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Live Reporting

By Mary O'Connor, Matt Cannon and Becky Morton

All times stated are UK

  1. Recap: What happened today?

    If you've not had a chance to follow our live blog today, here's a quick round-up of what has happened:

    Political leaders continued setting out the key messages of their election campaigns ahead of the formal closure of Parliament next Wednesday.

    Among them was Nigel Farage, who launched the Brexit Party's campaign in Westminster.

    In his speech, the party leader called for the Conservatives to build a "leave alliance" with his party with the aim of achieving a majority in Parliament.

    He called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to drop his Brexit deal or face Brexit Party candidates in every seat.

    But a Tory source later dismissed the possibility of the party working with him, saying voting for Mr Farage "risks letting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street".

    Also on the campaign trail was Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister and leader of the SNP, who visited Edinburgh North and Leith, a three-way marginal seat.

    After President Donald Trump's radio interview with Mr Farage yesterday, the issue of whether US firms could have access to the NHS under a post-Brexit US-UK trade deal has been a key feature of today's campaigning.

    You can read BBC health editor Hugh Pym's piece on "Could the NHS be up for sale?" here.

    Elsewhere, the government was accused of using public funds to target voters in key general election constituencies in with Facebook ads.

    That's it for our live page today, but you can continue to follow our political coverage on the BBC News channel, and read the main stories of the day on the BBC News website.

  2. Activists demand greater protection for female MPs

    Heidi Allen
    Image caption: Heidi Allen swapped the Tory party for Change UK, before joining the Liberal Democrats

    A group of equal rights campaigners has called for social media companies to do more to tackle online abuse aimed at female MPs.

    The Centenary Action Group - whose members include the Jo Cox Foundation - has also called for "meaningful sanctions" to tackle allegations of harassment in political parties.

    It comes after two female MPs - cabinet minister Nicky Morgan and Lib Dem MP Heidi Allen - cited online abuse of MPs when announcing that they were standing down.

    The group said: "While women have won the right to vote, our right to participate in public life free from violence, harassment, abuse and all other forms of discrimination continues to be threatened.

    "At the next election we risk going backwards on women’s representation."

    Read about why women MPs are quitting politics here.

  3. Bercow demands apology over £1m I'm a Celebrity claim

    Daily Mirror front page

    John Bercow is demanding an apology from the Daily Mirror over claims he asked for £1m to appear on I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!

    The outgoing Commons Speaker accuses the paper of "publishing lies despite being advised of the truth" and has complained to the press watchdog.

    The Mirror claimed talks between Mr Bercow and ITV broke down over the size of his appearance fee.

    Mr Bercow, who retired on Thursday after 10 years in the Speaker's chair, is understood to be furious about the story.

    Read More

  4. 'Tall order for Brexit Party to fight every seat'

    Nigel Farage

    The Brexit Party faces a "tall order" to fight every seat at the election, says BBC political correspondent Helen Catt.

    Mr Farage told reporters earlier that his party would field a candidate in every constituency in England, Scotland and Wales - unless the Conservatives agreed a "non-aggression" pact with his party.

    "That'll leave the Brexit Party needing to find somewhere in the region of 630 candidates," Helen says.

    "Nigel Farage says he's got about 500 signed up, which will go forward on Monday.

    "But it's quite a tall order for a party that of course is very new and has only been in existence for about six months."

    Mr Farage earlier said that the party would have enough money to do so, thanks to donations on the party's website.

  5. Could the NHS be 'up for sale'?

    Hugh Pym

    BBC News Health Editor

    NHS poster

    If the early exchanges are anything to go by, health will feature prominently in this election campaign.

    Labour has for some time argued that the NHS is vulnerable to privatisation under the Conservatives.

    The party has developed a new attack line, that any post-Brexit trade deal with the US will open the door to big American health corporations.

    It has also picked up on suggestions that the US authorities will demand that the NHS pays more for drugs supplied by American companies.

    In essence, Labour is alleging that the NHS is not safe after a Brexit presided over by the Tories.

    The Conservatives have strongly denied that the NHS is in any way "up for sale". They argue that there will be red lines with the British position in any trade talks, which protect the current status of the health service and the drug purchasing regime.

    Read more

  6. What is tactical voting?

    Votes being counted

    Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has called on the prime minister to drop his Brexit deal in exchange for an election pact.

    The Conservatives have consistently ruled out a formal pact with the party.

    But individual voters can still vote tactically - for example by backing a candidate they wouldn't normally support, to stop someone else winning.

    This could happen in a constituency where two parties are in a tight race and candidates from other parties trail far behind.

    In these circumstances, a supporter of the candidate who was a distant third, might pick their favourite of the two who are in with a chance.

    Read our guide to find out more about how tactical voting works.

  7. MSP quits Labour for SNP

    A former Labour MSP has switched allegiance to the SNP, the Scottish party has announced.

    Anne McTaggart quit Labour, saying that she supported independence for Scotland and that she wanted "to be part of something positive".

    SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said on twitter it was "great to welcome" her.

  8. Tory source on Farage's election offer

    The Times deputy political editor tweets...

    It looks like Mr Farage might have to follow through on his threat to field candidates in every seat in England, Scotland and Wales.

    View more on twitter
  9. What's happening on the digital campaign trail?

    Facebook

    The BBC has analysed the political parties' activities on Facebook and Instagram today.

    Labour has increased its advertising slightly since yesterday, with a new set focused on fundraising. The ads are highlighting the difference in donations between Labour and the Conservatives, and each talks about the “Tories' billionaire donors” or just “billionaires”.

    The Lib Dems have begun a new push on the "stop Brexit" campaign video they launched earlier this week. This time it’s being promoted with a simpler message: “If you want to stop Brexit, be a Liberal Democrat voter.” Previously, the message above the video was: “The Liberal Democrats are the biggest, strongest party of Remain.”

    The Conservatives have only just begun putting out paid-for advertising. But so far they only have two active adverts. Both are specifically about Milton Keynes, and we can assume they are only being seen by people in Milton Keynes.

    Plaid Cymru have launched some new fundraising adverts with the line: “Wales, it’s us. Donate.” (“Ni yw Cymru. Cyfrannwch.”)

    Meanwhile, neither the SNP and the Green Party have any active adverts on Facebook.

  10. Watch: Farage tells Johnson to 'drop the deal'

    Video content

    Video caption: Nigel Farage tells Johnson to 'drop the deal'

    Nigel Farage launched the Brexit Party's election campaign earlier with an attack on Boris Johnson's Brexit deal.

    Mr Farage offered the Conservative Party a "non-aggression" pact with his own Brexit Party in order for the UK to leave the EU.

    However, Mr Farage also repeatedly criticised Mr Johnson's agreement and called on the prime minister to drop it "because it's not Brexit".

  11. Javid criticises columnist over Muslim voter comments

    Chancellor Sajid Javid criticises a Spectator columnist after he suggested planning elections for a time when Muslims can't vote.

    In an article headlined, "If you do one thing this election, stop your kids voting", Rod Liddle wrote: "My own choice of election date would be a day when universities are closed and Muslims are forbidden to do anything on pain of hell, or something.

    "There must be at least one day like that in the Muslim calendar, surely? That would deliver at least 40 seats to the Tories, I reckon."

    Mr Javid, who is of Muslim heritage, tweets that Mr Liddle's comments are "not funny and not acceptable":

    View more on twitter

    Responding to the criticism, Mr Liddle says his words had been taken "out of context".

    Writing on the Spectator website, he says: "There was no hate speech or Islamophobia whatsoever in my piece.

    "They were very obviously ludicrous suggestions, satirical in manner, about how to reduce the Labour vote by targeting groups which traditionally vote Labour and occasioned by the wrangling over whether the election should be on December 9 or 12 and the reasons for that wrangling."

  12. Baker: Pact with Brexit Party 'inconceivable'

    Steve Baker

    Tory Brexiteer Steve Baker says it is "completely inconceivable" the Tories will make a pact with the Brexit Party.

    The chairman of the pro-Brexit European Research Group tells the PA news agency he will not abandon his support for the prime minister's deal to avoid a challenge from Nigel Farage's party.

    "The reason every Conservative Eurosceptic MP backed the deal is that it can deliver a Brexit worth having," he says.

    "But Boris will only negotiate a great future for the UK if he has a good majority of resolute Conservative MPs."

    "Nigel now risks that and our future."

  13. Francois: Nigel Farage 'screwed up' pact bid

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Mark Francois

    Brexiteer Conservative MP Mark Francois says Nigel Farage has "screwed up" his bid for a non-aggression pact between the Brexit Party and the Tories.

    He tells BBC Radio 4's World At One: "If you genuinely want to work with another political party (to form a Leave alliance), you don't go on live national television and call them liars."

    He adds: "If that was meant to be an olive branch - Nigel completely cocked it up."

    The Brexit Party leader is a "very talented politician", he says, but his "ego got the better of him" when launching his party's election campaign earlier.

    Mr Francois defends Boris Johnson's Brexit deal, saying that he and fellow Eurosceptic Tory MPs would not have voted for it if they thought it kept the UK in the EU.

    And he also rejects Mr Farage's prediction that there are Tory MPs who regret voting for the deal.

    "I don't think he's going to bully any Tory MP into doing what they don't want to do," he adds.

  14. Brexit Party could give Corbyn 'unintended boost'

    Alex Forsyth

    Political correspondent

    Nigel Farage

    Nigel Farage has, in effect, given Boris Johnson an ultimatum; abandon your central Brexit policy or the Brexit Party will challenge your deal at every opportunity across the country.

    With the prime minister highly likely to refuse, it seems Mr Farage will have to live up to his promise of fielding 500 or more candidates in this election by Monday - and his claim that he has the resources to do so.

    That’s a tall order for a party only launched in April.

    He's no doubt buoyed by the Brexit Party's success in the European Elections earlier this year.

    But in the past, when at the helm of UKIP, Mr Farage has struggled to turn popular support into Westminster seats.

    He has been targeting Labour leave areas in Wales, the Midlands and the North of England; the very seats Mr Johnson has in his sights.

    The risk for both parties is by splitting the Leave vote they give Jeremy Corbyn an unintended boost.

  15. Polling expert: Brexit Party 'could hurt Tories most'

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Polling expert Sir John Curtice says it is "unlikely" that the Brexit Party standing in the election would do more harm to Labour than to the Conservatives.

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4's World At One, he says opinion polls suggest that most of the Brexit Party's support comes from former Tory voters.

    He says: "If you look at those constituencies that the Conservatives want to pick up - the 50 most marginal Labour seats - they are disproportionately Leave seats.

    "And they are places where UKIP did well in 2015.

    "The odds are that these are therefore places where the Brexit Party can be expected to do particularly well."

    Meanwhile, he says that attempts to convince Remain voters to vote tactically against the Conservatives reflects "the fact that the Remain vote is split".

    He adds that in constituencies which voted to leave the EU, the majority of Labour voters backed Remain.

    "So even there Labour's problem is the Liberal Democrats, not necessarily Nigel Farage," he says.

  16. Farage: Tory MPs 'are lining up to renounce PM's deal'

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage

    Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage says he believes some Tory MPs are "lining up to renounce" Boris Johnson's Brexit deal.

    He tells BBC Radio 4's World at One programme: "I have spoken to a number of Conservative MPs, who with great reluctance, voted for Boris Johnson’s package and they had a great amount of pressure put upon them… and the clock was running down.

    "Many of them bitterly regret doing it, they voted for something which is against everything they believed in, and I think a number are now lining up to renounce the treaty and to say they’ll never vote for it again."

    He refuses to reveal if he will stand as a candidate in the election.

  17. SNP election pitch focuses on Brexit and Scottish independence

    Nicola Sturgeon with members of the SNP on the campaign trail

    The SNP are also on the campaign trail today, with the party's leader Nicola Sturgeon pledging to make a formal request for a second independence referendum before Christmas - regardless of who is prime minister.

    BBC News Scotland correspondent James Shaw says this shows the SNP are still "determined to go for independence".

    He says the party's election pitch is "two-pronged" - appealing to Remain voters as well as those in favour of independence - in an effort to "hoover up all those voters in Scotland".