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Summary

  1. Court rejects challenge to Jeremy Corbyn automatically being on Labour ballot
  2. Boris Johnson meets French counterpart in Paris
  3. Theresa May holds Brexit talks in Slovakia and Poland
  4. Hinkley Point nuclear plant set to get final investment approval

Live Reporting

By Aiden James, Victoria King, Pippa Simm, Alex Hunt, Gavin Stamp and Tom Moseley

All times stated are UK

Thursday news round-up

Here's the main political stories of the day:

Friday's papers: Telegraph - Last orders for airport drinking

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Friday's papers: Mirror - Welcome to A&E Mr Hunt...

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Friday's papers: Guardian - Hinkley Point nuclear plant gets go-ahead

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Friday's papers: Mail - What utter blindness!

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Friday's papers: Times - Chaos over £18bn nuclear plant

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New hitch for UK nuclear plant deal

Plans to build the first new UK nuclear plant in 20 years have suffered an unexpected delay after the government delayed a final decision until the early autumn.

French firm EDF, which is financing most of the £18bn Hinkley Point project in Somerset, approved the funding at a board meeting.

Contracts were to be signed on Friday.

But Business Secretary Greg Clark has said the government will "consider carefully" before backing it.

According to reports, EDF's chief executive Vincent de Rivaz has cancelled a trip to the UK on Friday following Mr Clark's comments.

Read more...

Friday's papers: UK blow to £18bn Hinkley Point

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May: We value Poles' contribution to UK

Theresa May: We value Poles' contribution to UK

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said she "wants and expects" to be able to protect the rights of Polish citizens in the UK - as long as the rights of British expats in other EU countries are guaranteed.

Speaking alongside Polish PM Beata Szydlo in Warsaw, she said she valued the contribution made by Polish citizens living and working in the UK.

Government to 'consider carefully' Hinkley project

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Theresa May and Beata Szydlo

The UK prime minister says she values the contribution made by Polish citizens to the UK and "fully expects" to be able to protect their rights - as long as British expats' rights are protected in EU states.

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Thursday news round-up

Here's an evening round-up of the day's main stories:

Poland likely to take tough stance on freedom of movement

BBC News Channel

Tom Burridge
BBC

Theresa May has left Bratislava and headed to Warsaw as part of what the BBC's Tom Burridge calls her "charm offensive across Europe", following the UK's vote to leave the EU.

He says Poland is "lukewarm" towards the EU. There is not the level of Euroscepticism found in the UK but there is a view that more powers should return from Brussels to member states.

However, Tom adds, it's likely that Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło will "take a pretty tough stance... In terms of defending freedom of movement".

IMF 'overly optimistic' about success of EU bailouts

Andrew Walker

World Service economics correspondent

Greek police
Getty Images

The International Monetary Fund was "overly optimistic" about economic growth in Eurozone countries that received bailouts.

That is one of the criticisms in a report from the IMF's Independent Evaluation Office (IEO).

It says the handling of the crisis raises issues of transparency and accountability.

The IEO acknowledged, however, that the crisis posed "extraordinary challenges" to policy makers.

Read more

Watch: Colchester MP sings Les Miserables

BBC Essex

Colchester MP performs song from Les Miserables

Following reports that Conservative MP for Colchester, Will Quince, is crowdfunding an appearance on Britain's Got Talent for charity, here he is singing on BBC Essex back in January.

Mr Quince sang a rendition of Bring Him Home from Les Miserables after hosting a debate on the future of local theatre.

Mr Quince, who has performed on stage before, said regional theatre is the "grassroots of our world class theatre scene".

Is Colchester MP Will Quince set to have a Susan Boyle moment?

Essex Chronicle

Essex Chronicle

Will Quince
Conservative Party
Will Quince

The Essex Chronicle reports that one of the county's MPs might be set for a musical side career.

"Will Quince, MP for Colchester, could have a Susan Boyle moment if a fundraising page up reaches £1,000," the paper says.

"The MP, who has sung on BBC Essex before, told one Twitter user, Scott Everest, that he would audition for ITV talent contest Britain's Got Talent, if £1,000 was raised for charity.

"He will now has to put his money where his mouth is, as Mr Everest set up the Crowdfunding page and has already raised £575.

"Mr Everest said: 'I recently learned about Will Quince's love for singing and in an act of foolishness challenged him to a wager of £250 on Twitter for him to appear on X Factor.

"'He replied, make it a £1,000 and will go on Britain's Got Talent.'"

The money will go to local charities, the paper says.

High Court judge: Not for court to re-write Labour election rules

A paragraph from today's High Court judgement, rejecting a challenge to Jeremy Corbyn's automatic inclusion on the Labour leadership ballot, could be hinting that the party should clarify its rules to avoid such confusion. 

High Court judgement
BBC

Swinney pledges Named Person scheme will go ahead

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Scotland's Education Secretary John Swinney says the Named Person scheme will go ahead with the Supreme Court's criticisms addressed.

Judges at the UK's highest court on Thursday ruled against the Scottish government's proposals to appoint a named person, such as a teacher or health visitor, to look after the welfare of every child.

Mr Swinney told presenter Martha Kearney the judgement recognised a "legitimacy to the policy in principle".

Turkey should be suspended from Nato, say Lib Dems

The Liberal Democrats have called for Turkey to be suspended from Nato, as a crackdown by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues following the failed coup on 15 July. The Lib Dems are also calling for the scrapping of an EU deal which enables refugees to be deported to Turkey.

The party's foreign affairs spokesperson, Tom Brake, said: “Erdogan’s ongoing purge of newspapers, academics, teachers and judges has nothing to do with Turkey’s security and everything to do with blocking any opposition to his increasingly authoritarian rule.

"Today’s news that dozens more media outlets have been shut should send shivers down the spine of any person who believes in a free and open society.

“The preamble to NATO’s founding treaty refers to it being 'founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law', all of which are under threat in Turkey currently.

If the UK and our Nato allies want to protect these core principles, it is time to make it clear to Erdogan that his actions will have lasting international consequences, and I am calling on Nato to urgently consider suspension of Turkey’s membership."

Watch: Theresa May on Slovakian workers' rights in UK

Theresa May on free movement and the rights of EU citizens in the UK

Carole Walker

Political correspondent

Theresa May
BBC

Prime Minister Theresa May has again said she wants to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK, providing the rights of UK citizens in EU countries are also protected.

Speaking in Bratislava after meeting the Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico, she said: "I've been clear I expect to be able to guarantee and protect the rights of Slovak citizens and other EU citizens living in the UK and would intend to be able to protect those rights." 

She said the only circumstances when that might not be possible would be "if the rights of British citizens living and working  in other parts of EU not protected."

Mrs May said the two leaders had discussed the matter over lunch and "that concept of reciprocity is recognised". The PM said there had been a very clear message from the Brexit vote that people "did not want free movement to continue as it had done previously and do  want some control over the movement of citizens from the EU to the UK". 

She said "we will be looking to deliver that in our negotiations as well as looking for the best possible deal in trade and goods and services". She said she wanted to see "smooth and orderly" negotiations leading to a "smooth and orderly" exit from the EU and the maximum economic benefit for the UK when it has left.

Kinnock claims he sought nominations rather than 'hide behind incumbency'

Neil Kinnock and Jeremy Corbyn
Getty Images

Earlier on BBC News, Labour supporter Peter Edwards compared the current Labour leadership contest to Tony Benn's challenge to leader Neil Kinnock in 1988.

In a recent article for the New Statesman, Lord Kinnock looked back on when "some of his MPs – including Jeremy Corbyn – tried to oust him", as the magazine puts it.

The article suggests that it was an understood as "the rules" at the time that anyone, including the incumbent, had to obtain nominations from MPs:

I asked Robin Cook (my campaign manager in the 1983 leadership election) to do the same job again. He instantly agreed. When we met to discuss practicalities, the question was raised whether I, as existing leader, needed to obtain MPs' nominations. The decision was made in seconds: 'That’s the rules, and anyway, I’m not going to hide behind incumbency.'"

Owen Smith: Court has done the right thing

Commenting on the decision to keep Jeremy Corbyn on the ballot paper, Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith said:

I'm pleased the court has done the right thing and ruled that Jeremy should be on the ballot. This now puts to bed any questions about the process, so we can get on with discussing the issues that really matter. I'm getting on with the job of talking to Labour members and supporters, and am looking forward to debating with Jeremy as often as possible about our plans for Labour's future. I will take every opportunity to set out my ideas for a radical Labour Party that can replace failed Tory austerity with a plan for prosperity."

Ruling is a victory of common sense over chaos, says Labour supporter

BBC News Channel

Peter Edwards
BBC

Peter Edwards of the website LabourList has said he didn't think there "could be any other outcome" to the High Court case.

Speaking to BBC News earlier, Mr Edwards accepted there was a contrast with the 1988 leadership challenge by Tony Benn, when Neil Kinnock obtained MPs' nominations despite being the existing leader.

Mr Edwards said the question was: "Should a champion be allowed to defend their title?" He argued it would be "crazy" if Mr Corbyn could not.

"We've had the NEC's view validated," he said. This was "common sense" and the alternative would have been "chaos".

'The judge accepted that the decision of the NEC was correct'

Lawyers for Labour's national executive committee and Jeremy Corbyn argued that the requirement in the election rules for a leadership candidate to obtain nominations from MPs applies to "potential challengers" and not to the leader.

The summary of the judgement reads: "The judge said that he believed 'that this would be the natural impression that [the words of the rule] would make on the ordinary, objective member of the Labour Party to whom… the rules are in effect addressed'.

"Accordingly, the judge accepted that the decision of the NEC was correct and that Mr Corbyn was entitled to be a candidate in the forthcoming election without the need for nominations.

"The judge emphasised that the court’s decision was a narrow point of law and was wholly unaffected by political considerations."

You can read the High Court's ruling here.

Judge awards costs to defendants

Chris Mason

Political Correspondent

Mr Justice Foskett said he will "award both defendants their costs".

This means Michael Foster has to pay Jeremy Corbyn's legal costs and the Labour Party's costs.

Labour donor Michael Foster will not appeal High Court decision

Ellie Price

Daily and Sunday Politics reporter

Michael Foster
BBC

Michael Foster, the Labour donor who this afternoon lost his High Court bid against Labour's decision to guarantee Jeremy Corbyn was on a leadership ballot, says he will not appeal against the judge's decision.

He told the BBC:

We wanted the courts to adjudicate on the rules. They have."

'We need to address British concerns on free movement' - May

"We need to find a solution that addresses the concerns of the British people about free movement while getting the best possible deal on trade in goods and services," Theresa May says.

"We should be driven by what is in the best interests of the UK and what is going to work for the European Union, not by the models that already exist."

The prime minister adds that the UK is committed to Nato defence of Eastern Europe.

Asked by the BBC what Brexit means for Slovakian citizens living in the UK, Theresa May repeats an answer she gave in Rome on Wednesday: that she expects to be able to guarantee EU citizens their rights to stay in the UK. The only circumstances under which that might not happen is if UK citizens in other EU states are not given reciprocal guarantees.

May claims Brexit is an 'opportunity to intensify' relations with neighbours

Theresa May and Robert Fico
BBC

Theresa May says she wants to "ensure an orderly departure" from the EU. Echoing what she has said in other European capitals recently, she says the UK is "not leaving Europe or withdrawing from the world".

She says the UK will "remain a strong voice for free market principles and liberal, democratic values" and, while still in the EU, will "continue to be an active player" in advancing the single market and security co-operation.

And she claims that "Brexit is an opportunity to intensify" relations with European partners.

Slovak PM: EU states must offer 'new vision'

Theresa May and Robert Fico
BBC

Theresa May and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico address the media in Bratislava.

Mr Fico says he expects the UK to take some time before triggering Article 50 to leave the EU while Slovakia, which holds the rotating EU presidency aims "to make the best use of the time" to "redefine" the future for the remaining 27 member states.

He argues that the EU has to offer a new vision or risk a "fragmentation" of European political institutions.

And he claims that "the European Union seems to be falling in love with itself" and many regions of the world seem to be "further ahead of us".

Watch: Boris Johnson delivers message in French

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the UK wanted to remain "as close as possible to our allies, most particularly France" in a joint press conference in Paris with his counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault.

Jeremy Corbyn says High Court case was 'a waste of time'

I welcome the decision by the High Court to respect the democracy of the Labour Party. This has been a waste of time and resources when our party should be focused on holding the government to account. There should have been no question of the right of half a million Labour Party members to choose their own leader being overturned. If anything, the aim should be to expand the number of voters in this election. I hope all candidates and supporters will reject any attempt to prolong this process, and that we can now proceed with the election in a comradely and respectful manner."

Involvement of High Court in Labour leadership battle shows extent of infighting

BBC News Channel

Ellie Price
BBC

Labour donor Michael Foster has lost his High Court bid to overturn the Labour Party's decision to guarantee Jeremy Corbyn a place on the leadership ballot.

BBC political reporter Ellie Price says this means "the status quo" will be maintained, with Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith going head-to-head in a ballot of party members.

If Mr Foster had won his case, Ellie adds, Mr Corbyn might have found it difficult to get the backing of 50 Labour MPs and MEPs in order to get on to the ballot paper.

"We're talking about a leadership campaign here, and I'm standing outside the High Court," she says. It shows how serious the matter is for Labour and the extent of the infighting inside the party, she adds.

BreakingHigh Court rejects challenge to Corbyn ballot inclusion

High Court rejects a challenge to Jeremy Corbyn's automatic inclusion on Labour's leadership ballot.

New: Brexit Watch - At-a-glance day-by-day summer briefing

Watch: Boris Johnson says (in French) the UK wants to stay as close as possible to France

Boris Johnson: UK wants to remain as close as possible to European allies

Boris Johnson says he and Mr Ayrault agreed in their talks that Daesh - or IS - poses a "direct threat" to both countries.

"We are clear that Daesh does not represent Islam." he said, adding that France and the UK are playing "a leading role in the global coalition committed to defeating them".

"We will win."

On Brexit, the foreign secretary reiterates that the UK's vote to leave the EU "does not mean that we will be leaving Europe", and says the UK wishes to be "as close as possible" to its allies - "most particularly France" - throughout "the forthcoming years".

He finishes by thanking Mr Ayrault, and says they have already started to develop "a close, co-operative relationship". He says he hopes it may continue "while we face many challenges ahead together, as friends and allies".

Boris Johnson: UK stands in solidarity with France

Boris Johnson - who is speaking in French - says the UK and France have a unique relationship dating back centuries. "At this moment that relationship becomes even more important," he adds.

He acknowledges the "difficult moment" France finds itself in at the moment and says the UK stands "in solidarity". The threats the two countries face - and the values they use to confront them - "are the same", he adds.

UK and France 'united in historic ties of friendship and co-operation'

Jean-Marc Ayrault says France and the UK are "united with historic ties of friendship and co-operation".

He also says the two countries play very important roles on the international scene - both are members of the UN Security Council and work together in the G7, G20 and Nato, he adds.

Referring to today's talks, the French minister says they devoted a lot of their time to discussing the situation in Syria and to "strengthen our fight against Daesh" - also referred to as the Islamic State group.

He says the UK and France will continue to work together side by side, adding that "whatever our vision of the future of EUrope we have joint struggles and common values".

UK and France committed to fighting terrorism - French minister

Boris Johnson and Jean-Marc Ayrault
BBC

Kicking off the joint news conference in Paris, French foreign secretary Jean-Marc Ayrault refers to the recent attacks in France, including the killing of a priest in a Normandy church on Tuesday.

He says the UK and France are "together committed to this unyielding fight against Daesh terrorism". He says it is in difficult circumstances "that you know you can count on your friends", as he highlights the UK's support.