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Summary

  1. CPS: No charges over 2015 battle bus
  2. One file, for Kent, still being considered
  3. Tories: 'Politically motivated complaints'
  4. Labour and Lib Dem education pledges
  5. The election is on 8 June

Live Reporting

By Martha Buckley and Jackie Storer

All times stated are UK

Wednesday's headlines

Here's a round-up of the day's top stories:

We are now switching over to a fresh Election Live page - so please click here to join the team taking you into the evening and Thursday.

Are you a postal or a proxy voter?

Nuttell urges Tories to give UKIP a clear run in Dagenham

BBC political correspondent tweets...

Manchester University job cuts due to Brexit, union claims

Manchester University
Google
More than 12,000 people work at the university

The University of Manchester's decision to cut 171 posts is due to "new government legislation and Brexit", a union has claimed.

The university says the move is necessary for it to be a world-leading institution.

But the University and College Union (UCU) said the university was in "a strong financial position".

Both academics and support staff jobs are at risk. 

A university spokesman said cuts would be made in the biology, medicine, health, business and humanities departments.

Read more

Paul Nuttall predicts UKIP voters will return

Paul Nuttall
BBC

UKIP is backing Labour candidates that are "true Brexiteers" in a bid to "get the Brexit we want", its leader Paul Nuttall has said. 

He says this includes UKIP voters in former Labour minister Kate Hoey's Vauxhall seat being asked to back her.

UKIP faces "a difficult" general election and the prospect of winning only two seats, he says.

But Mr Nuttall predicts voters will return to UKIP if Theresa May "backslides" on Brexit negotiations.

Read more

Paul Nuttall: UKIP share of the vote will go down

Daily Politics tweets...

So is Labour about to announce it will scrap tuition fees?

John McDonnell
BBC

Footage has also emerged of shadow chancellor John McDonnell saying that Labour would scrap tuition fees as part of its national education service.

Speaking at a rally in Mansfield in April, Mr McDonnell said: 

"We believe - we've always believed as a movement - that education is a gift from one generation to another, it's not a commodity to be bought and sold. So we want to introduce, just as the Attlee government with Nye Bevan introduced the National Health Service, we want to introduce a national education service, free at the point of need throughout life. That means ending the cuts in the schools at primary and second level, that means free childcare, it means free skills training whenever you need it throughout life. And yes, it means scrapping tuition fees once and for all, so we don't burden our kids with debt in the future."

Conservatives 'won't scrap tuition fees'

Theresa May has told an audience at a factory at Mansfield that a Conservative government after the election would not scrap university tuition fees in England.

Pressed over the issue following reports that Labour may be planning to get rid of tuition fees, Mrs May said the question for Labour was how they would pay for that pledge, warning that it would "wreck the economy".

She added: "If you wreck the economy you aren't able to support students, you aren't able to support public services, you see businesses going under, you see jobs going."

Pic: Crowd turns out to greet Jeremy Corbyn

The Labour leader is in York

Jeremy Corbyn in York
BBC

Watch: May on TV debate abstinence

'Food banks have been with us for many years' - May

Questioned about a rise in homelessness and food bank use, Theresa May says the government is investing £500m to help combat homelessness and also trying to intervene before people become homeless.

"Food banks have been with us for many years," she says, and "there are complex reasons" why people use them.

This echoes a response she gave the BBC's Andrew Marr last month.

Campaign view from the press pack

On the inside of the campaign trail,restrictions around journalists questions may be relaxing. A bit.

Here, the Telegraph's chief political correspondent and its sketchwriter tweet:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Theresa May running 'traditional campaign'

Theresa May
BBC

Theresa May continues her East Midlands campaign day in Mansfield.

She argues that "government has a role to play" in creating a society with opportunities for all, for example by providing affordable homes and good education.

She then takes questions, kicking off with one asking why she will not appear in a live TV debate with other party leaders?

The PM says she "approaching people in other ways" - appearing at events such as this and knocking on doors instead. 

It's a "more traditional campaign", she says.

Small business call for Labour tax clarity

The Federation of Small Businesses has called for more clarity from Labour about its corporation tax plans.

Labour says it will fund its education plans by raising corporation tax from 19% to 26% over the course of the next Parliament. Speaking earlier, Jeremy Corbyn said this rate would still be lower than the 28% rate in 2010.

However, that was the main rate of corporation tax in 2010, with the rate for small businesses set at 21%. The rate for both now currently stands at 19%, while a 20% rate applies to UK oil extraction.

An FSB spokeswoman said:

We are pressing Jeremy Corbyn to honour the commitment he made when he met with FSB members last month, for no increases to corporation tax for small businesses under a future Labour government.

Jeremy Corbyn takes a selfie with a supporter

BBC Trending

What's popular and why

The inside story of how a legion of hard-core Jeremy Corbyn fans are spreading his message online.

Read more

General Election 2017: UKIP activist's anger over Clacton candidate selection

Orla Moore

BBC Local Live

A Clacton councillor says he's "very angry" at the decision by UKIP to field a national candidate in the town's seat for the General Election. 

Jeff Bray had previously defeated national executive committee member Paul Oakley in a vote by the local party. 

In emails seen by BBC Essex's political reporter Simon Dedman, one local activist said the decision was "shambolic".  

Clacton's sitting MP, Douglas Carswell, had been UKIP's only MP until he quit the party - and later announced he would not stand for re-election.  

Former party donor Arron Banks, who had previously put himself forward to stand in the seat, tweeted: "Paul is a good chap, disappointing that the branch couldn't select their own candidate - it's the reason I didn't stand".

View more on twitter

Mr Oakley will compete in the seat against Liberal Democrat David Grace, Labour's Natasha Osben, Independent Caroline Shearer, Chris Southall from the Green Party and Conservative Giles Watling.  

Paul Oakley UKIP
UKIP

Scottish Greens co-leader: 'We don't have a spare 100k to field more candidates'

BBC Radio 5 live tweets...

Tories emphasising 'Team Theresa' on the campaign trail

BBC News Channel

Alex Forsyth
BBC

BBC political correspondent Alex Forsyth says the Labour marginal seat Theresa May chose for her appearance today is - "one that she thinks she can take" on polling day.

Alex says Mrs May said the election was "not about how people have voted before, it's about what's right for the country".

As the signs behind her indicate, "brand May" is being pushed. She says:

This isn't 'vote Conservative' - this is team Theresa May.

The campaign is focusing on the Tory leader because the party thinks she "comes across as more credible" than Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, says Alex.

Could Bishop Auckland vote Tory?

BBC Newsnight

If the Conservatives were to win the constituency of Bishop Auckland that would put them on track for a landslide general election victory. Could it happen in a seat that has been Labour since 1935? BBC Newsnight's political editor Nicholas Watt reports.  

Could Bishop Auckland vote Tory?

Expenses decision: The big legal decision

Dominic Casciani

Home Affairs Correspondent

It's worth explaining why the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to authorise anyone to be charged over the 2015 election expenses allegations. 

Quite simply, it comes down to the difference between an expense return being wrong and the candidate and their team knowing it to be so. The Representation of the People Act says that candidates and agents must submit a complete and correct log of spending. But... while it's a technical offence to submit an incomplete return, a jury would have to be sure that the agent or candidate acted "knowingly or dishonestly". Here's the key sentence from today's decision

By omitting any 'Battle Bus' costs, the returns may have been inaccurate. However, it is clear [electoral] agents were told by Conservative Party headquarters that the costs were part of the national campaign.

Crown Prosecution Service

Theresa May on school funding and election expenses verdict

Theresa May takes a handful of questions after her campaign speech, including on school funding and the CPS verdict on the Tory expenses cases.

After Labour and Lib Dems pledged more funding for schools, Mrs May is asked if she will consider abandoning planned changes to the school funding formula in England.

The government's proposed changes have been opposed by some headteachers and parents who feel they are unreasonable.

Mrs May insists that "people have accepted for years now that the current formula is unfair". and the government will respond to a consultation which closed in March.

On expenses, she repeats the line from other senior Tories that the party's candidates had "done nothing wrong".

There was an error made in the party's election returns and it paid a fine, she says, adding that other parties were also fined.

May invites party to picture 'Jeremy Corbyn at the Brexit negotiating table'

Theresa May speaks to supporters
BBC

Theresa May is addressing supporters in Nottinghamshire, telling them that "we can take absolutely nothing for granted" ahead of polling day.

She invites them to picture "Jeremy Corbyn sitting at the negotiating table with the combined might of the European Commission and 27 other member states".

She claims "a vote for any other party is a step closer to Jeremy Corbyn sitting at that Brexit negotiating table".

In a clear pitch for those other parties' supporters, Mrs May says the election is "not about how people have voted before".

While polls put the Conservatives clearly in the lead, the PM tells her party that polls got the 2015 election wrong, the EU referendum wrong and "Jeremy Corbyn was a 200-to-one outsider for the Labour leadership".

Lib Dems stressing election rules

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Conservative election battle bus
PA

BBC political editor Norman Smith speaks to the World at One after the CPS announced no Conservatives will face charges for breaches of expenses rules over the 2015 general election "battle bus".

He notes that Liberal Democrat candidate Tessa Munt joined party leader Tim Farron in stressing the need for election rules to be upheld.

Ms Munt has said the election should be "about policies and ideas and not about who has the most money".

However, Norman says that the expenses row could disappear quite quickly in the "hurly-burly" of the election campaign.

The new Conservative slogan

BBC political correspondent tweets...

In pictures: Leaders' campaign bake off

Tim Farron mixing dough
PA
The campaign trail seemed to search for the star baker today, as politicians tried their hand at various technical challenges. Here, Tim Farron gets stuck in to dough at a school in Lewannick, Cornwall, where he unveiled Lib Dem education spending plans.
Nicola Sturgeon makes pie with an SNP logo
PA
For Nicola Sturgeon it was pie. Haggis pie, made as she campaigned for SNP votes in Kirkintilloch,
Jeremy Corbyn
AFP
Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn was caught in a bun fight for a selfie in Leeds, where he explained how the party would fund its pledges on school investment.

Labour candidates in marginals 'worried'

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Paul Farrelly
Labour Party
Paul Farrelly is running for Labour in Newcastle-under-Lyme

What do you do if you are a Labour candidate in a marginal seat who feels abandoned by the national party and under attack from a well-funded Conservative campaign?

The World at One has discovered that some Labour MPs haven't exactly been sticking to the official script, including Paul Farrelly in the highly marginal Newcastle-under-Lyme.

BBC political correspondent Iain Watson, who spoke to Mr Farrelly, says the Labour candidate is campaigning as "a local candidate for local people".

Iain says that "most [Labour] MPs with less than 5,000 majorities are in trouble" and some with larger majorities are also worried.

Of speculation that "moderate" MPs might break away if Labour loses the election, Iain says: "I think that's unlikely, as many do believe their party can be wrestled back from the left."

A full list of candidates for Newcastle-under-Lyme will be available on the BBC News website after nominations have closed.

Ruth Davidson, Nicola Sturgeon, Kezia Dugdale and Willie Rennie

BBC Scotland is hosting a series of "Ask the leaders" debates and is calling for members of the public to join the audiences.

Read more

Jeremy Corbyn: Britain is leaving the EU

BBC Look North, Yorkshire

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said his party accepts the result of the EU referendum and "Britain is leaving the EU".

Yesterday, he was asked repeatedly whether Britain would leave the EU if he becomes prime minister but did not give a clear answer.

Speaking to BBC Look North during a campaign visit to Leeds today, Mr Corbyn said:

Yes, we accept the result of the referendum. Britain is leaving the EU. As a country, we had a vote, we made a decision.

The Labour leader was then asked by presenter Amy Garcia: 'Whatever the agreement, we are out?' 

He replied: "I've made that very clear."

Salmond: GE2017 cannot decide independence

BBC Radio 5 live

The former Scottish First Minister says those against independence should still vote SNP.

Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has told BBC Radio 5 live's Emma Barnett that voters should choose the SNP even if they were against Scottish independence.

The SNP candidate for Gordon said his party “[provided] the voice for Scotland” and were the “only real opposition to the Tory government at Westminster”.

Mr Salmond added that the 2017 general election would not be about Scottish independence:

“This election cannot decide independence. Independence will be decided by a referendum”, he said.

Farron follows in Jeremy Thorpe's footsteps

Tim Farron on a hovercraft
PA

You have to admire Tim Farron's pluck, writes Paul Walter, on the Lib Dem voice blog, in deciding to pose for pictures aboard a search and rescue hovercraft in Burnham-on-Sea on Tuesday.

As a keen student of liberal history Mr Farron will have known all about Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe's campaigning adventures aboard a hovercraft in 1974, says Walter.

Mr Thorpe, who led the party from 1967 to 1976, is probably best remembered now for standing trial for conspiracy to murder in the late 1970s. He was cleared of the charges.

Jeremy Thorpe
BBC
Jeremy Thorpe aboard his hovercraft

Hordes of people in swimming trunks and bikinis stood up and moved across the beach to get a glimpse of Mr Thorpe, who emerged from the gliding vessel alongside Angela Rippon (reporting the event for Westward Television). Jeremy Thorpe was dressed in three piece suit with trilby – creating something of a juxtaposition with the throngs of sun-tanned swim-suited holiday makers

Paul WalterLib Dem voice

Who puts the bins out?

BBC Radio Leeds

A row of rubbish bins in Hornsey Lane, N6 - London
BBC

On the big election issue of the day, Jeremy Corbyn has told Liz Green on Radio Leeds:

Well, I've been thinking about this question quite a lot actually. We both do it, we take it in turns, but every Tuesday night we have a discussion about it - what's going to be recycled, what actually has to be thrown away. But I always deal with the cat litter."

Sturgeon says questions remain on battle bus spend

Nicola Sturgeon
PA

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon says the Conservatives still have "big questions" to answer after prosecutors said no charges would be brought over Conservative election spending on battle buses in 2015.

She said the CPS had said there was evidence that election returns may have been inaccurate, but: "They just don't have the evidence of the criminal intent that would have enabled them to prosecute."

Alluding to the Electoral Commission's £70,000 fine for the party over the issue, Ms Sturgeon said: "There is lots to suggest the Tories were kind of at it when it came to how they were allocating election expenses in some constituencies."

And Scotland's first minister added that she thought it "likely" that the potential threat of prosecutions was a factor in the decision to call a general election.

Women's equality party calls for free childcare

The Daily Politics

Sophie Walker
BBC

Sophie Walker, leader of the Women's Equality Party, says it will be fielding candidates with "new and fresh voices" - many of whom are untouched by politics.

The party, which was founded in 2015 and advocates policies including equal parental leave, will look at how investment can be made in the "social infrastructure" of the country.

"How about we invest in free childcare?" she tells BBC2's Daily Politics. "That would have a transformative impact on the lives of women in this country."

Watch: The future will be very bright I am sure, says Nuttall

Jo Coburn

Daily Politics presenter