Sir Lindsay Hoyle has been elected as the new Speaker of the House of Commons, winning the fourth and final ballot with a commanding 325 votes to Chris Bryant's 213.
Parliament missed the chance to elect its second female Speaker in 600 years, as Dame Eleanor Laing and Harriet Harman, the longest-ever continuously serving female MP, left the race.
Party leaders congratulated Mr Hoyle on his appointment, with Mr Johnson appearing to make a not-so-subtle dig at outgoing Speaker John Bercow as he stressed the need for the position to be impartial.
Earlier in the day, Nigel Farage accused the Conservatives of “conceited arrogance” as he unveiled 600 Brexit Party candidates who could split the Leave vote and scupper Boris Johnson’s chances of electoral victory.
Farage claimed the election is “likely” to result in a hung parliament and his MPs would be kingmakers. The senior Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg has pleaded with Mr Farage to “retire from the field ... it would be a great shame if he carries on fighting”.
Labour were forced to deny reports of an “allotment plot” which saw Jeremy Corbyn and his allies agreed to make the opposition a Remain party – before the plan was foiled by Corbyn’s adviser Seumas Milne.
Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of events at Westminster.
Farage claims Brexit Party success will lead to hung parliament
Nigel Farage will unveil the electoral threat to the Tories when he reveals 600 Brexit Party candidates who could split the Leave vote and scupper Boris Johnson’s chances of electoral victory.
Farage has claimed this morning that the election is likely to result in a hung parliament and his own MPs would be kingmakers.
“It is likely, it is likely that we are going to have a hung parliament next time around so actually if the Brexit Party get a reasonable amount of people in there they could exert a great influence,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “Mrs May was kept in power by 10 DUP MPs.”
Farage also claimed he would hurt the Labour party “in the most extraordinary way”.
Although Farage said on Sunday he isn’t standing himself, his refusal to back down from fielding candidates across the country is frustrating senior Conservatives. Steve “Brexit hardman” Baker says Farage “risks being the man who threw away Brexit”.
The Brexit-backing QC Martin Howe said the renegade had “spent a long time fighting the EU as a guerilla in the mountains” but it was now time “to come down from the mountains and lend your strength to Boris’s Conservative army”.
Farage was also grilled on GMB about his reluctance to stand as a candidate, claiming previous failed attempts were only “a means of getting a message out”.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle favourite to win today’s Speaker election
MPs are preparing to choose John Bercow’s successor in the first Speaker election in more than a decade, with eight candidates bidding to take on the role.
Deputy Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle is the bookies’ favourite to emerge victorious, with fellow Labour MP Harriet Harman - the current longest continuously serving female MP - also predicted to do well.
The other six candidates are Dame Rosie Winterton and Dame Eleanor Laing, who also both served as Bercow’s deputies, Labour’s Meg Hillier and Chris Bryant, plus Conservatives Sir Edward Leigh and Shailesh Vara.
The Commons will meet as normal at 2.30pm and each candidate will give a speech, before a secret ballot among MPs takes place.
Ballots will continue until either one MP wins more than 50 per cent of the votes or only one remains. A motion is then put to the Commons proposing the winner as Speaker and they will take the chair if this is agreed. If not, a vote takes place.
Labour denies ‘allotment plot’ to make Labour Remain party
Labour kicked off its election campaign last week in a show of unity at a south London arts centre, but the obvious tensions over the party’s Brexit policy appear unresolved.
According to tonight’s episode of Channel 4’s Dispatches, there was “allotment plot” which saw Jeremy Corbyn, shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott gather at the leader’s vegetable patch in East Finchley agree to make Labour a Remain party.
But the plan was reportedly thwarted by the Corbyn’s strategist and right-hand man Seumas Milne.
Corbyn has insisted he made his own decision to reject a clear pro-EU stance, telling the shadow cabinet: “I just said, ‘Look, this debate is now over. We’ve done it, the party has now made its decision, and that’s it; and that’s what we’re going to campaign on’.”
A Labour Party spokesman said: “The Dispatches claim is denied by the Labour Party, as the programme will make clear.”
Big two parties sending UK back to the 1970s
Britain is heading back to a “1970s-sized state” in terms of public service spending, whoever wins the general, a new report claims today.
As the political parties prepare to hit the campaign trail after the dissolution of parliament on Tuesday, the Resolution Foundation claimed both parties will “turn the spending taps back on”.
Farage would let Brexit ‘evaporate,’ says cabinet minister
The election stance of Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage puts EU withdrawal at risk, a cabinet minister has claimed.
Work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The Conservative Party is the party that will get Brexit done.
“I cannot understand how Nigel Farage puts at risk ... being the person who lets Brexit evaporate.
“Only the Conservative Party, in this election, of the party that has the chance of being in government, are the only party that is going to respect the referendum of 2016.”
Farage has said the Brexit Party will stand against the Tories in every British seat unless Boris Johnson abandons its Brexit deal with Brussels.
Don’t ‘weaponise’ the NHS, both Tories and Labour warned by doctors’ groups
Two leading doctors’ groups have pleaded with politicians not to use the NHS as a “weapon” to win votes during the election campaign.
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and NHS Providers say the Conservatives and Labour should not try to use the NHS to lure votes by making impossible promises which set the service up to fail.
Academy chairwoman Carrie MacEwen said the role of the NHS was to “manage the health of the nation, not to be used as a tool to swing voters in a three-way marginal”.
“Our fear is that when it comes to the NHS in these febrile times we will see irrational, undeliverable promises or even outright lies,” she wrote.
NHS Providers chief Chris Hopson, also writing in The Times, urged politicians not to make “empty promises” or create “unrealistic expectations”.
Hopson said “over-dramatising or distorting the difficulties for political ends will do nothing to help those frontline staff who are working flat out for patients”.
He also appeared on the Today programme to warn against “weaponising” the health service.
Tory candidate urged to step down after saying people on reality show need ‘putting down’
A Conservative candidate who said that said people on Channel 4’s Benefits Street reality TV show needed “putting down” should be removed by the party, Labour has said.
Francesca O'Brien, who is standing for the Conservatives in the key marginal seat of Gower in south Wales, wrote a series of comments critical of the people featured on the show on her Facebook account.
“My blood is boiling, these people need putting down,” she wrote in the now deleted comment.
More details here:
MPs carrying security alarms and warned not to campaign alone at night
General election candidates have spoken about using security alarms when they go out knocking on doors, as police warn they shouldn’t be out alone after dark.
With politicians suffering new levels of personal abuse, many are taking precautions on the campaign trail.
Former Tory Antoinette Sandbach, now a Lib Dem candidate, says he is using a security device that would trigger an alarm in an emergency.
Labour MP Luke Pollard said he and campaign staff would be carrying attack alarms on “at all times” Pollard explained: “It has a button that you press that connects to a network where an operator will listen in immediately wherever I am.”
On a police warning not to canvas alone at night, Labour MP Rosie Duffield told ITV: “I suppose it is shocking but actually we are used to that now, it’s just part of our everyday lives.”
Shadow health secretary ‘angry’ about NHS difficulties
Both the Tory party and Labour have been warned to use the NHS as “a weapon” by “over-dramatising difficulties” or making “disingenuous” funding claims.
But Labour MP Jonathan Ashworth, shadow health secretary, is unapologetic about the fact he’s “passionate and angry” about the state of the NHS.
He says the doctors’ groups are “right to put us under the microscope, but by the same token I’m passionate about the NHS, and I’m afraid I am angry, when a constituent of mine has his bladder cancer operation cancelled twice”.
Ashworth adds: “Nobody should be waiting longer and longer in pain and agony because their operation has been cancelled or their hospital cannot arrange it.”
Labour’s John McDonnell is holding a roundtable event with NHS staff later today.
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