The hysteria over the terror level is misplaced

France may have issued a warning about the terror threat in the UK -- but the threat itself has not

Britain's current terror level is "severe". That means, according to the government, an attack is "highly likely". It's just one notch below the highest level, when an attack is "expected imminently". This might seem shocking but it's useful to bear in mind that Britain's terror level has been "severe" since January.

When put in this context, the hysteria surrounding the French government warning its citizens to be extremely vigilant when travelling in Britain is a complete non-story. France warned its citizens that a terrorist attack in Britain was "highly likely". In other words, nothing has changed. France gave its citizens the same advice that the UK has been giving its own citizens for the past six months.

Long before the weekend, a terrorist attack in Britain was "highly likely". The French government now agree. That's it. Nothing else has changed. Nothing else is new. It's not news.

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Labour slumps to fourth place in North Hykeham and Sleaford by-election

Conservative candidate Caroline Johnson eased to victory as Labour tumbled from second to fourth place.

Caroline Johnson was elected as the Conservative MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, while Labour slumped from second to fourth behind Ukip and the Liberal Democrats, who finished second and third respectively. The by-election was triggered by the resignation of Stephen Philips.

The seat, which has been safely Conservative since its creation, backed Brexit by a 20-point margin on 23 June. The Tory victory, with 53.5 per cent of the vote, is one of the party’s all-time best by-election performances while in government. 

Johnson won with 17,570 votes. In second was Ukip's Victoria Ayling, with 4,426 votes. Ross Pepper recieved 3,606 votes, while Labour's Jim Clarke got 3,363 votes.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.