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General Election: Party leaders hit the campaign trail

Party leaders are hitting the campaign since MPs backed holding a General Election on June 8.

Here are the latest updates:

  • Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap General Election in a surprise announcement on Tuesday
  • MPs backed the poll on Wednesday by 522 votes to 13
  • Ahead of the vote, George Osborne stepped down as an MP
  • Within hours, Mrs May and Mr Corbyn had addressed supporters, setting out their visions for the country
  • The PM has ruled out taking part in any TV election debates but may appear in a televised Q&A
  • Mrs May's press secretary and director of communications have already stepped down
  • Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said he would not stand as an MP as he believes he is better placed to ensure a hard Brexit in Brussels
View all 36 updates ›

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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