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Witney has new Tory MP, but Lib Dems leap to second place

The Conservatives, as expected, won the Witney by-election in the early hours of the morning but their majority - and share of the vote - were well down on what the area's former MP David Cameron managed in the GENERAL election.

Robert Courts won. He was just under 6,000 votes ahead of the Liberal Democrats, who jumped from 4th place to 2nd, with over 11,500 votes. Labour slipped back to third, and the Greens just beat UKIP.

Our political correspondent Phil Hornby reports on a night of drama.

David Cameron takes on first job since resigning as PM

A new job for David Cameron Credit: ITV

David Cameron is the new chairman of the National Citizen Service (NCS).

The NCS was set up by Mr Cameron in 2012. The service provides outdoor activities for 15 to 17-year-olds. The teenagers also work in the community.

The former Witney MP said the NCS was one of his proudest achievements during his six years as prime minister, and pledged to make non-military national service a "rite of passage" for every British teenager.

Mr Cameron said the NCS is "building bridges across social divides", and is an example of the "Big Society" in action.

"From the pilot projects that I began as leader of the opposition, to the full-scale programme that we have today, more than 275,000 people have taken part in what has become the fastest-growing youth movement of its kind in the world."


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Reformed EU offers Britain 'best of both worlds', says PM

David Cameron said leaving the EU would threaten Britain's "economic and national security".

The Prime Minister said Britain's new deal offered the "best of both worlds", while leaving the EU would be a "leap in the dark".

ITV Political Editor Robert Peston and Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen have been following the story:


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Cameron: EU vote 'one of biggest decisions in our lifetimes'

David Cameron speaks outside Number 10.

The EU referendum will be "one of the biggest decisions this country will face in our lifetimes", David Cameron has said.

Following a Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister said the Government position would be to remain in a reformed EU.

He said Cabinet ministers would be free to campaign on either side of the debate and that there would be "many passionate arguments".

"We are approaching one of the biggest decisions this country will face in our lifetimes," Mr Cameron said outside Number 10. "The choice goes to the heart of the kind of country we want to be and the future we want for our children.

"The choice is in your hands, but my recommendation is clear: I believe that Britain will be safer, stronger and better off in a reformed European Union."

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David Cameron to announce EU referendum date

The Prime Minister is to announce the planned date for an EU referendum following a Cabinet meeting to be held later this morning.

David Cameron is due to outline the details of his EU reform deal to Cabinet members at 10am as he vowed to campaign "heart and soul" to keep the UK in Europe.

The announcement follows 30 hours of negotiations with EU leaders to agree a package of reforms giving Britain "special status".

"Look again at £69m cuts," Cameron tells council

David Cameron is unhappy with the cutbacks Credit: ITV

The Prime Minister is urging Oxfordshire County Council to look again at its proposals for £69m of cuts. He says he understands that councils must make further savings but, as an Oxfordshire MP, he says the council should have a re-think.

Oxfordshire and other councils must continue to reform the way they work to become more efficient, both in back-office functions and in front-line service delivery. Further savings do still need to be made, and with councils accounting for a quarter of all public spending they need to continue playing their part in tackling the deficit left by Labour.

The recent Spending Review included a package of measures to support local government, enabling them to streamline their asset base and invest in services.

We have made it possible for councils to sell property assets and use the capital to invest in transforming local services – and ensure further savings. We have introduced council tax flexibilities to help councils with the growing costs of adult social care. And by the end of this Parliament, councils will also keep 100% of local taxes including all £26 billion from business rates.

– Rt Hon David Cameron MP
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