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Thursday morning news briefing: Irish smuggling ring probed over lorry deaths

No 10 and Cabinet splits over an election before Brexit sealed

Splits have emerged among Boris Johnson’s Downing Street aides over whether to push for a snap election – or try one more time to get the Brexit deal through Parliament. Chief adviser Dominic Cummings wants the Prime Minister to call a vote on an election as soon as the EU grants an expected extension to Article 50, with Nov 28 or Dec 5 likely dates. But his chief of staff is understood to favour a different approach. As Political Editor Gordon Rayner reports, similar divisions have emerged among Cabinet ministersCamilla Tominey analyses if the gamble by Cummings could pay off. Here are the latest election odds. And Matt looks at the chances of the Liberal Democrats in today’s cartoon.

Fury as Royal Opera House embroiled in elitist ticket row

The Royal Opera House is in an elitist ticket row after the majority of seats for next year’s must-see show sold out the day before they go on general sale. For six nights in March, it is set to host more than 13,000 people for Beethoven’s Fidelio starring Jonas Kaufmann. But only hundreds of tickets have been kept back for sale from today after the majority were sold to members. Izzy Lyons reports that it leaves little chance for ordinary opera lovers. And Rupert Christiansen argues it makes a mockery of a campaign to expand audiences.

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Gallery: The big picture

Shining a light | Seventy-nine years ago, a Royal Naval Reservist defused a parachute bomb weighing thousands of pounds in less than 17 seconds and in doing so saved St Paul’s Cathedral. The bravery of Lt Ronald James Smith and civilians on the home front is now being celebrated by the cathedral, which is being lit with Blitz pictures. View more striking images from around the world.

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