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
Theresa May, the home secretary, and pro-Brexit campaigner Andrea Leadsom, are through to the final two in the race to be the next Conservative leader.
Michael Gove was eliminated in the final round of voting at Westminster.
The two leading candidates will now be presented to 125,000 party members to make the final choice for their new party leader who will replace David Cameron as prime minister
May won the votes of 199 out of 330 Tory MPs in the second round of voting
Leadsom came second with 84
Gove was eliminated after coming third with 46
The result of the members’ ballot is due by September 9
David Cameron is facing MPs for the first time since securing a package of reforms in Brussels to present his case for the UK remaining in the European Union. The prime minister’s appearance in the House of Commons follows a tumultuous weekend after his return from talks with European leaders on Friday, which has seen six of his cabinet ministers and Boris Johnson, the London mayor, back the “out” campaign.
Cameron presents what he calls a “new settlement” for Britain after almost two days of talks in Brussels
The reforms cover migration, protections for the City of London and an exemption for Britain from “ever closer union”
A quarter of the cabinet is at odds with the PM over Europe, including his close friend Michael Gove, the justice secretary.
The Conservatives are facing a damaging split with as many as 150 MPs, almost half the parliamentary party, expected to back Brexit
The opposition Labour Party is backing the campaign to remain in the EU, along with business leaders and trade unions
By Mark Odell and Jim Pickard
When will Eurosceptic ministers be allowed to speak their minds? Not for a while, according to a letter David Cameron has sent to his Cabinet today. The Prime Minister has set out four rules for ministers who plan to campaign for Brexit — some of which have caused concern among Eurosceptics in his party.
The Prime Minister has demanded that ministers will “say or do nothing that will undermine the government’s negotiating position”, but he has also said there will be restrictions on what they can say after the new deal has been struck: Read more
UK Chancellor George Osborne has delivered his Autumn statement to the House of Commons.
Tax credits: Controversial changes ditched altogether. Extra borrowing will make up the shortfall in the first few years of the parliament
Housing: Stamp duty increased 3% for buy-to-let and second home buyers; 400,000 new affordable homes in England by 2020; new Help to Buy scheme just for London
Police: no cuts to budget
New tax to pay for social care, to be levied by local authorities as a 2% council tax precept
Departmental spending cuts: Transport -37%, Business -17%, Defra -15%, Energy -22%, Culture, Media and Sport -22% (but free museum entry will stay)
Budget surplus: target of £10bn by 2020 maintained
Local governments will be allowed to keep all cash generated from asset sales
Apprenticeship levy set at 0.5% of payroll, with £15,000 allowance to exempt small businesses
OBR forecasts: UK growth outlook remains broadly unchanged from July
Small business rate relief extended for 12 months to April 2017
Science funding protected in real terms for rest of Parliament
By Ferdinando Giugliano, Jonathan Eley and Mark Odell
Welcome to our live election coverage, bringing you the latest reaction to the Tories winning an unexpected majority – taking 331 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons.
Labour’s Ed Miliband, the Liberal Democrats’ Nick Clegg and the UK Independence party’s Nigel Farage have all resigned as leaders of their respective parties. Clegg, deputy PM for the last five years, hung on to his seat but his party lost all but eight of its MPs. Farage failed to win the seat he was contesting.
The Scottish National party also had a triumphant night, trouncing Labour north of the border. (Photo FT/Charlie Bibby)
Mr Cameron made four Cabinet announcements, reappointing George Osborne chancellor of the exchequer – and promoting him to first secretary of state; Theresa May home secretary; Philip Hammond foreign secretary and Michael Fallon defence secretary. The rest of the Cabinet is expected on Monday.
A summary of today’s events
Polling day. Follow our live coverage of the results from 9pm here.
Welcome to the FT’s Live Q and A on the general election. With the polls too close to call and leaders going to unusual lengths to push the vote in their direction, deputy political editor Elizabeth Rigby takes your questions.
Ask away in the comment box to the right. We will start the live Q and A on Wednesday at 12.30 London time.
In the last of four televised events, the leaders of the three main political parties are appearing in a special edition of Question Time on BBC1, just a week ahead of what the polls say will be the closest fought election in modern times.
Each will separately face 30 minutes of questions from a studio audience starting with Conservative prime minister David Cameron, followed by Labour leader Ed Miliband and rounded off by Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister.
By George Parker and Kiran Stacey
UK voters will elect a new parliament in a general election on May 7. Our poll-of-polls tracks all national-level voting intention polling figures going back to the 2010 election – the dots on our chart – and then calculates a rolling score for each party adjusted for recency and different pollsters. Read more
What do betting markets make of the election so far? Well, if anything, they seem as confused as everyone else. Currently punters on Betfair are predicting that the Conservatives will win the most seats but that Labour will form a minority government and that David Cameron will be the next prime minister. Read more
The pre-election poster battle intensified on Tuesday as Labour launched a new image parodying Saatchi & Saatchi’s famous 1979 dole queue montage for Margaret Thatcher, a key moment in the history of visual campaigning. Read more
Leaders of seven of the parties standing in next month’s UK general election are appearing in a one-off TV debate on Thursday night.
This is the only occasion that Conservative prime minister David Cameron will appear on a podium at the same time as any of the others, including his main rival for Number 10 Downing Street, Labour leader Ed Miliband. But in what is predicted to be the closest election in modern times there is as much interest in the smaller parties who could hold the balance of power.
By Mark Odell and Jim Pickard
This week’s data are a timely reminder that with less than seven weeks to go until polling day and Labour and the Tories neck and neck when recently published polls are averaged, the relationship between poll leads and who might become prime minister is not straightforward. Read more
The Romans used to predict the future by examining the entrails of dead animals. These days we use opinion polls, often with similarly haphazard results.
Even some of the most robust Westminster commentators are refusing to make firm bets about how the landscape will look after next May’s general election. It will be the closest fought, most unpredictable, most exciting battle for a generation. Read more
David Cameron has conducted the most wide-ranging reshuffle of his cabinet since taking office, appointing Philip Hammond as foreign secretary and firing Michael Gove as education secretary. Several women, including Nicky Morgan and Elizabeth Truss, have been appointed to the cabinet.
By John Aglionby and Claer Barrett
Four polls have been published in the last 24 hours, all suggesting the same thing: the race for next year’s general election is now neck and neck.
Of course it is a symbolic moment that two of these polls show the Tories two points ahead – they are the first polls to put the governing party in the lead since early 2012. But within the margin of error, the race is essentially tied.
So what has happened in the last few days and weeks to cause Labour to slip from a pretty steady five point lead?
Unfortunately, the Lord Ashcroft poll can’t tell us, as it is the first in a series and so has no previous survey against which we can accurately monitor trends. Even more frustratingly, the ICM and the Populus polls seem to suggest very differing reasons for the poll move. Read more
Ed Miliband’s op-ed for the FT today on Europe has finally crystallised what each of the parties’ European position will be going into next year’s election. But anyone listening to Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary on the Today programme this morning would be forgiven for not understanding exactly what Labour’s position is. This is what he said:
The next Labour government will legislate for a lock that guarantees there cannot be a transfer of power from Britain to the European Union in the future without that in/out referendum. It’s an agenda for reform in Europe, not immediate exit from Europe.
So what does this mean, and how does it compare to the other two parties? Read more