Conservative  leadership candidate Boris Johnson  with local business people in a  cafe in Oxshott, Surrey. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Tory leadership contender suggests would refuse to delay Brexit even if parliament demurs

 Jeremy Hunt talking  with Chelsea Pensioners during a tour of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London. Photograph:  Kirsty O’Connor/PA Wire

Conservative leadership contender claims the mood in Brussels has changed and the EU is more open to alternatives to the backstop

Boris Johnson: admitted he would need an agreement with the EU  to avoid a hard Border. Photograph: Reuters

Tory frontrunner repeats pledge to leave EU on October 31st with or without deal

 Jeremy Hunt: ‘We owe the Conservative party, we owe the country, a proper contest.’ Photograph:  Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

Jeremy Hunt says former foreign secretary ‘isn’t prepared to subject himself to scrutiny’

A common food safety and animal health area covering Britain and Ireland could help to keep the Border open without the backstop after Brexit, a group of politicians, academics and trade experts has proposed. File photograph: Stoyan Nenov/Reuters

Commission dominated by Brexiteers proposes special economic zones to avoid backstop

Boris Johnson: The apparent row with his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, during which she shouted “get off me” and “get out of my flat”, has revived questions about his  character. Photograph: Darren Staples/Bloomberg

Controversy over domestic incident could yet get worse for Tory leadership favourite

Boris Johnson refused to answer questions about a domestic incident at a Conservative leadership hustings in Birmingham on Saturday. The story has revived questions about his character. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski

Calls for PM candidate to explain late-night disturbance for which neighbours dialled 999

Cherished by older Conservatives, he is viewed by others as a liar and opportunist

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks with European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier prior to a meeting on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Olivier Matthys/EPA

Bloc insists there will be no changes to the backstop amid European Summit in Brussels

A  newspaper showing a picture of Conservative leadership contender Boris Johnson in London. Photograph: Getty Images

Few doubt Tory frontrunner’s supporters voted to ensure Jeremy Hunt emerged

 Jeremy Hunt  with Boris Johnson in London ahead of the 2012 Olympics. The pair are the final two contenders for the Conservative Party leadership. File photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Profiles: Former journalist who led Leave campaign faces off against cabinet’s richest man

Jeremy Hunt (left) and the Boris Johnson in 2012; the two will now go head to head in the British Conservative Party leadership race. Photogrph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Michael Gove eliminated by just two votes in fifth and final round of voting

Anti-Brexit campaigners, Borders Against Brexit, set up a mock customs search  in 2016. Photograph: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Advisory group to explore ‘alternative arrangements’ to keep Border open after Brexit

Boris Johnson added to the impression of shiftiness by backing away from a promise to cut taxes for high earners. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Retreat from firm commitment on Brexit date leaves Johnson exposed to attack

Rory Stewart: “I remain deeply committed to you and to this country.” Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

MPs to pick Boris Johnson challenger on Thursday as Stewart finishes last in third round

Conservative Party leadership contenders  Boris Johnson,  Jeremy Hunt,  Michael Gove,  Sajid Javid and Rory Stewart take part in the BBC television debate in London. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/AFP/Getty Images

Five leadership contenders rule out calling a general election before Britain leaves EU

 Boris Johnson speaking during the BBC TV debate at BBC Broadcasting House in London featuring the contestants for the leadership of the Conservative Party. Photograph:  Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

Rory Stewart is emerging as the only candidate with a chance of defeating Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson on Monday. The frontrunner already has enough support among MPs to ensure his is one of the two names to go before the party membership in the final ballot. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Hunt ahead among public endorsements from MPs in race to join Johnson on final ballot

Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Rory Stewart take part in a live television debate on Channel 4 for the Tory leadership candidates,  in Stratford, east London. Photograph: Tim Anderson/Channel 4/PA Wire

To deal or not to deal is the question as live event becomes ‘Hamlet’ without the prince

From left:  Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid during the live television debate on Channel 4 for the candidates for leadership of the Conservative party. Photograph: PA

Rory Stewart accused his rivals of engaging in ‘a competition of machismo’

Boris Johnson is the clear favourite to win the parliamentary stage of the Conservative leadership election but his victory among the party’s membership is not a foregone conclusion. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

Dublin and Brussels are hoping for a ‘Nixon in China’ moment from Tory frontrunner

British health secretary Matt Hancock, who has withdrawn from the Conservative Party leadership race. Photograph: Matt Hancock/PA Wire

Hancock pulls out of Tory leadership race, leaving six candidates vying for two places

 Boris Johnson leaving his London home on Thursday. He is  almost certain to be one of two candidates who will go before the party membership of  160,000. Photograph:  Glyn Kirk/Getty Images

Former UK foreign secretary secures resounding early victory in Tory leadership race

Conservative leadership candidate Boris Johnson leaves his home in central London. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

Hunt and Gove look the most likely to fight it out for second slot in Tory leadership battle

Boris Johnson during the launch of his campaign to become  Conservative leader  and  prime minister at the Royal Academy of Engineering in central London. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Frontrunner says no-deal Brexit ‘last resort’ ahead of first round of leadership contest

Boris Johnson during the London launch of his campaign to become leader of the Conservative  and prime minister. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

He refused to be drawn on his conflicting statements about using cocaine when he was younger

Boris Johnson during the launch at Westminster of his campaign to become leader of the Conservatives and  prime minister. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Johnson says Britain must leave EU in October as further delay to Brexit would lead to Conservative defeat in next general electio(...)

Andrea Leadsom launching her campaign in London to become Conservative party leader  and prime minister. Photograph:   Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Former Commons leader Andrea Leadsom says leaving EU at the end of October will be a ‘red line’ if she becomes prime minister

Michael Gove, British environment secretary, delivers a speech at the launch of his Tory leadership campaign  in London. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Environment secretary’s campaign could be fatally damaged after cocaine admission

Amber Rudd, British work and pensions secretary, attends the Conservative party leadership campaign launch for Jeremy Hunt, in London, Britain. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Tory leadership candidate says Merkel and Macron are open to renegotiating Brexit deal

Michael Gove leaving the BBC after appearing on the Andrew Marr Show, in London. Photograph: Reuters/Simon Dawson

Boris Johnson extends his lead by winning backing of leading hardline Brexiteers

Boris Johnson: promises to shed the ‘intellectual prison’ of the backstop. Photograph: Andrew Yates/File Photo/Reuters

Leadership contender promises aggressive stance on divorce bill and Border backstop

Theresa May: hopes to use her remaining weeks in office as caretaker for some domestic policy actions. Photograph: Neil Hall

Labour narrowly beats Brexit Party to hold seat in Peterborough byelection

 Boris Johnson said  the Conservatives must deliver Brexit by October 31st to neutralise the Brexit Party. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP

Conservatives come third behind Labour and Brexit Party in Peterborough election

British environment secretary Michael Gove: in the running for  prime minister role in upcoming Conservative Party leadership battle. Photograph: Andy Rain

London Letter: Withdrawal agreement, backstop confrontation await successor

John Bercow: ‘Parliament will not be evacuated from the centre stage of the decision-making process.’ Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty

Comments come after Dominic Raab refuses to rule out proroguing parliament

 British environment secretary Michael Gove out for a run in London. He told Conservatives he would seek to negotiate a “full stop” to the backstop through alternative arrangements to keep the Irish Border open. Photograph: EPA

Tory polling expert warns Boris Johnson too divisive

Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth, US president Donald Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, watch a fly past during an event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, in Portsmouth. Photograph: Tolga Akmen / AFP

Queen Elizabeth leads tributes to ‘heroism’ of those who died in D-Day landings at 75th anniversary

Britain’s international development secretary Rory Stewart: a dark-horse candidate who has hijacked the contest with a surprising social media campaign. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga

Backbenchers call for next PM to drop withdrawal accord and make clean Brexit

President Donald Trump and prime minister Theresa May  during a joint press conference in London  during the second day of the president’s state visit. Photograph:  WPA Pool/Getty Images

US president warns that all areas of the economy, including the National Health Service, must be up for negotiation

British prime minister Theresa May and US president Donald Trump are pictured in London’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office during his state visit to the UK. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

US president plays down protests and lays out an unpalatable choice next Tory leader could face

Theresa May and Donald Trump at Chequers in July 2018. Photograph: Hannah McKay/File Photo/Reuters

Queen hosted banquet for US president on Monday but opposition leaders steered clear

US president Donald Trump: Opposition leaders will not attend banquet held for him by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace on Monday. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images

MPs gear up for leadership campaign and voting as US president makes three-day trip

EU negotiators initially welcomed Dominic Raab as a smarter and more focused interlocutor than his predecessor David Davis. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

London Letter: ‘Powerful and obnoxious odour of mendacity’ surrounds Boris Johnson

Former Tory party leader Ian Duncan Smith said the 1922 Committee should raise the threshold for nomination so that candidates would need the backing of 10 MPs. File Photograph courtesy BBC

Fomer minister calls for change in rules to avert risk of contest descending into chaos

Speaker of the House Jon Bercow. Brexiteers have complained that some of his decisions have stretched the rules to allow opponents of Brexit to set the agenda. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/PA Wire

Speaker has great latitude in choosing which precedents to invoke and which to ignore

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage: “The Conservative Party are bitterly divided and I consider it to be extremely unlikely that they will pick a leader who is able to take us out on October 31st come what may.” Photograph:  Peter Summers/Getty

Brexit Party leader predicts general election win if Conservatives fail on October Brexit

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage after being elected as an MEP in Southampton on Monday. Photograph:  Hannah McKay/Reuters

Despite Farage’s success, results across Europe were bad for British negotiators

 UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond  on The Andrew Marr Show: refused to rule out voting against his own government in the event of a no-deal exit. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/Handout

Chancellor of exchequer says confidence motion would confront crash-out advocates

Boris Johnson is running a disciplined campaign, meeting backbenchers one by one in his corner office in Westminster’s Portcullis House. Photograph: Swiss Economic Forum/EPA

Long viewed as too divisive, Boris Johnson now seen as Tories’ best chance of survival

British  prime minister Theresa May making a statement outside 10 Downing Street. She   has announced that she will resign on Friday, June 7th. Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Frontrunner Boris Johnson says he would not seek a new article 50 extension

Outgoing prime minister Theresa May announcing she will resign on Friday, June 7th. Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Tributes to PM came in from colleagues, including many who plotted her downfall

 Theresa May at the end of her address at Downing Street. She said she was standing down as Conservative leader “with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.” Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Denis Staunton: PM’s emotional departure came with pointed advice for her successor

British prime minister Theresa May reacts as she delivers a statement in London, Britain, May 24th, 2019. Photograph: Simon Dawson

British prime minister’s three-year premiership was dominated by the issue of Brexit

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May is expected to announce on Friday that she will resign as Conservative leader when MPs return from the Whitsun recess in early June. She would remain as prime minister until a new leader is elected, probably by the end of July. Photograph: Getty Images

London Letter: Demise of Theresa May leaves Tories facing some hard choices

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May and her husband Philip leave a polling station in Sonning after voting in the European Parliament Elections. Photograph: Toby Melville

British PM to meet Graham Brady to set out timetable for departure from office

British  prime minster Theresa May and  husband Phillip  casting their vote in  the European elections in her Maidenhead constituency. Photograph:  EPA/Neil Hall

Decision to postpone bill comes as May is due to meet 1922 Committee chairman and amid mounting pressure for her to resign

UK prime minister Theresa May leaves the Houses of Parliament in London. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Any proposal May makes to resolve the impasse is tainted by association with her

UK prime minister Theresa May. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

PM expected to outline departure plans on Friday after Andrea Leadsom quits cabinet

 Theresa May: “The sofa is up against the door, she’s not leaving,” said former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Leadsom’s resignation piles on further pressure at end of difficult day for the PM

 British prime minister Theresa May: “Reject this deal and leaving the EU with a negotiated deal any time soon will be dead in the water.” Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Prime minister ready to offer Labour customs options or vote on second referendum

UK prime minister Theresa May. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

UK prime minister also offers MPs vote on customs union but initial reaction is negative

Theresa May outlines her new Brexit plan in London on Tuesday. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Analysis: Nobody at Westminster prepared to risk supporting a weakened PM facing inevitable failure

A spokesman for British prime minister Theresa May said any commitment made in British law would be consistent with that instrument and with the withdrawal agreement itself. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/Reuters/File

Legally-binding commitment would look to find other solutions by the end of 2020

UK defence secretary Penny Mordaunt: on Tuesday will outline a proposal for a presumption against prosecution of former service personnel for alleged offences during campaigns overseas more than 10 years ago. Photograph: EPA

Backbenchers want army in NI to have same legal protection as for Iraq and Afghanistan

UK prime minister Theresa May outside Downing Street. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/File Photo/Reuters

Jeremy Corbyn says it is very unlikely that deal will get parliamentary support

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May  and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn: plug has been pulled on six weeks of Brexit compromise talks. Photograph: Philippe Lopez and Paul Ellis

Leaked document suggests indicative votes likely before debate on withdrawal Bill

An anti-Brexit placard depicts British PM Theresa May: She  will meet 1922 Committee chairman Graham Brady after the second reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill  in the first week in June. Photograph: Toby Melville

London Letter: Widespread expectation Withdrawal Agreement Bill is doomed

Defence secretary Penny Mordaunt said the British government was considering a proposal give veterans an amnesty from historical prosecutions after 10 years but said the change would not apply to allegations arising from service in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Government may exclude soldiers who served in Northern Ireland from amnesty

British prime minister Theresa May arriving for a meeting with members of the 1922 Committee in London on Thursday. Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP

PM to hold talks with backbench 1922 Committee after second reading of Brexit Bill

British defence secretary Penny Mordaunt has said she would propose new legal measures to protect soldiers from investigation into alleged offences committed during the course of duty after 10 years, except in exceptional circumstances. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire.

‘No British soldier should be above the law’, says Sinn Féin Assembly member

Jeremy Corbyn: Labour will not support the  prime minister’s withdrawal Bill unless it has reached an agreement on the Brexit deal. Photograph: Jessica Taylor

Vote will take place in the first week of June, when the US president visits the UK

UK prime minister Theresa May (centre) is due to meet the executive backbench of the Conservative and anti-EU 1922 Committee on Thursday. Photograph: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire

Conservative eurosceptics vow to vote against Withdrawal Agreement Bill in June

If the British prime minister and Jeremy Corbyn, above, cannot agree on a common position, the government’s Plan B is to seek Labour’s engagement with a process of ‘definitive votes’. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

May’s announcement of early June vote on withdrawal Bill comes despite lack of progress

UK prime minster Theresa May. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Talks with Labour to continue despite disquiet among MPs and little sign of progress

Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer:  has said Labour could agree to a deal only if it included a confirmatory referendum. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Conservatives losing support as Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party on course for big victory

Nigel Farage on Sunday’s Andrew Marr show.  An Opinium poll for The Observer put his Brexit Party on 34%. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire .

Polls show Conversatives facing meltdown in European elections

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage addresses a rally at the Rainton Meadows Arena in Houghton-le-Spring while on the European election campaign trail in Durham. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Nigel Farage attacks ‘dishonest, duplicitous and utterly useless’ Theresa May at party rally

Tánaiste Simon Coveney: concerned the six-month extension to article 50 had led some at Westminster to relax their sense of urgency about Brexit. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Tánaiste warns City of no-deal danger to North if Stormont institutions still suspended

London Letter

London Letter: Amid scepticism over inter-party talks there is fresh attention on the backstop

Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn: “Quite honestly, the government has to move its red lines ...” Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

UK Labour leader favours ballot on public vote on outcome of talks and negotiations

Theresa May at the dispatch box on Wednesday, May 8th:  ‘We are working on an agreement that can command a majority of this House.’ Photograph: UK Parliament/Roger Harris/via Reuters

No exit for prime minister until EU departure deal agreed by parliament, says Downing Street

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Britain’s minister for the cabinet office David Lidington, and  secretary of state for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley during a press conference in London at the signing of the Common Travel Area deal. Photograph: Reuters/Henry Nicholls

Irish citizens ‘will still be able to work, study and, above all, will be welcome’, says British minister

Simon Coveney and David Lidington will sign the agreement in London on Wednesday ahead of a meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Council. Photograph: Julien Behal

Agreement will guarantee the free movement of people between the two countries

Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer arrives at the Cabinet office to attend a cross-party Brexit meeting. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

UK government’s talks with Labour described as ‘constructive’ and ‘robust’

David Lidington said he hoped the Brexit deal could be ratified before British MEPs would have to take their seats in Strasbourg on July 2nd. Photograph: PA Wire

Analysis: Lidington warning over withdrawal agreement deadline will alarm MPs

Alison Bennington, the DUP’s first openly gay candidate, was elected on the sixth count  to the Glengormley urban area of Newtownabbey Borough Council. Photograph:  Dave Pettard/PA Wire

Conservatives lose more than 1,100 seats in local elections as Labour loses more than 100 seats

Prime minister Theresa May addressing delegates during the Scottish Conservatives’ annual party conference in  Aberdeen on Friday. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Labour drop votes in both Leave and Remain areas, suggesting its attempt to straddle both sides on Brexit is not working with vote(...)

“I think there was a simple message from yesterday’s elections to both us and the Labour Party – just get on and deliver Brexit.” Photograph: Nigel Roddis/PA Wire

Party sheds more than 1,200 seats with most going to resurgent Liberal Democrats

Labour Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer and Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell leave the cabinet office after Brexit talks. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty

London Letter: If agreement can’t be reached, May wants binding indicative votes

Britain’s former secretary of state for defence Gavin Williamson: has denied that he was behind the leak, claiming that a police investigation would exonerate him. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Gavin Williamson fired by prime minister over alleged leak of NSC discussion to media

Former secretary of defence Gavin Williamson outside Downing Street. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/File Photo/Reuters

Wounded ex-minister on the backbenches will not make PM’s Brexit task any easier

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan and Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald:  The party believes the British government should legislate at Westminster for abortion, same-sex marriage and an Irish language act for the North if the DUP refuses to agree. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Mary Lou McDonald calls for ‘plan B’ in case talks to restore powersharing fail

  Jeremy Corbyn: the SNP’s leader at Westminster, Ian Blackford, has accused the Labour leader of conspiring with “a Tory-led Brexit shambles”. Photograph:  Stefan Rousseau/Reuters

May wants talks with Labour over common approach to Brexit to conclude by the middle of next week

Lyra McKee (29) who was shot dead by the New IRA. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Murder of 29-year-old journalist and activist has led to efforts to reestablish Northern Executive

Theresa May’s de facto deputy David Lidington: described latest negotiating session as positive and productive. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA

Suggestion floated to extend parliamentary session beyond summer in absence of accord

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with parliamentary candidate Lisa Forbes  campaigning in Peterborough ahead of next week’s local elections.  Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Conservatives braced for heavy losses in local elections as they seek to avoid European poll

 Chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond: “It is important that we protect the principle that nothing that goes on in national security council meetings must ever be repeated outside the room.”  Photograph: Florence Lo/Pool Photo via AP

Decision to allow telecoms firm build parts of 5G network leaked from cabinet committee

 Jeremy Hunt:   ‘The democratic risk of no Brexit ultimately is higher than the economic risk of no deal.’ Photograph: Daniel  Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt just one of several ministers with an eye on top job

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said UK prime minister Theresa May has brought no new ideas to the table in talks to try and agree a joint Brexit approach. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/Getty

Withdrawl Agreement Bill not listed for debate in House of Commons next week

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