Britain’s prime minister Theresa May: if her gamble on an early general election is to pay off with a substantially bigger Conservative majority, she must win dozens of Labour seats. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA

The election may bolster the Tories at home. But such punch may be puny in Europe

Boost for Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn: his ally Len McCluskey was re-elected leader of Unite, Britain’s biggest union, on Friday. Photograph:  Matt Cardy/Getty Images

PM to continue spending 0.7% of Britain’s economic output on international aid

British prime minister Theresa May leaving 10 Downing Street on Wednesday. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images

London Letter: French and German campaigns offer little comfort for UK negotiators

Fintan O’Toole is this year’s winner in a field that included John Harris’s brilliant commentaries on Britain’s EU referendum from the Guardian. Photograph: Clare Keogh/Provision

European Press Prize: more than 600 entries submitted from 39 countries

British prime minister Theresa May during a visit to radar manufacturer Kelvin Hughes Limited in Enfield, north London. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Labour on defensive over second Brexit referendum on first full day of campaigning

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn looks up following his first speech of the British general election campaign on Thursday. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

UK Labour leader launches election campaign with attack on media and the powerful

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May delivers a speech to Conservative Party members, in Bolton, England. Photograph: Andrew Yates - WPA Pool/Getty Images

British prime minister attacks Labour and the SNP as MPs approve general election

British prime minister Theresa May:  The opposition has accused her of breaking her word on everything from Brexit to calling an early election. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images

Theresa May will stay out of leaders’ debate, while opposition MPs will fight their corners

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May: “A general election will provide the country with five years of strong and stable leadership.” Photograph: Andrew Yates

Opposition MPs criticise British PM’s decision as a refusal to put her case to public

 Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn during a visit to Birmingham Carers’ Hub.  Earlier Theresa May called a snap general election for June 8th. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Bigger majority would be confidence vote in Brexit management

British prime minister Theresa May  outside 10 Downing Street on Tuesday. Ms May called an early general election for June 8th.  Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

British PM says strong poll result would strengthen her hand in EU negotiations

Television crews arrange their lighting and recording equipment in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament in central London after British prime minister Theresa May on Tuesday called for an early election. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Elections and democracy about public debate, says Corbyn, as MPs prepare to vote

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn during a visit to Birmingham Carers Hub on Tuesday  to launch Labour’s proposed carer’s allowance increase in Birmingham. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Labour leader speaks of his party offering ‘a clear and credible choice’ to UK voters

British prime minister Theresa May outside 10 Downing Street on Tuesday. There were doubts that she was set to call an election, not least because she has repeatedly ruled it out. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

PM’s election U-turn causes discomfort as MPs scramble to prepare for campaign

British prime minister Theresa May in Downing Street in London announcing her decision to seek a snap general elction.  Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Analysis: Political case for early election is compelling – but it also carries risks for the PM

British prime minister Theresa May makes a statement to the nation in Downing Street. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivias/AFP

Officials say British prime minister reiterated there would be no hard border with Republic

A woman poses with  ‘Life Painting for a Diploma’ (1962), by British artist David Hockney, at the ‘Queer British Art 1861-1967’ exhibition at the Tate Britain in London, England. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

London Letter: Tate Britain’s landmark show tells a story of courage, shame and sex

British foreign secretary Boris Johnson: cancelled a planned visit to Moscow on Sunday, apparently in deference to his US counterpart, Rex Tillerson. Photograph: Petros Giannakouris/AP

Political reality is that Theresa May can offer only verbal support to the US over Syria

Royal reception: Theresa May made her Brexit remarks during a visit to Saudi Arabia, where she met King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (right) and Deputy Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman. Photograph: Bandar Al-Jaloud/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP/Getty

London Letter: Amid Conservative threats of war with Spain over Gibraltar, PM now says freedoms may continue after UK’s EU departu(...)

 Former Labour mayor of London Ken Kivingstone, who faces a new inquiry by his party into remarks he has made about Hitler and Zionism. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Prime minister hits out as opposition party orders new inquiry into Ken Livingstone remarks

King Abdullah II of Jordan with British prime minster Theresa May during their visit to  a military base near Amman on Monday. Photograph:  Jordanian Royal Palace/AFP/Getty Images

House of Commons Brexit committee warns about impact on Ireland and Border concerns

 People cross the border from Spain to Gibraltar on Monday at La Linea de la Concepcion, Spain. Photograph: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Analysis: Britain says it will not be sending a Falklands-style task force to defend the Rock

British prime Minister Theresa May and defence secretary Michael Fallon:  The negotiations had to cover both a trade deal and issues such as counter-terrorism and police co-operation, said Mr Fallon. Photograph: PA Wire

Defence secretary warns on failure to reach a deal, while Theresa May reassures Gibraltar

British prime minister Theresa May. Her warm words in her letter to European Council president Donald Tusk this week met with a brisk and businesslike response. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Tusk makes clear no bilateral deals will be tolerated, though Irish concerns a priority

European Council president Donald Tusk speaks at a press conference on Friday in Valletta, Malta, where he issued draft guidelines on how the EU intends to negotiate Britain’s departure from it. Photograph: Domenic Aquilina/EPA

Proposed Spanish veto on trade deal because of Gibraltar angers Conservatives

 European Council president Donald Tusk delivers a speech during the European People’s Party congress in Malta, where he outlined the EU’s opening stance in the Brexit negotiations. Photograph: Matthew Mirabelli/AFP/Getty Images

Analysis: Opening stance on Brexit says EU wants successful talks but will prepare for failure

Theresa May demanded negotiations on Britain’s departure should run concurrently with talks about future trade arrangements. Germany’s Angela Merkel and French president François Hollande rejected the proposal. Photograph: Andy Rain

London Letter: Teasing out article 50 may give way to parsing articles 207 and 218

Time limit on “Henry VIII clauses”? Britain’s Brexit secretary David Davis. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Parliament to be bypassed as EU law passes into British law in run-up to Brexit

A video grab  shows Britain’s Brexit Minister  David Davis speaking  about the Great Repeal Bill white paper in the House of Commons. Photograph: AFP

Opposition parties call move a power grab despite government saying it is temporary

British PM Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street before heading to the Houses of Parliament to attend the weekly prime minister’s questions  in central London. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Prime minister says it is in Britain’s interest for EU to succeed and prosper

Britain’s permanent representative to the EU Tim Barrow leaves after he delivered  prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit letter in notice of the UK’s intention to leave the bloc  to EU Council president Donald Tusk in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph:  Yves Herman/Reuters

Prime minister promises UK departure from EU will not damage Northern peace process

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May:  Conservatives fail to understand the UK is a multinational state with four nations. Photograph: Parliament TV via Reuters

House of Commons displays spectrum of stances as departure from EU under way

British prime minister Theresa May responds to questions after she announced in the House of Commons  that she has triggered article 50. Photograph: PA Wire

Analysis: British prime minister adopts a conciliatory tone in her letter to Donald Tusk

Spooked by Ukip’s threat to its seats in the north of England, Labour accepted May’s definition of Brexit and trooped in behind the Conservatives to authorise her to trigger article 50 with no preconditions. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Denis Staunton: Choice is now either hard Brexit, or leaving EU with no deal at all

British prime minister Theresa May  signs the article 50 letter, as she prepares to trigger the start of the UK’s formal withdrawal from the EU on Wednesday.  Photograph: Christopher Furlong/PA Wire

Prime minister determined to get best deal for all citizens – including EU nationals

The Scottish parliament  passed a motion that approves the plan of Scottish First Minister Sturgeon to negotiate on a second independence referendum.  Photograph: ROBERT PERRY

Nicola Sturgeon’s call backed as Conservatives rule out second vote until after Brexit

Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire:  “Should the talks not succeed in their objectives, the government will have to consider all options.” Photograph: PA

Brokenshire says in absence of devolved government, UK must provide stability

British prime minster Theresa May: She said she would never allow the UK “to become looser and weaker, or our people to drift apart”.   Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Stand-off suits Sturgeon by fortifying Scotland’s sense of grievance towards England

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon with Britain’s prime minister Theresa May  ahead of their meeting  at a hotel in  Glasgow on Monday. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/AFP/Getty Images

Nicola Sturgeon describes meeting with prime minister as ‘cordial but frustrating’

Republic of Ireland captain Séamus Coleman is carried off the field during his team’s match against Wales, in Dublin. Photograph: ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Republic of Ireland captain suffered a double leg fracture in incident during Wales match

Taoiseach  Enda Kenny in Rome for a show of unity with European Union. Photograph:  Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

Declaration signed in Rome criticised by Donald Tusk over lack of ‘faith in unity’

Westminster attack: messages at a vigil at Trafalgar Square on Thursday. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty

If London was unpanicked by Khalid Masood’s attack, it’s because it’s accustomed to terrorism, having endured numerous atrocities (...)

A red carpet is laid down during the final preparations for an informal European summit commemorationg the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, at Rome’s Piazza del Campidoglio, Capitoline Hill, on Friday. Photograph: Alessandro Di Meo/ANSA via AP

60 years after Treaty of Rome, the argument over a multi-speed Europe is just beginning

People light candles at a vigil in Trafalgar Square on Thursday  in memory of  four people killed in  London  terrorist attack. Photograph: Darren Staples/Reuters

Khalid Masood (52) lived in the west midlands and had a number of criminal convictions

British prime minister Theresa May. When she sat down, May was hunched and still as she heard Jeremy  Corbyn and other party leaders praise her response to the attack. Photograph:   Parliament TV/via Reuters

The scene looked familiar, but the tone at Westminster was absent of usual bombast

A police officer places flowers and a photograph of PC Keith Palmer on Whitehall near the Houses of Parliament in London. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Khalid Masood (52) from Kent had previous convictions but was not under investigation

A policeman points a gun at a man on the ground  outside the Palace of Westminster, London, on Wednesday. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Assailant shot dead after fatal stabbing of police officer beside parliament

Cabinet minister Tobias Ellwood (centre) helps emergency services attend to a police officer  after the officer was stabbed in a terrorist attack outside Westminster. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Boxing team coach and cabinet minister among those who rush to help wounded

Armed police  outside parliament on Wednesday. Scotland Yard said  police were called to a firearms incident in the Westminster  grounds and on Westminster Bridge. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Violence was at one of Britain’s most important and heavily guarded institutions

Armed police push people back following major incidents outside the Houses of Parliament in central London. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Politicians in shock as police officer stabbed and pedestrians mowed down in London

British prime minister Theresa May and  Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon in July 2016.  The Scottish parliament will on Tuesday begin debating a motion calling for a second referendum on independence to be held between autumn 2018 and spring 2019. Photograph: Lesley Martin/AFP/Getty Images

PM expected to visit the North shortly as Scotland begins independence motion debate

British prime minister Theresa May: Downing Street on Monday sought to end speculation that she would call a snap election. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

Move will formally begin Britain’s exit from EU but talks may not begin for two months

Scotland’s first minister and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) Nicola Sturgeon. Photograph: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

SNP leader attempting to exploit Brexit with independence ‘obsession’, says May

Nicola Sturgeon: The Scottish first minister said her  government has a “cast-iron democratic mandate to offer people a choice, and that mandate must be fulfilled”. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Referendum before Brexit negotiations are complete would be ‘unfair’ to Scottish voters

Brexit secretary David Davis gives evidence to the Brexit Select Committee in the House of Commons, London on Wednesday. Photograph: PA Wire

Brexit secretary David Davis says no estimate of the effect of leaving EU without a deal

David Davis told the House of Commons Brexit committee that he remained confident that the CTA would survive because Britain, Ireland and the EU would wish to maintain it. Photograph: Getty

While EU protection for CTA will end, Brexit secretary is confident issues can be solved

Nicola Sturgeon: The Scottish first minister said the ‘Scottish government has a cast-iron democratic mandate for an independence referendum’. Photograph: James Glossop, WPA Pool/Getty Images

Theresa May accuses Scotland’s first minister of ‘constitutional game-playing’

Nicola Sturgeon: ‘I will take steps to make sure Scotland will have a choice at the end of this process.’ Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

Downing Street says Theresa May will not trigger article 50 this week as expected

Britain’s Houses of Parliament: MPs voted down a Lords amendment giving parliament a veto over the outcome of the Brexit talks by 331 votes to 226, a majority of 45. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Amendments by House of Lords to bill authorising triggering of article 50 overturned

  Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland: “The language of partnership has gone, completely.” Photograph: Robert Perry/EPA

Nicola Sturgeon pledges voters alternative to a hard Brexit with poll by early 2019

Nicola Sturgeon has set Scotland on course for a second referendum, promising to offer Scots ‘a choice between a hard Brexit and becoming an independent country’. Photograph: Andy Ryan/EPA

First Minister says new poll should be held between autumn 2018 and spring 2019

Andrew Marr and David Davis on Sunday: “We didn’t choose the timetable – it’s a two-year time limit on article 50,” Mr Davis said. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

Move would allow Theresa May to trigger article 50 as early as Tuesday

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the end of the second day of the European spring summit in Brussels,  on Friday. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Taoiseach says next EU summit will be April 6th if article 50 triggered by Wednesday

British Prime Minister Theresa May was coy about dates in Brussels, sticking firmly to the line that she will meet her deadline of the end of March. Photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

Difficulties Brexit poses for Ireland are likely to feature in talks guidelines EU will issue

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at a news conference during the EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Taoiseach plays down fears that hardening of positions will make agreement impossible

Donald Tusk: promised to promote unity when he was reappointed to a second term as European Council president. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Prime minister Beata Szydlo protests at reappointment of Polish European Council chief

UK chancellor  Philip Hammond  before giving his maiden budget speech in House of Commons on Wednesday. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Chancellor abandons manifesto pledge not to hike national insurance for self-employed

Michael Heseltine: “I believe that the referendum result is the most disastrous peacetime result that we’ve seen in this country.” Photograph: PA Wire

Dismissed peer says he has never met prime minister so cannot make judgment of her

Donald Tusk with Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo  in Warsaw in 2016. Ms Szydlo is seeking to block her predecessor  from securing a second term as European Council president. Photograph: Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images

European Council president under fire from his own government for supporting protests

UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond and prime minister Theresa May in the British House of Commons for Mr Hammond’s maiden budget speech.

Borrowing to be lower than predicted as social care funding rises, says chancellor

Lord Heseltine speaks in the House of Lords, London, on Tuesday as the Brexit Bill is debated. Photograph: PA Wire

Archbishop of Canterbury warns another referendum on EU would worsen divisions

UK  chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond. Mr Hammond is expected to offset any spending increases with higher taxes to achieve a fiscally neutral budget.

National insurance contributions likely to rise, as could duty on alcohol

The British government faces the possibility of a second defeat in the Lords on Tuesday when peers debate an amendment to the article 50 legislation. Photograph: PA Wire

House of Lords review calls for preferential treatment for EU migrants post-Brexit

Former editor Harold Evans says the press should resist the temptation to set itself up as an opposition to Trump, but should faithfully report and investigate. Photograph:  Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

The former newspaper editor says the US president represents a grievous threat

British prime minister Theresa May addressing the Scottish Conservative conference at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/Getty Images

SNP dismisses British prime minister’s remarks as hypocritical and surreal

Contrary to the ‘Yes, Minister’ image of hapless politicians being manipulated by cynical, self-interested civil servants, the former ministers are mostly warm about the officials they worked with

A new report compiles the candid reflections of more than 70 former British ministers

The British Brexit Secretary, David Davis, left, and Danish Foreign Minister, Anders Samuelsen, speak during a press conference in Copenhagen on Thursday. Photograph: Jens Dresling/Polfoto via AP

Amendment that would guarantee rights for EU citizens in UK was passed by 102 votes

 Theresa May: The British prime minister’s spokesman would not say if the government would attempt to stop another vote on Scottish independence. Photograph: EPA/Andy Rain/Pool

House of Lords told that closing open Border would be done at ‘great and grim peril’

Gerald Kaufman, who has died aged 86, on a  visit in 2010 to the Palestinian Legislative Council in Hebron, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Photograph: Abed al-Hashlamoun/EPA

Oldest member of House of Commons was known as acerbic debater and critic of Israel

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn:  “Now is not the time to retreat, to run away or to give up.” Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Beleaguered party leader says he will not to resign after losing seat in Cumbria to Tories

Former British prime minister Tony Blair during his speech on Brexit at Bloomberg’s London headquarters on Friday. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Former Labour prime minister launches ‘mission’ to secure reversal of EU exit vote

Jeremy Corbyn: Westminster chatter about his future may subside after a dismal few weeks for the Labour leader – if Labour holds both seats. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

London Letter: A Labour loss in either Copeland or Stoke will reignite leadership issue

British newspaper headlines after the high court ruled that parliament must be allowed  to vote on whether to trigger article 50 on Brexit.    Photograph: Benjamin Fathers/AFP/Getty Images

Rule of law was undermined by media attacks following article 50 ruling, says judge

The Church of England general synod at Church House in London, where a document upholding church teaching on same-sex marriage was narrowly defeated. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Clergy closely reject bishops’ document calling for continued ban on gay marriage

Commons speaker John Bercow: fresh controversy after a recording emerged in which he told students that he had voted against leaving the European Union in last year’s referendum. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire

Foreign office recognises ‘strong views’ of 1.8 million signatories but says it will press head

David Hockney with his redesigned masthead for a one-off edition of the Sun newspaper. The artist gave qualified approval for Brexit: “The power has spread to the people because that’s what the iPhone has done.” Photograph: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire

Most British writers today are Remainers. Which side would past literary giants take?

 Brian Hayes:  says it is  in Ireland’s interest to ensure that the City of London remains strong after Brexit

Fine Gael MEP expresses confidence the customs issue can be resolved

Brexit minister David Davis and British prime minister Theresa May in the House of Commons on Wednesday. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Fifty-two Labour MPs defy Jeremy Corbyn and vote against legislation on article 50

Ireland’s Ambassador to London, Dan Mulhall: says Irish officials are successfully “sensitising” EU governments to the difficulties Brexit creates for Ireland.  Photograph:  Malcolm McNally

Dan Mulhall extols virtues of practical solutions over special status for the North

Four fire engines and 21 firefighters were called to the blaze at a mid-terraced house on Laburnum Avenue shortly after 4am on Monday morning. Photograph: iStock

Wife, husband and brother victims of blaze at mid-terraced house in Hornchurch

John Bercow said Donald Trump’s “racism and sexism” made him unworthy of an invitation. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

John Bercow apologised to his counterpart for not giving him advance warning

 Britain’s prime minister Theresa May: MPs will not be allowed to stop Brexit or send her  back to Brussels to negotiate a better deal. Photograph:  Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Choice between deal Theresa May negotiates or leaving EU with no deal

Theresa May: The British prime minister said that “EU citizens living in the UK make a vital contribution to our economy and our society, and without them we would be poorer and our public services weaker”. Photograph: EPA/Andy Rain

Prime minister says no unilateral protection on rights unless British in EU are included

House of  Commons speaker John Bercow: said that Mr Trump’s imposition of a travel ban on seven majority-Muslim countries had reinforced his conviction that the president should not speak at Westminster. Photograph: PA Wire

MPs applaud John Bercow’s remarks rebuking US president over travel ban

British prime minister Theresa May with Taoiseach  Enda Kenny: Mr Kenny said he “wouldn’t be afraid of any fallout” from inviting US president Donald Trump to Ireland when he sees him in Washington.   Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

European leaders at Malta summit sharply critical of US president’s recent actions

 British Prime Minister Theresa May with Taoiseach Minister Enda Kelly at the informal meeting of EU leaders in Valletta. Photograph: Yves Herman/EPA/ POOL AFP OUT

Good-natured talks yield surprising lack of clashes over Donald Trump and migration

German chancellor Angela Merkel  is escorted from the EU leaders summit in Valletta on Friday: “You have to remember how many people perished in the Mediterranean Sea.” Photograph: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

Malta summit produces accord under which Libya will be funded to halt flow to Italy

British prime minister Theresa May and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the informal European Union summit  in Valletta, Malta, on Friday. Photograph: Yves Herman/EPA

Enda Kenny has meeting with Theresa May on margins of informal EU summit in Malta

European Council president Donald Tusk (centre) speaks to the press on the eve of an Informal meeting of EU leaders in Malta. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Refugee crisis to be discussed after 4,500 drowned in Mediterranean in 2016

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