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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 ›

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.

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