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  1. David Cameron continues his European tour to lobby leaders over his proposed EU reforms
  2. Angela Merkel does not rule out future EU treaty changes
  3. Yvette Cooper officially launches her Labour leadership campaign
  4. Labour leader contenders Andy Burnham and Liz Kendall deliver keynote speeches

Live Reporting

By Mario Cacciottolo, Gavin Stamp and Brian Wheeler

All times stated are UK

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Recap of today's main stories

Angela Merkel and David Cameron in Berlin

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

Prime Minister David Cameron met Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz in Lazienki palace in Warsaw and then German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin  

Mrs Merkel said she does not rule out future treaty changes in Europe and will be a "constructive partner" to the UK in achieving EU reforms

While in the German capital, Mr Cameron said Fifa president Sepp Blatter should stand down 

Three Labour leadership contenders - Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper - urged the party to move on from the past 

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson is discharged from Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital after suffering a suspected heart attack on Monday 

Legal papers are lodged with the Court of Session in Edinburgh by campaigners hoping to overturn the election of Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael 

Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan, says on the ban on women driving by the ultra-Orthodox Belz sect in north London is "completely unacceptable in modern Britain"

Germany's surprise

Analysis of EU reform talks

David Cameron and Angela Merkel

The BBC's Berlin Correspondent Jane Hill writes: 

The picture on the German news site Spiegel is striking: the British prime minister leaning in close to kiss a smiling German chancellor.

But the accompanying headline was more of a surprise to Germans: "Merkel doesn't rule out treaty change!"

Because Mrs Merkel, like the leaders of France and Poland, has thus far drawn the line at treaty change. Now she seems to be saying: "Let's look at the content of what Mr Cameron wants before we assess how - and if - we can achieve it".

Today's working lunch at the chancellery (which reportedly consisted of shrimp tartar with salad, veal escalope, asparagus and potatoes, followed by strawberries) seems to have set a conciliatory tone.

Her apparent willingness to compromise may irritate some. A senior German business figure told me that Mrs Merkel should refuse to negotiate with Mr Cameron while he's threatening to pull Britain out of the EU. Volker Treier, who represents the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, said they were all "astonished" by the prospect of a referendum on UK membership.

And the overwhelming view from Berlin is: Germany needs Britain in the EU. It's an important political and economic ally and, in the words of one senior conservative politician, "we're ready to do anything that can be done to keep Britain in the EU".

Driving ban

The Equalities Commissioner has been asked to investigate whether it is lawful for Hasidic Belz schools to ban pupils from attending, if they have been driven to school by their mothers. 

Labour's Shadow Equalities Minister Gloria De Piero has written to the Commission today, following reports that some institutions have issued such advice.

A new view inside the House of Commons

The Daily Politics

New cameras will offer a different view of what goes on inside the House of Commons.

Ellie Price reports on how TV viewers will see MPs from different angles at PMQs and other sittings in the chamber.

And she hears how a team puts together the coverage for broadcasters. Watch her film

New camera in the Commons

Women driving ban 'unacceptable'

Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan, weighs in with her thoughts on the ban on women driving by the ultra-Orthodox Belz sect.

Leaders of the north London Jewish group wrote to parents saying "no child will be allowed to learn in our school" if their mother drives.   

Ms Morgan says this is "completely unacceptable in modern Britain".

"If schools do not actively promote the principle of respect for other people they are breaching the independent school standards.

"Where we are made aware of such breaches we will investigate and take any necessary action to address the situation."

Lammy's World Cup lament

Former Culture Minister David Lammy says Qatar is not fit to host the World Cup and wants Britain to put forward an offer to host the tournament. 

Mr Lammy, who is a London mayoral candidate hopeful, says that as Mayor, he would lead a campaign to "bring football home', offering FIFA a way out of its current difficulties by hosting the 2022 World Cup in the "home of football", with the final to be played at Wembley. 

He believes the corruption allegations surrounding the Qatar bid and claims of human rights abuses mean that allowing the 2022 World Cup to go ahead there would undermine the integrity of football.

David Lammy

Cartoon suggestion 'silly'

The suggestion by Lord Pearson that Britain should hold a contest for artists to draw the Prophet Mohammed is dismissed by the Muslim Council of Britain in the Huffington Post.

A spokesman says: "Baron Pearson of Rannoch often makes silly propositions, and this is one of them."

UKIP has distanced itself from its former leader’s question, saying: “Lord Pearson is asking the question in a personal capacity and is not doing so on behalf of UKIP.”

UKIP peer in Mohammed cartoon call

UKIP's former leader, Lord Pearson of Rannoch, put forward a question to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport yesterday, it has emerged. 

He asked whether the government plans to "support a contest in the United Kingdom between artists depicting the Prophet Mohammed, and if so, whether they will provide security protection for such an event".

Two gunmen were shot dead earlier this month in a suburb of Dallas after opening fire outside a conference where such cartoons were being drawn.  

Lord Pearson

Hatton bidding to rejoin the Labour Party

The Daily Politics

Former Liverpool councillor Derek Hatton has been explaining his bid to rejoin the Labour Party, and conflicting messages he received about his application.

He spoke to Andrew Neil about his background with the party, and the Militant Tendency, and how claims about job losses by former leader Neil Kinnock were untrue, but had since entered the history books. Watch his interview

Derek Hatton

Ethnicity among House of Lords staff

There are no black or minority ethnic staff reported in the top seven pay levels of the House of Lords administration, according to data obtained by the BBC.

'Audacious' leadership bid

Ms Kendall also acknowledged that - after just five years as an MP - she did not have as much parliamentary experience as the other Labour leadership candidates. 

She said:

I recognise some people might think it's audacious to suggest that I might lead our party and ask the country to elect me as our prime minister. But I believe the magnitude of the defeat that our party has suffered and the scale of the challenge we face means taking the safe option and repeating the remedies of the past just won't cut it for our party or country any more.

Kendall stakes claim

Labour leadership candidate, Liz Kendall, tells about a hundred supporters in Leicester - where she's an MP - that education and social mobility are at the heart of correcting what she said was the "crippling inequality" in Britain today. 

Liz Kendall

SNP not Keen

The SNP says the appointment of one of Scotland's leading lawyers,  Richard Keen QC as the UK government's most senior adviser on Scots law, sends further clear signals of the Conservatives' intention to backtrack on further powers for Scotland.

"Mr Keen has previously argued that more powers are not the answer and his appointment comes less than 24 hours after the publication of the Scotland Bill, which falls far short of implementing the Smith Commission recommendations," the party says.

1922 chairman

Graham Brady is re-elected unopposed to chair the influential 1922 committee of Conservative backbenchers.

With a majority of just 12, David Cameron will be relying on the loyalty of his MPs over the next five years to see through some potentially tricky legislation. 

Among the nominees for the two vice-chairman posts are former Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan and Simon Burns, the former health minister seen as very loyal to the prime minister.

Former deputy speaker and Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans is one of three nominees for the two posts of Secretary, where he is up against right-wingers Peter Bone and Bob Blackman. 

Keen appointment

One of Scotland's leading lawyers, Richard Keen QC, has been appointed as the UK government's most senior adviser on Scots law.

He is stepping down from his position as chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party to become the new Advocate General for Scotland.

Richard Keen

Will SNP MPs continue to clap in the Commons?

The Daily Politics

New MP Tommy Sheppard has been speaking about the "abnormality" of House of Commons procedures and how SNP members would probably not clap again in the Commons after a “gentle rebuke” from Speaker John Bercow.

The SNP MP spoke to Andrew Neil about the white roses worn by his colleagues in the chamber, and how the Speaker had praised their attendance record in the first few days of the new parliament.

Watch his interview

Tommy Sheppard

Seven down, twenty to go...

David Cameron has been criss-crossing the continent over the past week, holding face to face meetings with seven other European leaders. But that is only the start of his European "charm offensive", it would appear. Downing Street sources have told the Press Association that the prime minister will have spoken to all his 27 counterparts in the European Union by the time of the European Council summit next month. 

Hatton's return?

Appearing on the Daily Politics show earlier was former firebrand Labour councillor Derek Hatton, who wants to rejoin the party. 

We were joined by @DegsyHatton who told @afneil about his bid to rejoin the Labour Party #bbcdp

We were joined by @DegsyHatton who told @afneil about his bid to rejoin the Labour Party #bbcdp

Welfare 'fairness'

David Cameron has also shed light on "some good progress" made in his earlier talks with Polish PM Ewa Kopacz. 

"We agreed that this is not about trying to get rid of freedom of movement. 

"It's right there is freedom of movement to go and take a job and live in another European country. 

"But we've got to make sure, though, that our welfare systems are not acting as an unfair or unnecessary draw to countries."

Poland's Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz greets Prime Minister David Cameron

Shrimp and strawberries

David Cameron and Angela Merkel

Now the press conference is out of the way, we can concentrate on the important business of David Cameron's visit to Berlin - what was on the menu for lunch. According to the Press Association, the leaders were served shrimp tartar with salad, followed by veal escalope, asparagus and potatoes and then strawberries. This comes on top of breakfast in Warsaw, where smoked trout, strawberry salad and Polish cheese were among the delicacies on offer to the PM and his entourage. Aides to the prime minister indicated that he may have skipped some of the courses. 

Burnham on EU and welfare

Border Force official checking a passport

Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham has told the BBC the party "needs to get off the back foot" and address issues like Europe, immigration and business. 

"Let's grasp the nettle and have the debate," he told Radio 4's World at One. 

"I am also saying to David Cameron, he must deliver a package of reform on immigration that meets the public's test of fairness and commonsense. And that is a package about freedom to work, yes, but not freedom to claim. 

"So I am putting Labour in a leadership position on this issue." 

On the road

Allegra Stratton, political editor for BBC Newsnight, has a video diary of her time tracking the prime minister on his quick tour of Europe. 

All aboard for David Cameron's whistle-stop tour of European capitals with @BBCAllegra

All aboard for David Cameron's whistle-stop tour of European capitals with @BBCAllegra

Spending cut 'options'

George Osborne
Getty Images

It is understood the Treasury is "looking at options" ahead of the Chancellor's planned budget in July, and further spending cuts planned for 2016/17 and 2017/18. 

But Whitehall sources are clear there's no target for in-year savings. 

The prime minister's spokesman said: 

The Chancellor set out his position in a speech to the CBI last week when he said that - as you would expect under the principles of good financial planning - the Treasury has asked departments to look at the scope for efficiency savings and the like. But as the Treasury has explained there is not a savings target for 2015/16.

UKIP v Labour

 The fight between Labour and UKIP is heading to Wales, writes the BBC's Ross Hawkins

Nigel Farage's party is challenging in seats where Labour traditionally dominate at the general election, and it could be on course for electoral success there within the year.  

Cardiff polling station
Getty Images

Spending cuts

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Greg Hands has written to government departments asking them to identify possible savings from this year's budgets.

Treasury sources said it was "part of a process" of identifying areas in which money could be saved, but denied non-protected departments had been asked to cut 5% from their budgets this year.

Merkel on Fifa

The press conference with David Cameron saw Angela Merkel decline to comment on Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who is expected to be elected to a fifth term as Fifa president later on. 

She did say: "For me it's important that there is an end to corruption, that there will be transparency again. The dirty side [of football] as David Cameron has put it, needs to be cleaned up."

David Cameron and Angela Merkel

'Reformed settlement'

Mr Cameron has said again that Britain's national interest can best be served by staying in the European Union on the basis of a reformed settlement. 

"That is what we both want to happen and that is what we will work together in the coming months to achieve," he said at his press conference with the German leader.

Problem solving

During the press conference, Mr Cameron said the European Union has "shown before that when one of its member states has a problem that needs sorting out it can be flexible enough to do so. And I have every confidence that it will do so again".

Penalty plea

David Cameron suggests there should be no more penalty shoot-outs in future, and that international football matches should simply keep playing "for as long as it takes" to find a winner.

This would generate a "level playing field between Britain and Germany, the two greatest footballing nations on Earth", he says. 

Will Mrs Merkel remind him that Britain doesn't have a unified national football team? 

Interests served

Mr Cameron says the EU is better off with the UK as a member state, and that Britain's national interests are better served within the union. 

Scale of accusations

More on Sepp Blatter's leadership of Fifa from Mr Cameron: "You cannot have accusations of corruption at this level and on this scale in this organisation and pretend that the person currently leading it is the right person to take it forward."

Flexible thinking

David Cameron says the EU should have the "flexibility of a network, not the rigidity of a block".

Political will

Mr Cameron also said there was no "magic" solution to the question of EU reform, but "where there's a will, there's a way".

Cameron: 'Blatter must go'

Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are holding a press conference in Berlin.

The first question from the press, by the BBC's James Landale, is about whether Fifa president Sepp Blatter should resign in the wake of corruption allegations at football's global governing body. 

"In my view he should go," Mr Cameron says. "The sooner this happens the better".

He added: "What we have seen is the ugly side of the beautiful game."

Carmichael challenged

Legal papers have been lodgedwith the Court of Session in Edinburgh by campaigners hoping to overturn the election of Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael.

Mr Carmichael has faced calls to resign over the leak of a memo which wrongly suggested Nicola Sturgeon wanted David Cameron as prime minister.

The Scottish Liberal Democrat MP won the support of his local party earlier this week.  

Alistair Carmichael

German alliance

The BBC's Berlin correspondent Jenny Hill, speaking on the Daily Politics show, says she has been told by a source close to Angela Merkel that Germany is ready to do "anything that can be done to keep Great Britain in the EU". 

Maynard appointment

Tory MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, Paul Maynard, has some news about becoming a Parliamentary Private Secretary in Westminster.

Delighted to announce I have been asked to be the PPS to Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Troop inspection

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister David Cameron in Berlin

Mrs Merkel and Mr Cameron listened as the band in Berlin played the national anthems of their two countries. 

Warm welcome

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister David Cameron

The two leaders were clearly happy to meet up again, as they kissed one another on the cheek.

Cameron in Berlin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron was greeted upon his arrival in Berlin by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.