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HMS Bulwark rescues hundreds of migrants - including children

Hundreds of migrants - including 50 young children - have been rescued from an "unstable" ship in the Mediterranean sea near Libya, thanks to UK ship HMS Bulwark.

The double-decker, wooden-hulled boat was described by the Ministry of Defence as "heavily overcrowded", with 369 people packed on board.

As part of the international migrant search and rescue mission - codenamed Operation WEALD - Bulwark dispatched five of its specialised landing craft to rescue the migrants and bring them to safety.

All eight of its landing craft have been converted into rescue boats, piled high with lifejackets, medical equipment and emergency supplies.

The rescue was one of five which took place in the Mediterranean today, with Italian, Greek and Irish naval units all involved in saving some 800 lives. They will now be transferred to a dedicated port of safety.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon welcomed news of the operation, but called for a better solution from UK and overseas governments.

HMS Bulwark and her crew have once again saved hundreds of lives in the Mediterranean migrant crisis, offering medical assistance, food, water and dry clothes to those in need.

A wider political solution is required to this crisis, but that does not detract from today’s rescue at sea.

– Michael Fallon, Defence Secretary

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Cameron: France is an essential and valued partner of UK

The Prime Minister has met French President Francois Hollande in Paris to discuss potential changes to the EU treaty which he says could benefit both countries.

David Cameron has met French President Francois Hollande Credit: RTV

Describing France as an "essential and valued partner of Britain", David Cameron said the two countries might have different priorities, but similar aims for the future, and said he hoped they could reach an agreement - including on issues such as tackling extremism and climate change.

France is an essential and valued partner of Britain. Our economies are interwoven, and we are two major military powers in the EU, with global reach and shared values.

My priority is to reform the European Union to make it more competitive, and address the concerns of the British people about our membership. The status quo is not good enough, and I believe there are changes we can make which will not just benefit Britian, but the rest of Europe too.

Of course, the priority for Francois is to strengthen the Eurozone, to ensure a successful single currency, and Britain supports that.

We have different priorities, but we share a common objective - to find solutions to these problems.

– David Cameron

Cameron begins EU tour to try to build support for change

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has warned that the British people are likely vote to leave the EU unless there is substantial reform in Brussels.

He spoke as David Cameron began a whistlestop tour of Europe, meeting political leaders in a bid to build support for change.

ITV News deputy political editor Chris Ship reports:

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Parliament to examine Thomas Cook over Corfu deaths

Mary Creagh MP has tabled a Parliamentary motion condemning the actions of Thomas Cook after the deaths of Christi and Bobby Shepherd.

Christi and Bobby Shepherd were aged seven and six when they died. Credit: Family handout

Thomas Cook's treatment of the family has been disgraceful. Successive Chief Executives refused to meet with the family, they failed to stop the people convicted of Christi and Bobby’s manslaughter being re-employed in Thomas Cook hotels. Thomas Cook even tried to stop the inquest into the children's deaths taking place.

This motion sets out the full facts of Thomas Cook’s actions. I want to ensure that Thomas Cook never fail another family. Sharon and Neil now want Thomas Cook and the UK government to lead a Europe-wide campaign for improved carbon monoxide safety.

– Mary Creagh

Cameron meets Dutch PM to discuss EU reform

David Cameron said the UK and the Netherlands were "old friends and like-minded allies" as he met with Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte in The Hague.

David Cameron and Mark Rutte Credit: RTV

Among the issues to be discussed will be European reform, the need for flexibility and the need to focus on growth and jobs, Mr Cameron said.

The Hague is the first of four European capitals the Prime Minister is visiting on a whirlwind tour to discuss his plans to renegotiate the terms of the UK's membership of the European Union with key leaders.

Later Mr Cameron will travel to Paris in France where he will meet with President Hollande.

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