Live coverage - General Election 2010

  • Britain has its first coalition government since World War II.
  • Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg hold their first joint press conference, promising that their government will last.
  • The cabinet contains five Lib Dems - Mr Clegg, Chris Huhne, David Laws, Danny Alexander and Vince Cable
  • David Miliband formally announces his bid for the Labour leadership
  • Alan Johnson rules himself out of the contest and backs David Miliband
  • Live reporter: Justin Parkinson

1043Our live page coverage has finished for Election 2010. Thank you for using it - we hope you enjoyed it. For latest on the new government, Labour leadership and more, see our politics section .

2302Prime Minister David Cameron will chair his first full cabinet meeting on Thursday. He is also expected to announce the rest of his government team, with another 15 or so Lib Dems thought to be in line for jobs.

2255 The Sun has some fun with Nick Clegg and David Cameron, likening them to legendary comedy double act Morecambe and Wise. Invoking Eric and Ernie's signature tune, it implores the PM and deputy PM to overcome the economic crisis facing the UK and "Bring Us Sunshine".

2245Tony G, Cheshire, writes: This deal has shown great statesmanship and pragmatism from David Cameron. This isn't what he wanted but he recognises the cards that were dealt and gets on with playing the hand in the national interest.
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2236 The Daily Mail describes the first Downing Street press conference by the Cameron-Clegg team as a "great love-in". "Sharing jokes, exchanging meaningful glances and referring to each other chummily as Nick and David, they couldn't have looked happier," the paper reports, in full Mills and Boon mode.

2222 The Financial Times says business leaders have welcomed the formation of the Tory-Lib Dem coalition. It states: "Leaders see dawn of 'new politics'".

2213Thursday's newspapers are beginning to come in. The Independent makes light of the first Clegg-Cameron press conference, likening it to a wedding. Amid a series of photographs captioned with wedding vows, its headline says: "Dave and Nick, Britain's new power couple".

2158The Conservatives have appointed a co-chairman to Baroness Warsi. Andrew Feldman, a clothing tycoon and close friend of David Cameron, takes on the unpaid role.

2147David Cameron's first prime minister's questions session will not take place until at least 2 June, the BBC understands. The Queen's Speech takes place the previous week, with the resulting debate ruling out PMQs for Wednesday, 26 May.

2110Lib Dem Anna Arrowsmith tweets: Dare I say it... I am really happy about this coalition. It gives us a chance to audition. Here's to a performance of a lifetime! Read Anna Arrowsmith's tweets
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2050The National Security Council has met in Downing Street, the BBC learns.

2031Foreign Secretary William Hague has picked up another title - First Secretary of State. Under Labour, this was held by Lord Mandelson.

2010Labour MP Jon Cruddas says he is "actively considering" running for the party leadership. The party needs to undergo a "thorough analysis" of its election campaign, he adds. Mr Cruddas came third in the 2007 contest to be Labour's deputy leader.

1959The Cameron-Clegg press conference, held in the garden of Number 10, "looked a bit like a royal engagement interview", body language expert Judi James says.

1945Labour MP Tom Watson, an ally of Gordon Brown, tweets: Oh no. Labour leadership election invades Twitter. Less than 24 hours after Gordon resigns. Inevitable but still sad. Period of reflection? Read Tom Watson's tweets.

1920 Labour blogger Sunny Hundal tweets about a think tank event: Consensus at the Compass event that having a quick leadership election at Labour would be a terrible idea. Read Sunny Hundal's tweets
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1901A few more names. Francis Maude is Cabinet Office minister, Patrick McLoughlin is chief whip and Oliver Letwin is the prime minister's policy adviser.

1854Sir George Young is the new leader of the Commons and David Willetts becomes higher education minister.

1851And you thought Nick Clegg and David Cameron was the only marriage in town. An informer reminds us that Vince Cable's chief adviser in his new role as business secretary is none other than Vicky Price - wife of a certain Chris Huhne, Mr Cable's fellow Lib Dem and the new energy secretary to boot.

1844Newly appointed Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan says: "I met with the prime minister earlier and with the deputy prime minister, and I'm pleased to see that our coalition government is working very well together.

1838More cabinet names are announced. Caroline Spelman is environment secretary; Philip Hammond is transport secretary; Cheryl Gillan is Welsh Secretary; Owen Paterson is Northern Ireland secretary; Lord Strathclyde is leader of the Lords.

1826Tony Blair's former spokesman Alastair Campbell is to begin publishing his diaries in full from next month. He released heavily edited extracts after Mr Blair left office in 2007. But, now that the Labour government has ended, Mr Campbell will publish the unexpurgated diaries in four separate volumes.

1818Adrian Sanders, Lib Dem MP for Torbay, tweets: Anyone with doubts about this historic agreement ought to read it first. Reading it today I still have to pinch myself. Read Adrian Sanders's tweets
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1809Brendan, Leatherhead, writes: The Cameron and Clegg's love-in at the back of Number 10 reminded me of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet on the Titanic! I hope it doesn't turn out that way for the country's sake.
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1757"I ought to be cynical, I ought to be saying it's all going to end in tears, but I just sense something good and genuine in the air and it just might work," says Matthew Parris, Times columnist and former Tory MP. "You almost have a sense of two men staging a coup against the British political system," he tells the BBC.

1750The cabinet room is getting pretty full now. The latest addition is Conservative Andrew Mitchell as the International Development Secretary.

1744Michael Tomasky, in the Guardian, says there could now be a "special relationship reboot". "Obama obviously kept Brown at a distance. I suspect he regarded Brown as damaged goods of some sort - not quite his own man. I think Obama is also very generationally driven: as a candidate and as an author, he spoke and wrote a lot about generational politics and changing priorities and perspectives. He and Cameron, just five years apart, may share certain cultural touchstones."

1738Labour activist Luke Bozier tweets: David [Miliband] is now a candidate. Who I'm not supporting! If he'd run in 2007 I would have supported him. Read Luke Bozier's tweets
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1732"I believe that this contest - and I dearly hope it will be a genuine, real contest with many candidates - can be a credit to the Labour Party. It can be open, warm and comradely," Mr Miliband says, declaring his intention to stand.

1727"I will be standing with a deep sense of humility at the responsibility attached to the post, but also great, great passion for the values and beliefs that led me into the Labour Party 27 years ago," Mr Miliband says. He adds that he wants to lead the party into a new era in which it is again a force for "economic and social change in this country".

1721Former foreign secretary David Miliband says he will stand for the leadership of the Labour Party.

1714Baroness Warsi is to become Conservative Party chairman. She will be part of the cabinet - the first Muslim woman ever to hold such a senior political position.

1710Andrew Stunell MP, one of the Lib Dems' negotiating team, has spoken about plans for a referendum on the introduction of the alternative vote. In an interview with BBC Northwest Tonight, he said: "We have agreed that the referendum should be one of the earliest things that the government undertakes - at a guess, and this is not in the document - we could have the referendum at the time of the May elections next year."

1704Bookmakers William Hill have David Miliband as 2/7 favourite to be the next Labour leader, with brother Ed in second place at 5/1. Further down the list, Andy Burnham is at 8/1 and Ed Balls at 9/1.

1700Another cabinet seat filled - Jeremy Hunt is to be Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Secretary. His briefcase is slightly larger than that of his predecessor Ben Bradshaw, as responsibility for the Olympics used to belong to a second minister.

1653Kevin Maguire, at the Daily Mirror, says Labour shouldn't rush into a leadership contest. He writes: "It's fair enough for David Miliband to announce tonight he's running. He'll be asked the question repeatedly in the media anyway until he says he is. To say he'll run but wants the election to be held after a summer of reflection would show real leadership." Read Kevin Maguire's blog
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1649More congratulatory - and possibly multilingual - calls for David Cameron this afternoon. Downing Street says he's had telephone exchanges with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen, and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, on subjects as diverse as the upcoming G8 and G20 Summits, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and the global economy.

1643Interim leader Harriet Harman paid tribute to Gordon Brown at this afternoon's meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party. She said he'd resigned with "great dignity", and the party should never forget his legacy, but they now had to be "gracious" in adapting to life in opposition. She said party membership had increased by 8,400 since polling day. Labour's National Executive Committee will meet next week to establish the timetable for the leadership contest, reports the BBC's Carole Walker.
Carole Walker

1640Gordon Brown's wife Sarah has changed her Twitter name from SarahBrown10 to SarahBrownUK. She tweets: "It is has been the greatest privilege to support the British government and campaign for important causes these last 13 years." Read Sarah Brown's tweets
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1635Steve Richards, from the Independent newspaper, tells the BBC he understands that Alan Johnson would have run for the Labour leadership if a "rainbow coalition" between his party, the Lib Dems and other smaller parties like the nationalists could have been formed.

1631Former shadow justice secretary Dominic Grieve is to be the new Attorney General - the government's most senior legal adviser.

1625Chris Grayling's name is a notable absence from those given jobs in the cabinet so far. He was shadow home secretary when the Tories were in opposition, but has attracted attention for the wrong reasons a few times with some gaffes. Most recently, he suggested that bed and breakfast owners should be allowed to turn away gay couples. So his apparent exclusion may not be simply because a Lib Dem has replaced him, the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg says.
Laura Kuenssberg

1620The Liberal Democrats may have swallowed some extra spending cuts, but the Conservatives have taken on a lot of Lib Dem tax policies in return. Read Stephanie Flanders' blog
Stephanie Flanders

1615Phil Bettley, from Chelmsford, writes: In the new political landscape, the country's reporters and political pundits are going to need to adjust too - less cynicism and exploiting differences, and more support of this bold and imaginative venture.
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1611Another couple of headlines from the coalition agreement. There will be no third runway at Heathrow airport and the UK will not join, or prepare to join, the Euro while the coalition is in power.

1602The only Tory MP in a Scottish seat, David Mundell, will not be the Scottish Secretary. Instead, former Lib Dem chief of staff Danny Alexander is getting the job and Mr Mundell will be his deputy, taking on the title of Minister of State for Scotland.

1558Ade Rooney, from Taunton, writes: If Messrs Cameron and Clegg are as good as their word, this could be the start of a refreshingly open and fairly balanced period of governance.
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1553Mehdi Hasan, in the New Statesman, is very unimpressed with our new coalition. He calls the PM and his deputy "TweedleCam and TweedleClegg", and accuses the Lib Dems of "surrender". He claims Mr Clegg "has betrayed progressives across the length and breadth of Britain" and "betrayed the longer-term strategic interests of his party, for crude and short-term tactical gains".

1549The Lib Dems have called a special conference on Sunday to allow their membership to vote on the coalition agreement. It's already been approved by the powers at the top, but in a statement the Lib Dems say they "remain a democratic party, and we believe it is right to consult our membership on this momentous occasion in our party's history".

1545Labour blogger Will Straw tweets: Lib-Con agreement refers to "Labour's financial crisis". Cable and Osborne both called for "light touch regulation" before the crash. Read Will Straw's tweets
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1540Those of you who want to know more, check out the full text of the Conservative-Lib Dem deal here.

1535Former Conservative leader Lord Heseltine says the press conference was "very well-scripted", but doesn't want that to be interpreted as cynicism. He says he's sure that both men meant everything they said and really are as optimistic about working together as they seem. But, he adds, this is the easy part: "It will require great guts and great leadership to keep the show on the road."

1530Whatever hyperbole you've got, I'll use it, the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson tells the News channel. Not since George W Bush and Tony Blair first stood side by side at Camp David have I seen such an extraordinary love-in.
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1525 Change is already under way. The Dizzy Thinks blog has noticed an announcement on the Home Office website: "Both Parties that now form the new Government stated in their manifestos that they will cancel Identity Cards and the National Identity Register." It adds that, until further notice, "identity cards remain valid".
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1520As deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg is going to be responsible for political reform. He said he accepted that coalition government was a big change for the country, but said: "I hope that people find it relatively unsurprising, relatively quickly."

1517Mark Davies, former justice secretary Jack Straw's special adviser, tweeted during the press conference: This is extraordinary. No plans to lower expectations then. My true blue Tory uncle will be foaming at the mouth. A Lib/Con government indeed. Read Mark Davies's tweets
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1512Another cabinet appointment. Conservative Party chairman Eric Pickles is to be Communities and Local Government Secretary.

1508Journalist Charlie Beckett remarks on how similar Nick Clegg and David Cameron look. He tweets: Thank goodness they are wearing different coloured ties so you can tell them apart. Read Charlie Beckett's tweets
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1504Stuart Wynn, from Leeds, writes: I am wholly optimistic about this sense of 'new politics' and should the hype last into reality and be successful, I would like to see a Lib-Con option on the voting card.
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1500At times, the press conference was like a joint stand-up show. Mr Cameron was asked if he regretted once saying Nick Clegg was "his favourite joke". "I'm afraid I did say that once," the PM says, looking sheepish. As Mr Clegg pretends to walk away in a mock huff, Mr Cameron shouts, "Come back!"

1455The press conference is now over - what an extraordinary experience! The BBC News channel's chief political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg says the body language between them was very good, there was laughter, the birds were even singing in the Downing Street garden. You couldn't make it up!
Laura Kuenssberg

1451Patrick Harris, from Bath, is watching the press conference. He writes: "This is so bizarre and surreal with the two of them addressing the country together! A truly historical moment."
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1450Mr Clegg says "this is what new politics looks like", adding: "We're just proceeding with a very open mind." He says he's "excited" about Vince Cable having a role, as Business Secretary, in coming up with ideas about new forms of growth and, alongside George Osborne as Chancellor, mapping out "an optimistic vision for a new kind of economy".

1446Mr Cameron says they haven't worked out exactly what to do yet about the division of labour for prime minister's questions and monthly press conferences. But he jokes that he's "looking forward to a lot of foreign travel" because he expects to leave Mr Clegg to fill in for him at PMQs when he's away.

1442This is proving to be quite amusing. There's a mention of the Thirsk and Malton election, postponed because of a candidate's death, in which both the Lib Dems and Tories are going to field rival candidates. "Perhaps we'll share a car to save the petrol," jokes Mr Cameron.

1438Mr Clegg says both men have "a common purpose" - to give power back to people and give people more opportunity - and that will make the coalition work.

1435Asked whether they think coalitions are a good thing, Mr Cameron answers first: "We did both have a choice", he says, we could have gone for a minority government backed up by the Lib Dems. But he says: "We both thought this is so uninspiring, it's not actually going to do what we came into government to achieve. We want to give the country good government."

1431Mr Cameron hands over to Mr Clegg, saying in closing that he's "delighted" to be standing alongside the Lib Dem leader. Mr Clegg takes over, saying: "Until today we were rivals, now we are colleagues." He thinks that "says a lot" about this "new kind of government". Mr Clegg says very firmly: "This is a government that will last." There will be "bumps and scrapes", but it will last "despite those differences".

1428Mr Cameron says "no government in modern times has ever been left with such a terrible economic inheritance". He also says there was "a chronic short-termism" in the government that just departed - something the new one has sought to rectify by introducing a fixed-term system of parliaments.

1425Mr Cameron speaks first. He says the new administration will be united behind three key principles: freedom, fairness and responsibility. It will have one key purpose - "to give our country the strong, stable and determined leadership that we need for the long term".

1422David Cameron and Nick Clegg have just taken their places in the sunny Downing Street rose garden for their first joint news conference. They're behind two lecterns, positioned close together, in front of the assembled press. The scene looks rather American, the garden reminiscent of the White House lawn.

1415We've got our first look at the text of the coalition agreement between the Lib Dems and Tories. A few headlines for you. There is a commitment to a "significantly accelerated" reduction in the fiscal deficit. There will be cuts to the child trust fund and tax credits, a spending review in the autumn, and a real terms increase in the NHS budget each year. There will also be moves from April 2011 towards raising the income tax threshold to £10,000.

1410David Cameron has been congratulated by a number of world leaders on his new job. President Obama was first on the phone, within an hour so of him taking office, shortly followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also wished him well last night, saying "the relationship between our two countries means a lot". This morning, PM Cameron took phone calls from Premier Wen of China, President Sarkozy of France and Prime Minister Singh of India.

1406The list of candidates for Labour leadership race seems to be shortening by the minute. Former chief secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne has just ruled himself out, telling Sky News: "I don't intend to stand, but I want to make sure that the issues we've got to take on are centre stage."

1354Green Party leader and MP Caroline Lucas says the country is being "fobbed off" with the Lib Dem-Tory coalition. A Lib Dem-Labour agreement would have been preferable, she argues.

1346Labour's former Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw says there are "inherent problems" with the coalition government. Lots of Lib Dem activists have already defected to Labour "in my area", the MP for Exeter adds.

1337New Schools Secretary Michael Gove has just walked in to his department, where he was greeted by civil servants, the BBC's Gavin Stamp reports.

1331Mark Miles from Wokingham writes: Maybe there will be more discussion about the impact of new legislation and regulation before it goes through Parliament now. I see this as a new opportunity for things to improve, after all they couldn't get a lot worse.
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1327Justice Secretary Ken Clarke says he is looking forward to being part of a "strong, stable team". He thinks Lib Dem Vince Cable will "slot in well" as business secretary. Labour's Lord Falconer says Mr Clarke will be a "fantastic appointment", as he is an "independent" figure.

1324Labour's Lord Falconer says it is vital the party has an open leadership debate, where policies and ideas are thrashed out. He backs David Miliband for the job.

1319Mark from Swansea writes: I'm getting annoyed by people saying: "I didn't vote for this". Do they expect that they alone should choose the government? We, the nation did vote for this: we voted for a hung parliament, we voted that a Lib-Lab coalition would not command a majority, we voted the Tories to be the biggest party. There have been no stitch-ups.
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1316Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith is the new work and pensions secretary, his allies tell the BBC.

1315Business Secretary Vince Cable says he is "very much looking forward to the job".

1311Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes says politics is becoming less tribal and partisan. The deal between the Lib Dems and Tories will ensure a fairer tax system, he adds.

1306Lib Dem David Laws becomes chief secretary to the Treasury, it is confirmed.

1259Vince Cable is to be the new Business Secretary, and Michael Gove is Schools Secretary.

1255Lib Dem David Laws shakes hands with new Chancellor George Osborne outside the Treasury, in an echo of their two leaders earlier in Downing Street. We think this confirms that Mr Laws is to become the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

1251"Hide your bonuses folks, Vince is coming," writes Alex Barker, in the Financial Times. But he continues: "Before all the bankers start rushing to book a flight to Geneva, it's worth pointing out that Cable made clear to us that his 'day one' priority was bank lending, not a crackdown on greed."

1247Alison Bond, from Swansea, Wales, writes: I am very angry about this coalition. Despite the spin being put on it I did not vote for a Tory-Lib Dem government last Thursday, nor did I vote for Nick Clegg to be deputy prime minister. We are to be governed by boys seduced by fame and the prospect of power.
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1239It's looking likely that Michael Gove will become the new Schools Secretary, taking his brief in opposition with him into government. We're also hearing that former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith is likely to be the new Work and Pensions Secretary, says the BBC News channel's chief political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg. Lastly, we're getting whispers that Lib Dem David Laws, who has a background in the City, may have a business or economics role of some kind.
Laura Kuenssberg

1234Labour MP and former Europe minister Caroline Flint says she backs David Miliband to become the next Labour leader. Ex-work and pensions secretary Yvette Cooper rules herself out of the leadership race, but won't say anything about her husband, Ed Balls, and whether or not he has his eyes on that prize.

1229James Delingpole, in the Daily Telegraph, has come up with "10 reasons to be cheerful about Dave's new coalition of the unwilling". Among them are: "If you work for a bloated management team in the NHS there's no need to cancel that holiday in the Maldives", and "Chris Huhne as Environment/Climate Change secretary: ah, what the hell - a functioning industrial economy and countryside unspoilt by wind farms are sooo overrated, anyway".

1224The political winds of change blew across the country last night and it seems they were particularly chilly ones. According to the BBC Weather Centre, last night was the coldest May night since 1996, with temperatures dropping to -6C in the Scottish Highlands, -4C in Wales and 0C in London.

1220David Cameron has tried to reassure Tory supporters about the coalition. In a message to them, he says the party "must recognise that all coalitions are about compromise", but the agreement allows them to keep key policies like welfare and school reform and the Trident weapons system. He says he's confident that today marks the start of "a new era for Britain and British politics".

1216The editor of the Spectator magazine, Fraser Nelson, tweets: Bookies say still 50-50 chance of second election this year. Cameron should hope for five years, prepare for five months. Read Fraser Nelson's tweets
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1211Iain McAdam, from Glasgow, Scotland, writes: Thanks very much Britain. My wife works for local council under Sports Scotland and I work for the fire service. Mr Cameron vowed to scrap Sports Scotland and take £60 million off the public sector. The future looks good for me, my wife and unborn child.
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1206The BBC understands that the delayed election in Thirsk and Malton, North Yorkshire - postponed after the death of the UKIP candidate - will be contested by the Liberal Democrats. It means that the new coalition government will field two candidates against each other.

1201Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King has called the new government's plan to tackle the deficit "strong and powerful". He said he was "very pleased that there is a very clear and binding commitment to accelerate the reduction in the deficit over the lifetime of the parliament and to introduce additional measures this fiscal year to demonstrate the importance of getting to grips with that before running the risk of an adverse market reaction".

1155Prime Minister Cameron will chair the first meeting of the National Security council this afternoon to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan and review the terrorist threat to the UK, says the BBC's political correspondent Carole Walker. Permanent members will be the deputy prime minister, chancellor, foreign secretary, home secretary, defence secretary, international development secretary and security minister. Other Cabinet ministers will attend as required. The Chief of Defence Staff, heads of Intelligence Agencies and other senior officials will also attend as required. Sir Peter Ricketts, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, has been appointed National Security Advisor.
Carole Walker

1150We understand that under the new agreement for fixed-term parliaments, the only way to remove the government between elections would be a vote of no confidence with the support of 55% of MPs. At present, any no confidence vote requires only 50%, plus one MP.

1145Theresa May is to become the new Home Secretary, as well as Minister for Women and Equality. Ken Clarke is leaving business behind to become the Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor.

1140Alastair Campbell has been explaining the process that led to Gordon Brown's final resignation speech. He writes: "When it came to it, as is often the case with politicians and big moments, he sat at his own desk and wrote the final version himself. Even his biggest opponents would be hard-pressed to say he did not capture the moment well." Read Alastair Campbell's blog
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1135Lib Dem Chris Huhne, who we think will soon take up a cabinet post, says he doesn't believe there was ever as much difference between the Lib Dems and the Tories on the issue of spending cuts as was made out during the election campaign. In a line that could have been taken straight from David Cameron's mouth, he says: "We have to make a start on cutting the deficit this year."

1130One of the most difficult areas of negotiation between the Lib Dems and the Tories was on nuclear power, where the Lib Dems take the view that new nuclear power should not receive a public subsidy of any sort, says the BBC's business editor Robert Peston. In the end, as I understand, nuclear power is one of those areas where the two have agreed to disagree, which creates considerable uncertainty for the two big companies, EDF and Centrica, that are hoping to roll out a series of enormous new nuclear power stations.
Robert Peston

1125Former foreign secretary David Miliband is to make a statement later today - we expect it to say that he will be running for the Labour leadership.

1116Duncan Borrowman, a member of the Lib Dem Federal Executive, says he has "fought the Conservatives for decades" and thought "there was a 90% chance that I would vote against the deal on the table". However, he explains that he changed his mind because document on offer "was packed with Liberal Democrat policies". Read Duncan Borrowman's blog
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1113The Bank of England says a pick-up in UK economic growth is likely, but the strength of the recovery remains uncertain and could be hit by "substantial fiscal tightening".

1107A removal van has pulled up at the back of Downing Street, says the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg.
Laura Kuenssberg

1100David Cameron and Nick Clegg are to hold their first joint news conference at 1415 BST.

1056Airlines may be in for a bit of a shock, says the BBC's business editor Robert Peston, because the Lib Dem policy of taxing planes rather than passengers has been adopted by David Cameron. He also says that while the Tory plan to make £6 billion of cuts this year has been accepted, the Lib Dems have won a concession that part of that £6 billon will be redeployed for job creation.
Robert Peston

1041The new Westminster coalition will transfer more powers to the devolved Scottish parliament, says Alistair Carmichael, Lib Dem election campaign manager. He says the recommendations of the Calman Commission - which called for Holyrood to have greater tax raising powers - will now be implemented.

1046Chancellor George Osborne has arrived at the Treasury, his new office. Before going inside, he says the coalition government is going to change the tax system "to make it fairer for people on low and middle incomes", and undertake "long-term structural reform" of the banking sector, education and the welfare state.

1037Labour MP Caroline Flint calls for a Labour leadership contest to happen soon as possible, says the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg. Read Laura Kuenssberg's tweets
Laura Kuenssberg

1031The BBC's business editor Robert Peston has some information on how economic responsibility is going to be divided up in the new cabinet. He says George Osborne and the Treasury will retain formal responsibility for overseeing banks and financial regulation, but a new ministerial committee will be set up to devise banking policy, which will include Vince Cable as one of its members. That committee will be chaired by Osborne as Chancellor. Peston says it looks as though Cable may be the Secretary of State for Business. Read Robert Peston's blog
Robert Peston

1026Newly elected Conservative MP Daniel Byles tweets: "Sitting in the Chamber for the first time with all the new MPs. There are a lot of us! The few Labour ones defiantly wearing lots of red." Read Daniel Byles's tweets
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1021Lib Dem Vince Cable stays tight-lipped about what his exact job will be in the new cabinet. On the subject of working with new Chancellor George Osborne, he tells the BBC, with a smile and a slight hesitation: "We've had our differences, but I think both of us realise that's there's a massive task now facing this country. We're business-like. I'm happy to work with him."

1017The new National Security Council - a commitment in the Conservative manifesto - is to meet for first time later today to discuss Afghanistan, says Mr Hague. On Europe, he says "it was not difficult to agree that neither party was keen to hand over more powers to the European Union". And on the US, Mr Hague says the new government will have a "solid but not slavish" relationship with President Obama.

1013"I don't think it will be a weak coalition. It will be a strong government, the strongest we've had for some time," says William Hague, new foreign secretary. "It's the best of the Lib Dem manifesto with the bulk of the Conservative manifesto."

1005Lord Kinnock says it's "understandable, but regrettable" that Alan Johnson won't be running for Labour leader. On David and Ed Miliband, one or both of whom could stand, he says: "I love them both dearly and they're damn good."

1000Penny, from Stroud, writes: White, middle-class, mainly privately-educated men. What exactly is the change, Mr Clegg?
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0955The Lib Dems have got another of their big wishes - we've learned that there's going to be wholesale reform of the House of Lords, early in the parliament, to make it fully elected. And the method they're going to use to elect it? Proportional representation, the system the Lib Dems have loved for so long, says the BBC News channel's chief political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg.
Laura Kuenssberg

0949Some rather gloomy figures for David Cameron to get to grips with on his first day. We've just learned that unemployment rose by 53,000 between January and March to 2.51 million, the highest since 1994. The number of people considered "economically inactive" has also risen by nearly 100,000 to just under 8.2 million, but the number of people claiming unemployment benefit has dropped by 27,000, more than expected.

0945Lee Barnes, from Islington, London, writes: Maybe I am an idealist but I feel for the first time that I have woken up to a government that has a mandate from the majority of voters - 59% of votes and 56% of seats, a true democracy at last?
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0940Mr Clegg's car pulled up at the end of Downing Street, and he walked, wearing a yellow tie and a big smile, up to the front door. He didn't have to knock - Mr Cameron opened the door himself. It might be the one and only time he does that - there are minions to do it normally. The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg says the two men's body language appeared warm and positive.

0934A historic moment. David Cameron and Nick Clegg shake hands outside Number 10 Downing Street. Two men, from different political parties, united in the task of trying to change Britain.

0932Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock says he views the new arrangement "with wonderment". He's also full of enormous praise for Gordon Brown, especially his work on world poverty and the global economy."I think that his page in the history books is guaranteed. I just wish that courage and genius had been recognised before last Thursday." He says Mr Brown could now "fulfil a task in the World Bank or IMF with brilliance".

0926A bold statement - almost - from Conservative blogger Iain Dale. He suggests "the era of spin", if not dead, might at least be a much weakened beast. "I'm not saying it's over, but I don't think we're going to get Mandelson/Campbell again."

0921As part of the deal the Lib Dems have agreed to accept Conservative plans to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system, something they'd vehemently opposed until now. They've also agreed to the Tory cap on immigrants coming to the UK from outside the EU, and shelved their own plans for an amnesty for some illegal immigrants already here.

0916"It's a feeling of bereavement. You suddenly don't know who you are." That, says veteran political broadcaster Michael Cockerell, is the feeling Gordon Brown is likely to have this morning. "You listen to the radio and hear, 'The prime minister's going to Brussels', and you suddenly realise it's not you any more."

0912We now think that Lib Dem Chris Huhne is going to hold the title of Energy and Climate Change Secretary in the new cabinet.

0907President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso has congratulated David Cameron on his new job. "I wish you and your government every success in the demanding work ahead. Like all European governments, you face difficult choices in difficult times. I am confident that you will chart the right course to steer the United Kingdom out of the current crisis and back on the path of sustainable growth."

0902We're expecting Nick Clegg to arrive in Downing Street for the first time in the next few minutes - he's expected to shake David Cameron's hand, formally sealing their deal in front of the world.

0900"The reality is that Nick Clegg has taken the decision to take the Liberal Democrats to the right. They've got into bed with the Conservatives and I think they will regret it," says former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell. He also says it was "extraordinary" how many Lib Dems members were phoning Labour HQ last night asking to join the party.

0853"Five years ago, I exulted at the defeat of the Conservatives and actively relished the idea of them tearing themselves to bits," writes Giles Wilkes, chief economist of Centre Forum and Lib Dem member. on the Freethinking Economist blog. "Now I find myself looking at Cameron and feeling admiration for what he has achieved. Of course, all this detoxification will mean nothing if the policies are wilfully nasty. And much of their new liberalism may be a result of pressure from their newfound electoral partners. But I find it very hard to dislike the man, and see plenty to admire in his recent conduct."

0848The Political Scrapbook blog is reporting that the Labour Party website crashed last night because of a record number of new membership applications. It has a screengrab of the website appearing to say as much.

0844Lib Dem Norman Lamb says "any Liberal Democrat member, when they read the agreement will just think, 'This is a remarkable agreement that has been negotiated for the Lib Dems.'" He adds: "You would be crazy to turn your back on that."

0839I think the Lib Dems and Tories really were surprised by how much they liked each other when they came together to hold talks. I don't think they're making that up, says the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson. Mr Hague agrees. "That is true," he says. "These negotiations were at times enjoyable."
Nick Robinson graphic

0833William Hague says "there are many things that the Lib Dems have had to swallow that are very difficult for them", and the same is true of the Tories. He admits "there will be people in both parties who will quietly wish it hadn't happened".

0828I understand that the Lib Dems' Chris Huhne will be the environment and climate change secretary in the new cabinet, reports the BBC News channel's chief political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg.
Laura Kuenssberg

0824William Hague says that on a small number of issues where entrenched policy differences exist, there are provisions in place to allow Lib Dem MPs to abstain in Commons' votes. Among those are the marriage tax, and the issue of university tuition fees - which the Tories want to keep and Lib Dems want to scrap. Generally speaking though, he says, the two parties have reached "true collective agreement".

0820The Lib Dems' Vince Cable is expected to be given a job overseeing banks and business. The other major consideration is who will take on the role of chief secretary to the Treasury.

0816The next general election will be held on the first Thursday of May 2015, says soon-to-be foreign secretary William Hague. He can say this with confidence because one of the points of the coalition agreement is to introduce fixed term, five-year parliaments from now.

0810We don't know yet who is going to be in charge of the education brief. Michael Gove has held it for the Conservatives until now and David Laws for the Lib Dems. When asked by the BBC a few minutes ago whether he'd got the job, Mr Laws refused to say. But he said there were two reasons why the Con-Lib deal was good for the country. It will provide stable government - and the alternative, a tie-up with Labour, would have been very "shaky" - and it has resulted in an "incredible agreement on policy".

0804Lib Dem David Laws tells the BBC that every single member of his party present at last night's crucial meeting "voted for this agreement". He says a first document outlining the basis of the coalition will be published today - and the wider Lib Dem faithful are "going to like it" - and then within a week to 10 days, a second document will be published giving greater detail of the new government's policy plans.

0758A big question yet to be answered is who will be home secretary. Chris Grayling held the shadow post for the Tories in opposition, but the BBC's chief political correspondent Norman Smith says the Lib Dems' home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne may be installed in the role.

0752What do we know so far about the new coalition cabinet? Well, aside from Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg, we know that William Hague is the new Foreign Secretary, George Osborne is the Chancellor and Liam Fox is Defence Secretary. We also know that Mr Clegg's former chief of staff, Danny Alexander, is to be Scottish Secretary.

0747Mr Johnson tells the BBC he wants "as many hats in the ring as possible" for the Labour leader's role, "but one of them wont be mine". On the new government, he says he believes the Lib Dems could have got more from the negotiations - namely full proportional representation - if they'd done more to make talks with Labour work. But he says he hopes the coalition with the Tories can last because Britain needs "stable government".

0742Former home secretary Alan Johnson tells the BBC he will not be running for the leadership of the Labour Party, and will be backing David Miliband for the job.

0001Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg are due to outline the full details of the coalition government later, as it begins its first complete day in office.

2356More on the details of the coalition deal. The Lib Dems agreed to an emergency budget within 50 days and to Tory a budget reduction plan including £6bn in cuts to non-frontline services in 2010/11. The two sides also agreed a commitment to a replacement for the Trident nuclear missile system but the programme will be scrutinised for value for money.

2347Labour's Ed Miliband tweets: We owe Gordon a huge debt: Britain is a fairer country and our world is more just because of what he did. Today he showed grace and dignity. Read Ed Miliband's tweets
Twitter graphic

2340The first full meeting of the coalition cabinet is expected to take place on Wednesday.

2337Andrew, Newcastle-under-Lyme, writes: Why is the idea of coalition such a surprise to all commentators? In last Thursday's local election, about a quarter of local councils elected had no overall control. Here in Newcastle, we've had a joint Tory-Lib Dem administration and the audit commission says it's been the most improved council in the country for two years running.
Envelope graphic

2336Lib Dem Danny Alexander is to become Scottish secretary, the BBC learns. The Lib Dems are expected to get about 20 government jobs in total.

2332The Lib Dems have agreed to a cap on immigration and a commitment not to join the euro for the lifetime of the parliament.

2323Details of the Tory-Lib Dem deal emerge. The Lib Dems have agreed to drop plans for a "mansion tax", while the Conservatives have ditched their pledge to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1m. The new administration will scrap Labour's planned rise in National Insurance but some of the benefits will go to reducing income tax thresholds for lower earners.

2317Conservative Andrew Lansley will become health secretary, the BBC learns. There is still no confirmation of who will be home secretary.

2313A Downing Street spokesman says: "Her Majesty The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Nick Clegg as deputy prime minister. It has been agreed that five cabinet posts will be filled by Liberal Democrats, including the appointment of Nick Clegg."

2311More newspapers. Pithy headlines seem to be the order of the day. The Sun's proclaims: "Dave new world". The Daily Telegraph's states simply: "Cameron, PM".

2303Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is the new deputy prime minister, Downing Street confirms.

2256Liam Fox is confirmed as defence secretary.

2255Gordon Brown arrives back at his home in North Queensferry.

2252Wednesday's newspapers are starting to come in. The Independent goes for a play on words, proclaiming that David Cameron is leader of "brokered Britain". The Guardian provides a more simple headline: "Cameron moves in".

2236Tory sources confirm that Nick Clegg will be deputy prime minister and that there are four other Lib Dem cabinet ministers.

2227US President Barack Obama says in a statement that, during his phone call, he congratulated David Cameron "for the successful campaign that he ran, and for becoming the new British prime minister". He adds: "I reiterated my deep and personal commitment to the special relationship between our two countries - a bond that has endured for generations and across party lines, and that is essential to the security and prosperity of our two countries, and the world." Mr Obama also praises Gordon Brown's "strong leadership during challenging times".

2222David Cameron has spoken to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. A Downing Street spokesman says she "offered her congratulations and invited him to visit Berlin at the earliest opportunity". The two leaders discussed the world economy and Europe.

2219Nick, Montana, USA, writes: Just as bipartisanship is having is dying breaths here in America, the UK is beginning a new experiment. Good luck, and let us hope you can show us the way!
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2215Senior Lib Dems are still meeting to discuss the deal with the Tories. Nick Clegg needs to win the support of three-quarters of the parliamentary party and three-quarters of the Lib Dem federal executive committee to avoid having to put his plans to a vote of all members.

2209 Lib Dem activist Elaine Bagshaw tweets: Hmmm... so, if Nick was Deputy PM in a coalition, would that mean he'd be PM if Dave takes paternity leave in a few months? Read Elaine Bagshaw's tweets
Twitter graphic

2206David Cameron and his wife Samantha arrived at the meeting with Tory MPs at the House of Commons to loud cheers and applause.

2204David Cameron's official spokesman will be civil servant Steve Field, Downing Street announces. Mr Field, previously director of communications at the Treasury, will take over from Simon Lewis on an interim basis.

2201 Rachel from Glasgow, Scotland, writes: Well Nick Clegg, you may get electoral reform, but I'm confident that you will have lost many of your former voters, especially in Scotland.
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2156Lib Dems entering government with the Tories will be "like vegetarians who've got jobs at McDonald's - they'll be chewed up and spat out", Labour MP Stephen Pound tells Sky News.

2153Tory MP Ed Vaizey says he and his party colleagues are "profoundly excited" at being in government after 13 years of Labour rule.

2149Pete, Northants, writes: Although I am not affiliated to any political party I have always voted Liberal and believe that people should vote with their convictions. At this election I feel a degree of happiness that my vote has counted and will hopefully make a difference.
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2145David Cameron leaves Downing Street for a meeting of Conservative MPs, where he is expected to outline the deal reached with the Lib Dems.

2144William Hague is confirmed as foreign secretary.

2140Boris Johnson tweets: We have a new Prime Minister. He's a good man and as Mayor of London I offer him my heartfelt congratulations and the best of luck. Read Boris Johnson's tweets
Twitter graphic

2137Labour MP Diane Abbott says Parliament will "be more important than ever", given the slender majority the coalition government will command in the Commons.

2133Margot James, new Conservative MP for Stourbridge, tweets: Congratulations to DC. Truly wonderful to see a Conservative PM back in Downing Street. Looking forward to working with the Lib Dems Read Margot James's tweets
Twitter graphic

2130Lib Dem schools spokesman David Laws, a member of the party's negotiating team, says talks with the Tories have made "good progress" and that it is up to the parliamentary party to decide whether to approve the deal reached.

2125Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond congratulates David Cameron. He says Gordon Brown has been "almost a force of nature in politics".

2120Lib Dem MPs and peers are meeting in a few minutes to vote on whether to accept the deal agreed between party leaders and the Conservatives. It is expected to pass easily, the BBC's Mike Sergeant says.
Mike Sergeant

2117President Obama has spoken to Mr Cameron - the first foreign leader to do so since he entered Downing Street.

2115George Osborne will definitely be David Cameron's chancellor. But the full details of how Mr Cameron and Nick Clegg will work together in a coalition don't yet seem to be tied down, the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg reports.
Laura Kuenssberg

2112Telegraph commentator Toby Young tweets: If constitution allowed Brown to resign without a deal in place between Cons and LDs, couldn't he have gone three days ago? Read Toby Young's tweets
Twitter graphic

2110Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband, regarded as a possible Labour leadership contender, calls Gordon Brown "a towering figure in British politics". He adds: "Around the world, many lives are worth living as a result of the decisions Gordon took as chancellor and prime minister."

2107Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's former press spokesman, tweets: Gone to pub with wonderful Labour Party staff! Already recruited three Lib Dem voters to the Party. Read Alastair Campbell's tweets
Twitter graphic

2103Tony Blair praises Gordon Brown, saying: "I pay tribute to the dignity, courage and leadership he has shown in these last few days and to the quite extraordinary service he has given to our country in 13 years of government as chancellor and prime minister and to the cause of social justice at home and abroad."

2100Labour blogger Will Straw tweets: A new era of pluralism has begun. Good luck to the new government. Read Will Straw's tweets
Twitter graphic

2057Lib Dem energy spokesman Simon Hughes says his party and the Conservatives have reached a "progressive arrangement", with a "surprising coming together". People like him, from the "radical centre-left of the party", will be able to work with the Tories, he adds.

2054US President Barack Obama is due to call David Cameron to offer his congratulations in the next few minutes, the BBC learns.

2053Cameron announces a "proper and full coalition" - a huge smile from him and Samantha as they are clapped in. Government will be "hard and difficult", says the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg. Read Laura Kuenssberg's tweets
Laura Kuenssberg

2052Mr Cameron's repeated use of the word "difficult" stressed that the country has tough decisions ahead and that the Tories and Lib Dems face struggles in achieving a workable coalition, BBC political editor Nick Robinson says.
Nick Robinson graphic

2049A coalition will throw up challenges but the Tories and Lib Dems can start work on improving the country immediately, Mr Cameron concludes. He and wife Samantha pose for pictures outside No 10 and then enter the building.

2046Mr Cameron says the UK's best days lie ahead. He adds that he wants to rebuild trust in politics. Mr Cameron promises to be "honest about what government can achieve" and pledges to build a more "responsible society".

2044Mr Cameron says he aims to form a proper and full coalition with the Lib Dems.

2043David and Samantha Cameron hold hands as they walk towards No 10.

2043David Cameron enters Downing Street as prime minister. A large crowd claps and cheers.

2040David Cameron's car is almost at Downing Street.

2039The Daily Mirror's Kevin Maguire jokes: "Cameron's useless. Been PM for 10 minutes and he's done nothing. Absolutely nothing." Read Kevin Maguire tweets
Twitter graphic

2037Crowds outside Buckingham Palace cheer as the new prime minister makes his way to his new home. Wife Samantha smiles as their car passes the dozens of photographers lined up.

2035David Cameron is the new prime minister. He leaves Buckingham Palace for Downing Street.

2034Many of David Cameron's closest aides and advisers are standing in Downing Street, waiting to celebrate the beginning of the first Conservative government for 13 years.

2032 John Prescott, former deputy PM, tweets: We've just witnessed the departure of a great man who with Tony Blair transformed Britain for the better. Read John Prescott's tweets
Twitter graphic

2030The first prime minister the Queen dealt with was Winston Churchill, former Deputy PM Lord Heseltine remarks, adding that her length of service is "extraordinary".

2027Lord Mandelson says Mr Brown "may not be faultless but he's certainly fearless".

2026Lord Mandelson says Labour has had "a good, long innings". He praises Gordon Brown and colleagues for giving the Tories "quite a fight".

2025Labour's Ed Balls, one of Gordon Brown's closest political friends, says the former PM made some mistakes but got many decisions correct. He wishes David Cameron and his family well.

2021"I am Labour and Labour I will always be," Mr Brown told supporters. The party campaigned credibly during the election despite a "difficult media environment", he said.

2018More on Mr Brown's speech to Labour activists. He praised Harriet Harman as "one of the best people you could ever have met". Lord Mandelson has been a "rock", he added.

2016Gordon Brown will NOT resign as an MP, contrary to earlier reports.

2015 Tories have agreed to put marriage tax break and inheritance tax on hold it seems as part of deal, says the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg. Read Laura Kuenssberg's tweets
Laura Kuenssberg

2012The Queen will ask Mr Cameron if he is in a position to form a government. If he says yes, he becomes PM, just nine years after entering Parliament.

2009Mr Cameron's silver Jaguar car arrives at Buckingham Palace. He should be prime minister within a few minutes. Details of any deal reached with the Lib Dems have not been revealed yet.

2007Gordon Brown told Labour activists the election defeat was "my fault and my fault alone", the BBC learns.

2006Harriet Harman becomes the acting leader of the Labour Party.

2005Journalist Charlie Beckett tweets: Goodbye Gordon - you look incredibly relieved and human once again - enjoy the beginning of the rest of your life. Read Charlie Beckett's tweets
Twitter graphic

2004Former Schools Secretary Ed Balls tells the BBC it's a sad day when a party leaves power, adding that Gordon Brown can look back with "great pride" at the last 13 years.

2000David Cameron is on his way to Buckingham Palace, where the Queen will invite him to form a government.

1959Conservative party chairman Eric Pickles tweets: Stood in leader of opposition's office at House of Commons with very happy staff watching history. Read Eric Pickles's tweets
Twitter graphic

1956David Cameron, at 43, will become the youngest prime minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812, if he accepts the Queen's invitation to form a government.

1954BBC World's Mishal Husain tweets: Transfer of power British style - David Cameron will be at the Palace within 15 minutes, at Downing Street within 40 minutes. Read Mishal Husain's tweets
Twitter graphic

1953Conservative Charlotte Vere tweets: Excellent speech by Brown. My hopes and our futures are with David Cameron. Read Charlotte Vere's tweets
Twitter graphic

1951Gordon Brown arrives at Labour HQ in Victoria Street, central London, to applause from party workers and members of his cabinet.

1950David Cameron is expected to make the journey from Westminster to Buckingham Palace shortly.

1948Chancellor Alistair Darling is leaving Downing Street.

1947Gordon Brown is going to Labour HQ, where he is expected to announce his plans to stand down as an MP, which would force a by-election in his Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath seat.

1945Gordon Brown leaves Buckingham Palace, having resigned as prime minister.

1944There is much speculation in Westminster that Nick Clegg will be given the job of deputy prime minister in a Cameron government, BBC political editor Nick Robinson says.
Nick Robinson graphic

1942Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's former press spokesman, tweets: Fabulous farewell speech by GB to his stall. Laughter and tears. His boys provided the laughter. Read Alastair Campbell's tweets
Twitter graphic

1941Some details of the coalition arrangements, including the cabinet jobs Nick Clegg and his colleagues will get, are expected to come out later tonight, BBC political editor Nick Robinson says.
Nick Robinson graphic

1939The editor of the Spectator, Fraser Nelson, tweets: What a graceful exit. Walking out with his family and to what he rightly says is the most important job of all. I wish him every happiness. Read Fraser Nelson's tweets
Twitter graphic

1937Shadow foreign secretary William Hague says the meeting with Lib Dems had a "very positive atmosphere" and the negotiating team has "some recommendations to take back to David Cameron and our parliamentary colleagues".

1934The meeting between Lib Dems and Conservatives, aimed at reaching a deal on forming a government, has finished.

1931Some more of Gordon Brown's words from earlier: "I wish the next prime minister well as he makes the important choices for the future. Only those who have held the office of prime minister can understand the full weight of its responsibilities and its great capacity for good. I have been privileged to learn much about the very best in human nature and a fair amount too about its frailties - including my own."

1929Mr Brown has told friends he plans to resign as an MP and leave politics, sources have told the Press Association.

1928Gordon Brown and his wife arrive at Buckingham Palace. The meeting with the Queen is not expected to take long.

1925As the car makes its way to Buckingham Palace, David Cameron and wife Samantha are waiting at Portcullis House in Westminster. They are due to see the Queen after Mr Brown, with Mr Cameron being appointed prime minister.
David Cameron

1923The Brown family get into a Daimler, which will take them to Buckingham Palace.

1922Mr Brown says he resigns immediately as Labour leader and thanks his staff who have been "brilliant servants for the country". He praises his wife and sons. "Thank you and goodbye" are his parting words. The PM takes his children and wife to the waiting car after posing for photographs.

1920Gordon Brown says he will resign and suggests that David Cameron should take over.



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