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Stoke-on-Trent by-election turning into three-way fight

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen

Thursday's by-election in the constituency of Stoke-on-Trent Central is turning into a three-way fight between UKIP, Labour and the Conservatives.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing his most difficult electoral challenge so far with Ukip expected to pose the greatest challenge in Stoke, particularly given the Midlands city's support for Brexit in last year's EU referendum.

But Ukip leader Paul Nuttall, who is standing for the seat, has faced criticism for a statement on his website falsely claiming he lost "close friends" in the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 Liverpool fans died.

Labour in-fighting and an uphill struggle for Mr Nuttall to regain the public's trust could leave the door ajar for a previously unthinkable Tory win.

  • Full list of candidates in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election

Article 50 lawyer: Vote promise must be in legislation

Lord Pannick outside the Supreme Court while representing Gina Miller. Credit: PA

The Prime Minister's promise of a parliamentary vote on the proposed Brexit deal should be written into legislation, the lawyer who led the successful legal battle against the Government has insisted.

Speaking during the House of Lords Brexit bill debate, Lord Pannick, who represented the lead claimant, Gina Miller, in the Article 50 case, argued a political commitment was no substitute for an obligation in law, pointing out that circumstances, including Prime Ministers, could change.

Lord Pannick also stressed it should be for Parliament to decide if there was to be a deal or not.

During his speech Lord Pannick praised Ms Miller, who along with other campaigners won the historic legal action in the Supreme Court "in the face of quite outrageous racist and sexist abuse", which led to a declaration that Parliament must authorise the triggering of Brexit.

Lord Pannick also stressed the Lords' need to "scrutinise a Bill of enormous importance to the future of this country", adding the bill required "amendment".

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