  • Liam Fox is appointed in a new role as international trade secretary

 

EU referendum

The UK political fallout from the historic vote to leave the EU is gathering pace, with the Labour shadow cabinet disintegrating and key Conservative figures preparing for a leadership contest.

In Berlin, the German chancellor Angela Merkel has attempted to rein in pressure from within Europe to force Britain quickly to trigger divorce proceedings with the EU, saying that rushing into an exit was unwarranted.

Key things to watch

  • UK political establishment in upheaval after Brexit vote

  • Mass resignations from Labour shadow cabinet

  • Michael Gove to back Boris Johnson for Tory leadership

  • First minister suggests Scotland could block Brexit legislation

  • Asset managers prepare to move staff out of London

 

U.K. Voters Head To The Polls In The EU Referendum

It’s decision day. Britain is voting on whether to leave the European Union after a bitter and divisive campaign.

With the result too close to call, turnout is likely to be crucial. The Remain and Leave camps are pulling out the stops to ensure the maximum number of their supporters actually vote.

The referendum has pitted old against young, towns against cities, and split political parties. So all eyes will be on early returns in the north and later London.

We will be updating this live blog throughout the night, with the results possible in early Friday morning. You can also follow us on our Twitter account @FT.

Key points

  • Polls are open from 7am to 10pm
  • A record 46,499,537 people are entitled to vote
  • Initial indications from around the country are of high turnout, with many polling stations reporting queues
  • FT poll of opinion polls on Wednesday night put Remain fractionally ahead at 47% versus 45% for Leave
  • Sterling earlier hit its highest level this year, before retreating. Markets are braced for major fluctuations in the currency overnight given thin trading conditions
  • Official statistics released on the morning of the vote show that the nation’s population has hit 65 million

 

Are you worried about the woes of “generation rent”? Perplexed by measures to dampen the buy-to-let market? Eager to buy a Starter Home? Seeking answers on the housing bill, Right to Buy or Help to Buy?

On Wednesday April 20 2016 between 11am and midday (GMT), Brandon Lewis, housing minister, will answer readers' questions on housing and home ownership in a live webchat.

Moderated by Judith Evans, property correspondent

 

The housing crisis has reached the top of the political agenda, with even the prime minister, David Cameron, saying he worries about his children being able to afford their own homes.

Brandon Lewis, housing minister, will appear here on the Westminster blog at 11am on Wednesday April 20 to answer your questions on housing and home ownership in a live webchat. Read more