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PM's EU warning 'covered renegotiation not referendum'

Downing Street has attempted to distance itself from comments that implied David Cameron had given Ministers an ultimatum over the Eu referendum.

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports on what seems like a u-turn from the government.

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David Davis warns PM's ultimatum is 'rather unwise'

David Davis says the Prime Minister's move to force Ministers to quit if they wanted to campaign No in the EU referendum was "rather unwise" and predicted it would trigger resignations from the Government.

David Davis Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Conservative Mr Davis told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:

This is a once-in-a-lifetime, history-changing event. For many people, it's the reason they got into politics. Not mine, but for some it is.

And yet the only people who will not have the freedom to vote and speak on it, according to this, are ministers in the Government, which, of itself, is extraordinary.

That will likely lead, I'm sorry to say, to some people resigning from the Government or being fired

Cameron's warning to ministers: Back me over EU or quit

David Cameron insists all his ministers are on board for a Yes vote to stay in the EU. Credit: PA

Ministers will be forced to quit if they want to campaign for Britain to pull out of the European Union, David Cameron has warned.

The Prime Minister said the Government "would not be neutral" on the issue of whether the UK quits Europe.

And he insisted that everyone in his administration is signed up to his strategy to allow them to recommend a Yes vote.

Speaking at the G7 summit in Germany, Mr Cameron said: "If you want to be part of the Government you have to take the view that we are engaged in an exercise of renegotiation to have a referendum and that will lead to a successful outcome.

"Everyone in government has signed up to the programme set out in the Conservative manifesto."

His comments come after more than 50 Tory MPs said they were set to lead the EU exit if Cameron fails to secure radical reforms of the UK's ties to Brussels.

Burnham: A divided Tory party will struggle on EU deal

Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham has warned David Cameron will struggle to get the best deal for Britain "if his party tears itself apart over Europe".

Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham. Credit: PAUL HACKETT/WPA Rota

"I will establish a separate 'Labour Yes' campaign, alongside the wider 'in' movement, to learn the lessons of Scotland's independence referendum, " Burnham promised.

"But, unlike David Cameron, I will be strong in defending Britain's place in Europe as the best bet for British business and jobs," he added.

Hammond: There'll always be Tories who want an EU exit

Philip Hammond said there was "always" going to be a group of Conservatives that want to leave the EU "come what may" after it was reported that more than 50 Tories are set to lead the campaign to leave the union.

The Foreign Secretary told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, "That is not where the Government is, that is not where the majority of British people are."

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. Credit: BBC/Andrew Marr Show

Hammond agreed the EU "isn't working" as it is at the moment, saying it is "not fit for the 21st Century" but that the Government thinks it is "fixable".

"We can get a package of reform that will make it work in Britain's interests, so that we get the benefits of the single market, being part of the European Union, while fixing some of the things that so irritate the British people about the way this union has changed unrecognisably over the past 40 years and then put it to the British people, and they they will decide in the referendum."

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Ex-Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to be knighted

Former Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is to be given a knighthood, Downing Street has announced.

The Conservative will be made a Knight Bachelor in recognition of his public service as an MP, a former Cabinet minister and his time in local government, No 10 said.

Former Communities Secretary Eric Pickles will be knighted in recognition of his services as an MP. Credit: PA

Mr Pickles, who was first elected to Parliament in 1992, lost his frontbench role following the general election.

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