Live updates

Hammond confirms Shaker Aamer Guantanamo release

Shaker Aamer, the last British resident held at Guantanamo Bay, has been released, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed.

"The Americans announced some weeks ago that they were going to release Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo," he said in Vienna.

"I can confirm that he's on his way back to the UK now and he'll arrive in Britain later today."


Society 'must be vigilant' to spot radicalisation signs

British society must stay "vigilant" to spot signs of radicalisation in young people, Philip Hammond has said.

Talha Asmal, 17, reportedly became Britain's youngest suicide bomber when he blew himself up while fighting for Islamic State in Iraq.

Speaking about the teenager's death, the foreign secretary said: "Teachers, parents, social workers, people in the community all need to be vigilant and look for signs of early radicalisation."

Hammond: Magna Carta still 'important' British history

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said the Magna Carta is still an "important" part of British history that includes the "fundamental principals of the rule of law".

2015 marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta with more events planned from tomorrow.


Hammond: 'Wrong' to give 16 and 17-year-olds EU vote

It would be "wrong" to give 16 and 17-year-old's the vote in the EU referendum, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said.

Speaking in the Commons during a debate on the European Union Referendum Bill, Mr Hammond said: "Some will argue that we should extend the franchise further to 16 and 17-year-olds perhaps or even to citizens of other EU countries resident here. We do not agree."

Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn confirmed Labour would seek an amendment to the Bill to allow 16 and 17-year-old's to vote.

"It is the same old excuse of an argument against giving people a say and it's completely at odds with the other rights we already give to 16 and 17-year-olds, which include the right to work, pay tax, join the armed forces," Mr Benn said.

Mr Hammond also confirmed that the referendum could be held earlier than planned if renegotiation is completed ahead of schedule.

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."

Britain to increase Iraq funding amid IS fight

Britain will increase financial assistance to Iraq to help in the battle against Islamic State militants, Philip Hammond has announced.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. Credit: Reuters

A reported £2 million will be contributed to a new United Nations fund, while Britain will continue to make a "significant contribution to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts" in the fight against the terror group.

The money will go towards a UN Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilisation (FFIS) that will push resources into areas as they are cleared of IS fighters.

The Foreign Secretary confirmed the contribution after attending an anti-IS summit with international ministers in Paris on Tuesday at which Iraq's prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, said his country needed "the support of the world" but "we are not getting it" in pushing back the IS advance.

Hammond to hold talks over tackling Islamic State

Philip Hammond is to attend a summit to discuss what more can be done to defeat Islamic State.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. Credit: PA Wire

The Foreign Secretary will join foreign ministers in Paris to review the success of the international coalition's efforts to "degrade and destroy" the terror group, which has captured large swathes of Iraq and Syria.

Representatives from 22 countries involved in the anti-IS coalition, including Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi.

The meeting comes amid reports the Government is preparing to send British troops to more dangerous parts of Iraq to train local forces battling IS.

Speaking ahead of the summit, Mr Hammond said: "I will discuss with key partners the military campaign and the coalition's efforts to cut off Isil's finances, reduce the flow of fighters, undermine their brutal ideology, and stabilise areas liberated from Isil."

Load more updates