Jeremy Corbyn has said he will not lead Labour into the next election, following a “very disappointing night”.
With one seat left to declare, the party has won 203 seats – its worst result since 1935.
Mr Corbyn said he would stay on as leader during a “process of reflection”, and said Brexit had “polarised” politics.
But others within Labour, including former MPs who lost their seats, blamed Mr Corbyn’s leadership.
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said Mr Corbyn was not intending to resign and it could take until April for a leadership contest to take place.
On the night, the Conservatives won a big majority, sweeping aside Labour strongholds across northern England, the Midlands and Wales in areas which backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum.
Some traditional Labour constituencies, such as Darlington, Sedgefield and Workington, in the north of England, will have a Conservative MP for the first time in decades – or in the case of Bishop Auckland and Blyth Valley – for the first time since the seat was created.
At 33%, Labour’s share of the vote is down around eight points on the 2017 general election and is lower than that achieved by Neil Kinnock in 1992.
Speaking at his election count in Islington North, where he was re-elected with a reduced majority, Mr Corbyn said Labour had put forward a “manifesto of hope” and criticised the “way the media behaved” towards his party during the campaign.
But he added: “Brexit has so polarised and divided debate in this country, it has overridden so much of a normal political debate.”
“I recognise that has contributed to the results that the Labour Party has received this evening all across this country.”
Labour primarily campaigned on a promise to end austerity by increasing spending on public services.
The party also promised to renegotiate Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, and then put it to a referendum vote alongside the option of remaining in the EU.
That strategy was criticised by party chairman Ian Lavery, who said it had led voters in traditional Labour seats to believe it was “a Remain party”.
“They believe they should have been listened to – and they think that the Labour party have totally reneged on the result,” he said.
But he added the strategy was not “Jeremy Corbyn’s decision”, as it had been approved by delegates at the party’s September conference.
Former Labour MP John Mann said the leader’s unpopularity on the doorstep was palpable and Mr Corbyn should have “gone already”.
Others have blamed the party’s support for another Brexit referendum and the long-running anti-Semitism row.
Margaret Hodge, MP for Barking, said Labour had become the “nasty party”.
Given the result, you might assume Jeremy Corbyn would swiftly fall on his sword – but he has instead called for a period of quiet reflection.
Party rules make it difficult to oust him, but already senior figures are asking how long this period will last.
Senior figures at Westminster and in local government feel delaying an inevitable leadership contest will lead to a similar result in May’s council elections.
Mr Corbyn seems intent on staying in place until someone from his wing of the party is ready to take over – but the defeat of shadow minister Laura Pidcock has eliminated one of the potential left-wing leadership challengers.
Those who would prefer shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer are keen that a new leader is in place soon to challenge Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit policy.
The battle to establish the reasons for the defeat has already begun.
The narrative from the leadership that Brexit was to blame will be challenged robustly by those who want the party to change direction.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, a key ally of Mr Corbyn, said he was “heartbroken” at the result and insisted he would not take on the party leadership temporarily.
“At some stage we’ll go into a leadership election,” he said.
“Jeremy wants to ensure there is a period of reflection.”
Earlier, he said he did not think the Labour leader had been “the big issue” of the campaign.
But former Labour justice secretary Lord Falconer called for the party to move quickly to replace Mr Corbyn as leader by March or April.
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Gareth Snell, who lost his Leave-backing Stoke-on-Trent Central seat, called for both Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell to quit.
He accused senior figures in the shadow cabinet, who are defending Remain-voting seats in London, of “sacrificing” candidates in marginal constituencies in the Midlands and the north of England.
Elsewhere in the city, Ruth Smeeth, who lost her Stoke-on-Trent North seat to the Conservatives, described the election result as “devastating”.
“For me, this is about whether the Labour Party has any right to exist [and] whether we have anything left to say,” she said.
Another Labour MP to lose her seat, Caroline Flint in Don Valley, said: “So many of my voters could not and did not want to support Jeremy Corbyn to be prime minister.”
She added: “There are moderate MPs who have driven us into a dead-end regarding Brexit and they have put the pursuit of Remain at the expense of our working-class heartlands and I feel annoyed, to say the least, about that.”
Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, speaking after holding his Holborn and St Pancras seat, said: “As a whole movement, we need to reflect on this result and understand it together, but we also have a duty to rebuild, starting now.”
Yvette Cooper, who unsuccessfully challenged Mr Corbyn for her party’s leadership in 2015, said the results showed Labour has “to change as a party”.
She said Brexit had played a “significant part” in her party’s performance, but the election “was not just about Brexit”.
“It was about their perceptions of the party, their perceptions of the leadership,” she added.
Speaking after an earlier exit poll predicted heavy losses for Labour, former Labour home secretary Alan Johnson told ITV News that Mr Corbyn had been “incapable of leading” and “worse than useless at all the qualities you need to lead a political party.”
In a statement, the Jewish Labour Movement group also criticised Mr Corbyn. “Labour’s failure in this election lies squarely with the Party’s leadership,” it said.
“The Party must truly listen,” it continued, “because of the public’s rejection of Corbyn… the confused position on Brexit [and] its total failure to tackle anti-Jewish racism”.
Three men have been stabbed to death in London in little over 12 hours.
A man in his 20s was attacked in Hackney, east London, on Thursday afternoon. A 14-year-old boy and a 26-year-old man have been arrested.
Overnight, a man was found fatally wounded near Harrods in Knightsbridge, while another victim was killed in Deptford, south-east London.
The deaths mean 136 murder investigations have been launched in the capital this year.
It is the same amount as during the whole of 2018.
The victim who was killed in Knightsbridge was found unconscious near to luxury department store Harrods just after midnight after police had been called over reports of a stabbing.
He was treated by paramedics but pronounced dead at the scene at 00:39 GMT.
Another man was found injured and taken to hospital “in a serious condition”, police said.
Harrods said the store was open as usual but some entrances into the building had been closed due to the police cordon.
Emergency services were also called to Bronze Street, Deptford, at 03:00 GMT after a man was fatally stabbed.
No arrests have been made over either of the killings overnight and the Met have appealed for witnesses.
Detectives believe the victim killed in Clarence Mews, Hackney, on Thursday died following “an altercation involving a group of people”.
The two people arrested on suspicion of murder remain in custody but the Met said “at least two other suspects remain outstanding” and inquiries to locate them are “ongoing”.
Championship side Charlton Athletic have been taken over by East Street Investments, subject to approval from the English Football League.
They have agreed to buy Charlton from Roland Duchatelet, who had been trying to sell the club since the end of 2017.
Tahnoon Nimer and Jonathan Heller – chairman and CEO of Abu Dhabi Business Development – join as directors, with Matt Southall becoming club chairman.
Charlton fans had held a series of protests against Belgian Duchatelet.
In March the EFL board rejected his demands for the league to acquire the club, because of “a significant conflict of interest”.
“We are privileged to take ownership of such an historic club and it is incredibly exciting to be part of the process of building a fresh future for the fans, loyal club staff and players of Charlton Athletic,” said Southall.
“Their [the fans’] support throughout some difficult times, both recently and in the past, has been inspirational and we intend to build on that loyalty.”
Abu Dhabi Business Development is the private office of his Highness Sheikh Saeed Bin Tahnoun Bin Mohammed Al Nahyan.
Former football agent Southall said the club is in “excellent hands” with manager Lee Bowyer, who got the Addicks promoted from League One last season.
East Street Investments must pass the EFL’s owners’ and directors’ test before completing the takeover.
More to follow.
“I couldn’t focus on schoolwork because I was focused on surviving.”
Rapman is talking about his childhood growing up in South London ahead of the release of his debut film, Blue Story – a tale of friendship, love and postcode wars.
It follows the life of Timmy who lives in Lewisham but goes to school in Peckham – two areas that have a notorious rivalry.
Rapman – real name Andrew Onwubolu – tells Radio 1 Newsbeat: “That part of it was based on my life – it made my school experience very difficult.”
The film’s message is backed up by its soundtrack, with lyrics like: “I’m not trying to justify, I just want to show you what these young boys are fighting for.”
Rapman says he wants the audience to see past crime statistics and headlines about knife crime, to understand how a “good kid” can lose their way.
“I want people who see the film to learn that these kids are not all spawns of Satan.
“They didn’t come from child abuse or neglectful mothers. What kids go through in the school playground is so intense, it all starts there.”
He believes that more provisions should be put in place to support children who have problems at school, and mentoring should be given instead of “waiting until they’re 17, feeling alone and end up picking up a weapon.”
The rapper-turned-film-maker’s work first went viral in 2017 when his YouTube series, Shiro’s Story, amassed more than 20 million hits.
The three-part drama tells the story of a character whose world is turned upside down when he gets involved in drug dealing and violence, while coping with the news his best friend is the biological dad of the daughter he thought was his.
The story is told mainly through music, Rapman’s bars to be specific, and it got him noticed by Jay Z, who signed Rapman to his label RocNation in 2018.
After the success of Shiro’s Story, the rapper was able to start work on the film script he had been sitting on for a while. He worked with the BBC and Paramount Pictures to make Blue Story.
“My casting director went to all the top agencies to find actors but I also wanted to use raw talent.
“I put a casting call out on social media, I wanted new faces.”
One of those new faces was Stephen Odubola.
Stephen, 23, emailed Rapman after Shiro’s Story won an award, saying he would love to work with him – but got no reply.
A few months later, after trying his luck at the open audition, he was cast as the one of the lead roles in Blue Story.
Stephen tells Radio 1 Newsbeat: “I walked into that audition and didn’t think I would get it. There were so many people.
“I prepared so much, and now watching it back is like an out of body experience. Watching the greatness we have created.”
Rapman is clear that Blue Story, which also stars Top Boy’s Micheal Ward, is a film for everyone.
“Mothers, kids in gangs, kids who aren’t in gangs, politicians.
“It’s the most authentic journey you’re going to see.
“I love when I go to the screenings and see people who look like they’ve had no connection to that world – people who are upper class, wealthy, and are just curious.
“I’m hoping that everyone who can’t relate to that world, but understands human emotions, goes to watch it.”
Plans to redevelop the historical bell foundry where Big Ben was cast into a boutique hotel have been approved.
Whitechapel Bell Foundry started up in east London in 1570. The current site was sold to developers who proposed changing it into a hotel and workshop.
The plans were backed by the site’s former owners, but campaigners had called for the foundry to re-open.
Tower Hamlets Council’s development committee has approved the scheme by the chair’s deciding vote.
The foundry, which also made the Liberty Bell, which hangs in Philadelphia, is listed in the Guinness World Records as the oldest manufacturing firm in Britain.
It had been based on the site in Whitechapel Road since 1738, but in 2016 its owners announced the operation would move elsewhere in the UK due to a “downturn in orders”.
Whitechapel tower bells are now being cast by the Westley Group Ltd, near Stoke-on-Trent, while Whitechapel handbells are being cast in south London.
The proposals, submitted by Raycliff Whitechapel LLP, will see the refurbishment of part of the Grade II* listed foundry to create new workshops and a cafe, while an unlisted 1980s extension in the rear will be demolished and replaced with a 103-room hotel.
A council report on the application found the plans would provide “long-term public access through the site”.
Historic England said it would provide a “high degree” of heritage benefits.
However, there were about 780 objections to the scheme and one councillor told the development committee the plans would amount to “historical vandalism”.
The UK Historic Buildings Preservation Trust (UKHBPT), which does not own the site but had proposed a plan to restart manufacturing at the foundry, said it was “deeply saddened” by the committee’s decision and was considering launching a judicial review.
Great Britain’s 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith says she will support the Athletics Association, an athletes’ union formed in response to changes to the Diamond League programme.
American two-time Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor launched the body to “fight for athletes’ rights”.
“You know you always have my support! Let’s do this,” tweeted Asher-Smith.
The 200m and triple jump were two of four events cut from the regular 2020 Diamond League programme.
The 3,000m steeplechase and 200m will still feature at 10 of 15 Diamond meetings, while two will stage the discus and triple jump events.
None of the four will be included in the Diamond League final in Zurich in September.
Diamond League chairman and International Association of Athletics Federations president Lord Coe said the changes were intended “to create a faster-paced, more exciting global league that will be the showcase for our sport”.
However Taylor said “separating the events can only damage this sport we all love”.
“We will fight for athletes’ rights and ultimately demand a seat at the table and a say in how our sport is run and how the sport can grow and evolve without ripping out its core.”
He invited fellow athletes to email to register their interest and follow the organisation’s social media accounts.
Britain’s Adam Gemili, who expressed surprise at the Diamond League’s announcement on Wednesday, retweeted Taylor’s manifesto.
Athletes already have two voting positions on the 26-person IAAF Council with competitors at the recent World Championships in Doha balloted on who should represent them as part of the Athletes’ Commission.
French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie and New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams are among those elected.
“We are fully supportive,” an IAAF spokesperson told BBC Sport of the Athletics Association’s creation.
“The more athletes involved in the decisions made in the sport the better the sport will be.”
One person has died and 15 others have been hurt in a crash between two buses and a car in south-east London.
The crash occurred on Sevenoaks Road in Orpington at about 22:10 GMT on Thursday.
London Ambulance Service said one person was pronounced dead at the scene and 15 people had been taken to hospital. Three have serious injuries.
A man who was driving the car has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, the Met said.
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) sent 60 firefighters to the scene of the collision.
Fire crews rescued several people from the single-decker buses, helped carry out first aid and made the vehicles safe, according to LFB Assistant Commissioner Graham Ellis.
Road closures have been put in place and police have advised motorists to use alternative routes.
Six bus routes have also been diverted.
Evidence that women are being driven to sex work because of problems with universal credit must lead to government action, MPs have said.
A number of women told the work and pensions committee they turned to sex work because their benefits payments did not cover their basic needs.
The committee said the government had previously been “dismissive” of the issue but had now changed its position.
The government said it was taking the evidence “very seriously”.
The committee has been investigating a potential link between universal credit and “survival sex” – when people, overwhelmingly but not exclusively women, turn to sex work to meet their basic needs, including food, shelter and clean clothes.
Universal credit merges six benefits into one payment and was designed to simplify the benefits system and help people move into work.
However, the committee has heard evidence that problems with the new system, including a five-week wait for the first payment, are forcing some women to rely on sex work.
A 21-year-old woman – referred to as T to protect her identity – told the committee she was abused as a child and had not been to school since the age of 11. She worked in a cafe, then became a carer – gaining a social care qualification – but had to leave her job because of mental health problems.
She said she turned to sex work because her universal credit payments were not enough to cover her basic living costs.
“It is horrible to say, but it is the easiest thing to keep us girls alive,” she said.
Advances are available while people wait for their first payment, however this must then be paid back from subsequent payments so T said she continued to struggle to make ends meet.
“I only spend £20 on gas and electric a fortnight… I am trying my best, £30 on shopping, not a penny over, because if I go a penny over I can’t get other stuff that I need, tampons and things.
“By the time I got [the advance payment] I had spent it and then I was waiting another three to four weeks for my benefit.
“Even then when I got my benefit, they were taking £150 off my benefit and I was left with £50.”
She said she is now “sofa-surfing”, having been evicted from her house because she fell behind on rent payments.
‘I left the baby next door’
An adviser for a London-based housing association shared the experience of one mother – referred to as Ms J – who had resorted to survival sex after being caught shoplifting because she could not afford to buy food.
“The manager said if I gave him [oral sex] he’d let me off. What could I do? It was that or have the police called,” she said.
“He said afterwards that if I did the same next week he’d let me have forty quid’s worth of stock. It seemed like a fortune.”
The woman had faced long waits for her universal credit payments, which she said did not cover her basic costs.
“In the end, I held out for two weeks. I got my [universal credit] money, and again it was short, and again it was gone on bills before I’d even thought of food.
“So, I left the baby with next door and went down to the shop… It’s been like that for months now.”
The committee said the government’s initial response to the issue was “defensive, dismissive and trite”.
In a written submission to the committee’s inquiry, the DWP described reports linking universal credit and survival sex as “anecdote” and said the benefits system could not be “robustly attributed as a sole cause” of the issue.
However, after listening to the testimony of women, work and pensions minister Will Quince apologised for the department’s previous submission and said there was a need for better understanding of the issue.
The committee’s chair, independent MP Frank Field, said he welcomed the minister’s comments but said they must be accompanied by action.
“The department, having belatedly acknowledged that there is a problem, must take the steps to resolve it,” he said.
The committee’s report made a number of recommendations, including scrapping the five-week wait for the first payment and, in the meantime, offering non-repayable advances to vulnerable claimants who would otherwise suffer hardship.
It also called on the department to take account of people’s “lived experience” of universal credit and publish a review on improving services and support for those engaged in survival sex.
A DWP spokesperson said it was “committed to providing a safety net for the most vulnerable in society” and had made improvements to universal credit, including extending advance payments, removing waiting days and allowing claimants to continue to be paid housing benefit for two weeks after moving on to universal credit.
The five-year-old daughter of a British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran on spying charges has returned to the UK.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, a charity worker from London, has been detained for three years over the allegations which she denies.
Gabriella – who has been living with her grandparents in Tehran – has returned to start school.
Her father Richard said it had been a “long journey” to having her home.
“Gabriella came back to us late at night, a bit uncertain seeing those she only remembered from the phone,” he said.
“Now she is peacefully sleeping next to me. And I am just watching.”
Thanking the British Embassy and the Iranian Foreign Ministry, he added: “It has been a long journey to have her home, with bumps right until the end.”
Gabriella has visited her mother at least once a week since her arrest in April 2016.
‘Job not yet done’
Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s family say she was in Iran to introduce her daughter to relatives.
Last week, they told the Times that her parents had agreed Gabriella should return to the UK for the start of the school year in September but postponed the decision after Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was taken to a psychiatric hospital.
Mr Ratcliffe had told the BBC that his wife was hoping for a “magic” last-minute release to enable her to come home with Gabriella.
Speaking after being re-united with his daughter, he added: “Of course the job is not yet done until Nazanin is home. It was a hard goodbye for Nazanin and all her family. But let us hope this homecoming unlocks another.”
The family’s MP, Labour’s Tulip Siddiq, said Gabriella’s parents have made a decision that “no family” should have to make.
“It is heart-warming to see Gabriella reunited with her father after 1,300 days in Iran, but heart-breaking that she is separated from her mother Nazanin,” Ms Siddiq said.
“Nazanin is at breaking point, and today is yet another reminder that she has been failed at the very highest levels of government.”
Hampstead and Kilburn MP Ms Siddiq called on Iran to end its “hostage diplomacy” and release Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
Last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for the release of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe during a meeting with Iran’s president.
In 2017, when he was foreign secretary, Mr Johnson had to apologise after saying she was in Iran “teaching people journalism” – despite her family’s insistence she was there on holiday.