European elections LIVE: Calls for Lord Heseltine to be EXPELLED after whip withdrawn

In ongoing turmoil within the Conservative Party, former deputy Prime Minister, Lord Michael Heseltine, has had the whip suspended ahead of the European Parliament elections after vowing to vote for the Liberal Democrats over his own party. Lord Heseltine said he would not back the Tories because of its pro-Brexit stance. A Tory spokesman said endorsing another party was "not compatible with taking the Tory whip". Farage THREATENS BBC over bias as Brexit Party readies manifesto

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EU elections key points:

Citizens across the EU will head to the polls between May 23 and 26 – the UK on Thursday, May 26

Results will begin to come out on Sunday night once all countries have voted

In the UK, the vote is being treated as a poll on Brexit, with pro- and anti- Brexit parties neck and neck in the polls

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is performing the best of any one party, leading the polls since its launch earlier this month

Establishment parties all across the EU could face their worst results yet as polls show citizens turning to smaller parties

FOLLOW THE LATEST UPDATES FROM EXPRESS.CO.UK. All times BST. 10.50pm update: Farage appears to shrug off milkshake attack with at Brexit Party rally

Speaking in Bolton on Monday evening at a Brexit Party rally, the leader hit out at the “extremes of the Remain campaign” which was met with huge cheers.

He said: “I won’t even acknowledge the low-grade behaviour that I was subject to this morning. I won’t dignify it.

“I will ignore it, perhaps keep buying new clothes and carry on.”

10.15pm update: Philip Hammond to accuse hardline Brexiteers of ‘hijacking’ referendum result

Chancellor Philip Hammond will use a speech to the CBI’s annual dinner in London on Tuesday to warn against a no deal Brexit.

In comments likely to deepen Tory divides, the Chancellor will say that if the Brexit issue is not resolved in the next few weeks there is a "real risk" of a new Prime Minister moving towards a "damaging" no-deal exit policy for "ideological" reasons

9.45pm update: How does the European Parliament work?

The European Parliament is the EU’s law-making body and is directly elected by EU voters every five years.

The parliament has three main roles: legislative, supervisory and budgetary.

The legislative part sees the European Parliament pass EU laws, decide on international agreements and enlargements and review the European Commission’s work programme and ask it to propose legislation.

The supervisory part of the parliament includes scrutiny of all EU institutions, electing the Commission President and granting discharge such as approving the way EU budgets have been spent.

The budgetary includes establishing the EU budget together with the Council and approving the EU’s long-term budget, the “Multiannual Financial Framework”.

9.30pm update: Brexit Party and Lib Dems could become two top parties

If the polls are to be believed, the Brexit Party will win more seats at the European elections than either of the two major parties.

And the Lib Dems, on the back of their success at the local elections earlier this month, also look set to clean up in the European elections.

Current polls suggest the Liberal Democrats will finish ahead of the Tories and Labour.

8.50pm update: Welsh Brexit Party made official

The Brexit Party has been officially recognised as a group in the Senedd by the Welsh Assembly.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage unveiled the new group made up of four former UKIP AMs last week.

The move means Mark Reckless, Mandy Jones, Caroline Jones and David Rowlands will have access to more staff and will be given greater status in the assembly.

It comes as a YouGov/ITV poll on the European Parliamentary election in Wales suggested the Brexit Party was in the lead with 36 percent of the vote, putting Labour in third behind Plaid Cymru. 8.10pm update: Lord Heseltine – ‘I’m STILL a Conservative’

After having the whip withdrawn, Lord Heseltine told Sky News: "They can take away the whip but they cannot take away my integrity, my convictions or my experience. I am a Conservative."

7.45pm update: Calls for Lord Heseltine’s expulsion

Conservative peer Lord Heseltine has defended his decision to vote for the Lib Dems in the European elections, saying it is a "matter of conscience".

The ex-deputy PM said he would not back the Tories in this week’s vote because of its pro-Brexit stance.

This has led to calls that he should be expelled from the party.

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said backing another party broke Tory rules while his colleague Conor Burns said "discipline needs to be enforced".

7.30pm update: BREAKING: Lord Heseltine has Tory whip suspended after vowing to vote Lib Dem

A spokesman for the Tories said: "Lord Heseltine has given more than half a century of service to the Conservative Party, and his longstanding and sincerely held views on Europe are well understood."But, with his long experience, he will know that publicly endorsing the candidates of another party is not compatible with taking the Conservative whip in Parliament."As a result, the Chief Whip in the House of Lords has informed Lord Heseltine that he will have the Conservative whip suspended. This will be reviewed if he is willing to support Conservative candidates at future elections." 7.20pm update: Nigel Farage to press charges over ‘milkshaking’ The Daily Telegraph’s chief political correspondent tweeted: "Nigel Farage has now made a statement to Northumbria Police and told them that he will press charges for assault against the man who threw milkshake over him." 6.30pm update: Brexit Party funding to be reviewed by Electoral Commission The Electoral Commission will visit the offices of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party on Tuesday to review how it receives funding.A spokesperson said the visit was part of its "active oversight and regulation" of donations.Ex-PM Gordon Brown accused the party of receiving a large amount of money via small "undeclared, untraceable payments".Mr Farage accused Mr Brown of "a disgusting smear". 5.45pm update: Debate over Theresa May’s Brexit deal ramps up again ahead of EU elections – Express poll Theresa May’s Brexit deal – and the threat of no deal – is back in the hot-seat after a few quiet months. The Prime Minister gearing up for another push at getting it over the line, but potential successors are circling ahead of the leadership challenge, and some of them insist no deal is the better option.What do YOU think the best route is? Have your say – vote here in our reader’s poll (check back here for results after 24 hours): 5.15pm update: Germany’s centre-left Social Democrats fear a drubbing The once-formidable Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) faces the prospect of coming third nationwide in the European Parliament election.Trailing in behind Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the Greens in the European ballot would be a national and EU-wide humiliation.Björn Tschöpe, who leads the SPD group in the Bremen state parliament, said: "Social Democrats are in crisis all over Europe."In France, the Netherlands, and even in the social democratic utopia of Sweden … Social Democratic ideas are under pressure in Europe." 4.45pm update: YouGov poll shows pro- and anti-Brexit parties neck and neck According to a poll conducted by polling site YouGov, voting intention of those who will definitely vote (excluding ‘don’t know’) is neck and neck between those pro- and anti-Brexit.The poll shows the total of pro-Brexit voting intention is 36.1 percent, with most planning to vote for the Brexit Party.The anti-Brexit total is 37.5 percent, with most planning to vote for the Lib Dems or Green parties. 4.15pm update: Establishment parties losing majority across Europe, polls show Polling from all across the European Union is showing establishment centre-left and centre-right blocs within the European Parliament are losing their strong majorities.The latest Politico Poll of Polls analysis indicates that the two large pan-European blocs, which are comprised of a host of allied parties from each EU country, will lose seats under a tide of both populist and liberal support.While the centre-Right European Peoples’ Party (EPP) and centre-Left Socialists & Democrats (S&D) are likely to remain the largest parliamentary groups, experts warn that their current position of dominance is now "threatened". READ MORE: A full guide to how the EU elections work, how to vote and who your candidates are 3.50pm update: Farage’s milkshake-tosser arrested A 32-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of common assault after Nigel Farage had a milkshake thrown on him.Mr Farage was walking down a Northumberland street surrounded by security, Brexit Party members and supporters and the media when he was hit with the drink.An empty Five Guys banana and salted caramel milkshake cup was left on the floor following the disturbance. 3.20pm update: ‘Next leader MUST believe in Brexit’ – Esther McVey Former Cabinet minister Esther McVey said the next leader of the Conservative Party must be somebody who "believes in Brexit" and has the "passion" to drive it forwards.Ms McVey, who is in the running to replace Theresa May, said it is […]

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