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As it happenedended1520270585

Brexit - as it happened: Theresa May accused of presiding over '20 wasted months', as PM vows to unite nation

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
,Lizzy Buchan
Monday 05 March 2018 09:34 GMT
Theresa May tells developers to 'do their duty' to the country on home building

Theresa May has defended her Brexit vision in a statement to MPs amid warnings that EU leaders will not accept her plans.

In a major speech at Mansion House in London last week, the Prime Minister told the bloc that refusing to include financial services in a trade deal after Brexit would “hurt” its own economies.

However European leaders suggested the plan would be difficult to accept because it would undermine the EU’s single market.

Earlier, Ms May attempted to shift focus away from Brexit when she announced plans to penalise property developers who do not build homes quickly enough.

The Prime Minister also used the speech to address rising levels of homelessness, adding: "In 2018, in one of the world’s largest, strongest economies, nobody should be without a roof over their head.

"This isn't just a British problem – in recent years homelessness has risen across Europe – but it is source of national shame nonetheless."

See below for the latest updates

Ashley Cowburn5 March 2018 08:30
Ashley Cowburn5 March 2018 08:30

Welcome to The Independent's politics live blog. 

Later today the Prime Minister is set to deliver a major speech on housing, warning property developers to 'do their duty' to Britain. 

She will later update the House of Commons on her Brexit speech last week at Mansion House, around 3.30pm.

According to Gaby Bertin, the former press secretary to David Cameron, May sought advice from her predecessor ahead of the Brexit speech last week.

She told Radio 4's Westminster Hour on Sunday evening: “She did speak to him before this speech. So they’re on pretty good terms … I wasn’t privy to the conversation. But they were in contact over the speech, you know, a couple of days before.”

Ms Bertin also said that Mr Cameron currently had "no plans" to make an intervention on Brexit - after last week's speeches by Tony Blair and John Major.

Ashley Cowburn5 March 2018 08:44
Ashley Cowburn5 March 2018 08:54

Over the weekend Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the leader’s office would investigate the appointment of transgender activist Munroe Bergdorf, who is now an LGBT+ adviser to the party.

It comes after Ms Bergdorf apologised on Twitter yesterday for a string of comments on Twitter sent several years ago, including one where she joked she would have “gay based” a celebrity.

McDonnell told Sky News: “I don’t know the individual concerned…I know she’s been appointed as one of our advisers, we’ll be talking to her about her views and whether these are . . . just reported views or whether they are her real views and that will be a matter obviously for the, well, her employers, she’s employed directly I believe by the leader’s office but obviously what will happen is those views will be taken into account in those discussions.

Ashley Cowburn5 March 2018 09:24
Ashley Cowburn5 March 2018 09:28
Ashley Cowburn5 March 2018 09:43
Ashley Cowburn5 March 2018 09:47
Ashley Cowburn5 March 2018 10:12

Theresa May's speech is expected to start any minute now..

Ashley Cowburn5 March 2018 10:30

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