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May makes aid pledge but will look into how it is spent

The prime minister made the comments during a visit to a factory in her Maidenhead constituency. Credit: ITV News

Theresa May has said she will maintain Britain's commitment to foreign aid after speculation it might be dropped from the Tory election manifesto.

"The 0.7% commitment remains and will remain," the PM said. "What we need to do though is to look at how that money is spent and make sure that we are able to spend that money in the most effective way."

ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand noted the PM's pledge as another "continuity" policy but added her comments suggest the money may not necessarily be ring-fenced.

Microsoft founder and global philanthropist Bill Gates was among figures calling on the PM to commit to the aid spending, telling ITV News that dropping it would cost lives.

The prime minister made the comments during a visit to a toothpaste factory in her Maidenhead constituency.

In a speech at the factory, she said the election offered voters a choice between "strong and stable leadership" under the Conservatives or a "coalition of chaos led by Jeremy Corbyn".

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Corbyn campaign targeting marginal seats

Mr Corbyn made an election visit to Swindon South Credit: PA

Labour's leader Jeremy Corbyn has set off on the campaign trail visiting marginal Tory seats.

A newly energised Mr Corbyn made a stop in Swindon, which has two seats - Swindon South and Swindon North - both key targets for Labour in the general election but where the party has yet to select its candidates.

Labour lost South Swindon to the Conservatives in 2010.

Later the Labour leader headed on to Bristol.

Farage 'better placed in Brussels' to ensure Brexit

Nigel Farage will not stand in the general election because he believes he is better placed in Brussels to ensure a hard Brexit than he would be in Westminster.

Explaining his decision not to run for election, the former Ukip leader told ITV News he would be able to more effectively shape Brexit as an MEP because the European parliament will have the power to veto a Brexit deal.

"I think I can influence Brexit far more in Europe than I could sitting in the Commons," he said.

Mr Farage has stood for election as an MP seven times in the past, but has yet to be elected to Westminster.

Commenting on the French elections, the first round of which takes place on Sunday, Mr Farage said he expected right-winger Marine Le Pen to get through to the second round and that she could even become president.

"After what we saw in 2016 with Brexit and Trump, I'd say to people don't rule it out," he said.

Northern Ireland power-sharing talks deadline extended

Secretary of State James Brokenshire is brokering the talks Credit: PA

Northern Ireland's political deadlock have a new deadline of 29 June, extending the talks beyond the general election.

This is the fourth time talks on forming a power-sharing government have been extended .

Three earlier deadlines have fallen by the wayside amid disagreements between the Democratic Unionist party and Sinn Féin.

The move gives Stormont's rowing parties a three-week window to strike a deal after the election.

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