24 February 2015
In just 24 hours, Sir Malcolm Rifkind went from angry defiance to a grim-faced acceptance that he would have to quit his job as an MP and chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.
The Houses of Parliament could have to be "abandoned" within 20 years without extensive repair work, Commons Speaker John Bercow says.
Prime Minister David Cameron dismisses concerns raised by the head of the US Army about the impact of cuts on the UK's armed forces.
Some 200,000 "starter homes" will be built for first-time buyers in England by 2020 if the Tories win May's general election, David Cameron says.
Former prime minister and Scottish MP Gordon Brown believes under threat North Sea oil fields could be part owned by the UK government.
Newsnight's chief correspondent Laura Kuenssberg says tomorrow David Cameron is holding a child protection summit in Downing Street where he will talk about making it a criminal offence for professionals not to report child abuse.
Tomorrow also sees the publication of the Serious Case Review, or investigation, in to child sexual exploitation in Oxfordshire.
MPs should be summoned to Westminster to meet for the first time on the Saturday after the general election to prevent a coalition deal being agreed in private between party leaders, a senior politician has said.
Labour MP Graham Allen called for Parliament to meet on May 9 to consider the make-up of the next government. "If the result of the May 7 general election is not clear-cut, the days immediately after it should not be characterised by a private fix by the party leaders, where newly elected Members of Parliament and their parties are bypassed," he said.
Evan Davis asks the housing minister Brandon Lewis if he thinks house prices are "too high". He says it's different in different parts of the country, but agrees "In London, prices are too high...we need more homes to be built to deal with that".
Mr Lewis says the Conservative's Starter Homes policy will help more young people to own a home of their own. The Conservatives and Labour have been setting out their policies on house building today.
Defence Minister Mark Francois, closing the defence debate for the government says: "The world simply does not stand still and events will not give us rest." He says the government inherited "chaos" from Labour in 2010 and "the budget is now back in balance".
Shadow defence minister Kevan Jones says a future Labour government would meet current defence spending commitments in 2015-16. He says Labour would hold "a proper defence review" examining "our role in the world".
The Defence Minister, Mark Francois, has said that recent events in Ukraine have been a "wake-up call". Speaking at the end of a Commons debate on the UK's defence, he said that the Strategic Defence and Security Review and the National Security Strategy needed to be updated in the light of that.
The comments come after the head of the US Army said that he was "very concerned" about the impact of spending cuts on the UK's armed forces.
Chris Leslie MP, Labour's Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, commenting on the new Tory election poster said: "The recovery has failed to reach kitchen tables across Britain. While a few at the top have been given a huge tax cut, working people are £1,600 a year worse off under the Tories. Labour's better plan will boost living standards, save our NHS, back the next generation and balance the books fairly. The Tories have an extreme plan to cut spending back to 1930s levels, before there was an NHS, which would put our public services and our economy at risk. Working people can't afford five more years of the Tories."
Tomorrow's Daily Express front page headline is "Paracetamol in new health alert". The paper says a daily dose of paracetamol could "put you at risk of heart disease and kidney failure, a study suggests".
tweets: Tuesday's FT front page: Regions cut pay gap with London as capital's workers feel squeeze
Commons Speaker John Bercow has given a cautious welcome to the suggestion MPs face a rugby-style "yellow-card" temporary ban for bad behaviour in the Chamber. Answering questions at a Hansard Society event at Westminster, Mr Bercow said: "I think there is merit in it, it's not for me to decide, it's for the House to decide."
Earlier, the Shadow Leader of the Commons, Angela Eagle, had suggested a system of temporary one-hour suspensions as part of a package of reforms to be brought in by a Labour government. "Sometimes," she said, "MPs take it too far and it turns the public off. A Labour government will consult on new powers for the Speaker to curb the worst forms of repeated barracking."
tweets: Bercow says Parly might have to be abandoned in 20 yrs! our film on state of disrepair, alongisde some lovely pix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i9xGG0RUoA …
The SNP has hit back at comments made by the former prime minister Gordon Brown in which he accused the party of focusing on political wrangling rather than what it could do for Scotland.
The party's deputy leader, Stewart Hosie, said: "Given their toxic alliance with the Tories for the last two and a half years, people in Scotland would be forgiven for thinking that Labour's focus is not what they can do for Scotland - but what they can do for their Tory allies.
"And despite this transparent attempt to cover for the failures of Jim Murphy's leadership, Gordon Brown has the substance all wrong....The general election is Scotland's opportunity to hold real power at Westminster and to deliver on the priorities of the people who live here - ending austerity, protecting our public services and investing in jobs."
Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been challenged on his role in introducing university tuition fees in England by a school student. Mr Brown was making a speech in Glasgow in which he called for a united effort to fight for social justice. During questions afterwards, he was asked: "You were the chancellor of the exchequer that introduced tuition fees, so how can you speak of empowering future generations when you introduced legislation which has encumbered future generations?".
Mr Brown responded: "When we introduced tuition fees, and I had my own views on this which I won't go into this evening, they were at £3000. In 2007 we also added protection for poorer students around the maintenance costs....What I can't agree with is that you introduce free tuition, which is what has happened in Scotland, and then you cut the grants for poorer students."
The Speaker John Bercow says the cost of repairs to the Houses of Parliament could be more than £3bn. In a lecture in Westminster, he also said while he did not want MPs to have to move elsewhere while the work was carried out, they might have to. He was "very uneasy about the idea of decanting" from the Palace of Westminster, he said, because "once you are out it can be very difficult to get back", but if MPs had to move out, they should consider "all options including, almost certainly, a regional option".
Basic services in the building, like electricity, water and sanitation, are being kept functioning "with increasing difficulty and growing risks", according to a report from 2012. There are many leaks from the roof too, as seen in the BBC documentary Inside the Commons.
tweets: New Tory poster from Saatchi. My initial reaction is that it doesn't quite have what it takes
Tories launch new poster campaign, by Saatchi.
A bit more on the candidate chosen by Labour to take on Respect MP George Galloway in Bradford in the general election. She is Naz Shah, the chair of a mental health charity called Sharing Voices Bradford. She is also known for her campaigning after her mother, Zoora Shah, was jailed in 1993 for poisoning her partner Mohammed Azam, after years of suffering domestic violence.
Originally, Labour had chosen a London councillor, Amina Ali, to stand against Mr Galloway, but she stood aside days after being picked, saying the campaign for the Yorkshire seat would cause "massive disruption" to her children's lives.
Peers back plans to create a mandatory duty on health professional and teachers to notify police of female genital mutilation within one month of becoming aware of the crime.
tweets: Nick Clegg is taking your calls and questions on mental health. Watch it all live here: http://l-bc.co/qPNCO2
tweets: Three children in every classroom has a mental health condition, Dep PM Nick Clegg tells @lbc
Writer Alan Bennett says the one thing his country excels at is hypocrisy. He's the latest to be asked by Radio Four's The World At One to name one area in which the UK is world class. He said he'd discarded other ideas such as the National Trust, medieval churches and Swaledale in Yorkshire in favour of attitudes towards language, literature and the law.
The Conservative MP for Wokingham, John Redwood, says: "If we are going to have devolution in England, we first need devolution to England."
He argues that England needs more powers over areas such as transport, as there are "more generous devolution settlements now being offered to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland".
tweets: Govt sources say Labour claims that scrapping control orders enabled Jihadi John to travel to #syria are "highly speculative"
Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown says politicians must stop asking what Scotland can do for them - and instead explain what they can do for Scotland. In a speech in Glasgow, he accused the SNP of focusing on "the minutiae of Westminster insider politics" with Labour ahead of the general election, rather than "the big issues that matter such as ending poverty, unemployment, inequality and injustice in Scotland".
"Even if the SNP seem happy to spend their time talking about hung parliaments, post-election deals and coalitions, we will spend our time talking about new Scottish jobs, new Scottish businesses and new Scottish technologies, and how we can benefit from leading a global economic revolution," he said.
The Palace of Westminster may have to be abandoned within 20 years unless an extensive programme of repairs and modernisation is agreed, John Bercow has warned. The Commons Speaker said a "not inconsequential sum of public money" was needed to keep the Houses of Parliament "fit for purpose".
A look back at two key political stories of the day:
Austin Mitchell, the Labour MP for Great Grimsby, describes devolution to Greater Manchester as a "deathbed repentance by a government which had centralised continuously in a country that is over-centralised already".
He claims that a concentration of power in London and the south-east of England "needs to be reversed so the rest of us can have a chance".
A bit more on the latest poll from the Tory peer Lord Ashcroft:
1,003 adults were interviewed by telephone between 27 February 27 and 1 March.
The former NATO Secretary-General, Lord Robertson, has said it's "absurd" to blame the security services for failing to stop people travelling to fight for Islamic State.
Speaking in the Lords, he said it was completely unrealistic to expect that everyone who was followed or identified by the security services should be locked up, because there was no system yet invented that was "capable of identifying and imprisoning all of those who might conceivably in the future be guilty of some terrorist act".
tweets: Control orders vs #TPIMs - the background to Parliament's recent decision to restore relocation is here: …https://terrorismlegislationreviewer.independent.gov.uk/relocation-relocation-relocation/ …
tweets: Congratulations to @NazShahBfd - selected as Labour's candidate to win back Bradford West.
Join Victoria Derbyshire on her new daytime TV programme from 7 April on BBC 2, BBC News Channel and online. In the run up to the general election, she will be debating the key issues likely to affect the way you vote with a live studio audience. If you want to have your say and take part please email Victoria@bbc.co.uk
Some 41% of voters back calls for Britain to continue spending 2% of GDP on defence, a survey suggests. About one in five (21%) oppose such a move, according to a poll by Usurv for the Press Association.
More men than women agreed that approach was right - 51% compared with 32% - while support increased with people's salaries, the survey suggests.
Asked about the pledge to spend 0.7% of national income on overseas aid - 45% opposed this while 29% backed it. A total of 1,000 people took part in the online poll.
The Government is "anxious" to reopen the UK Embassy in Tehran. In the Lords, the Government spokesman Lord Wallace of Saltaire (Lib Dem), accepted more engagement with Iran offered more opportunity to influence for good, but said a number of obstacles remained. Reassurances on the safety of employees and other matters had still to be settled. The British Embassy closed after it was attacked by protestors in November 2011. The Ambassador was withdrawn and the UK expelled Iranian diplomats from London.
tweets: UK police officers shd be based in Istanbul to stop wd be Jihadi brides says Keith Vaz
Labour MP Clive Betts, who chairs the Communities and Local Government Committee, says the UK is one of the most centralised countries.
The committee published its report - Devolution in England: the case for local government - in June last year.
During the Urgent Question, Conservative MP Bob Stewart said it was "abhorrent" that the media had given "a nickname" to an extremist.
He was talking about Islamic State militant Mohammed Emwazi, who has been pictured in the videos of the killings of Western hostages and has been referred to as "Jihadi John". Mr Stewart says this could result in him being regarded as "some sort of modern-day Jesse James".
Labour MP David Winnick disputed that the media had portrayed Mr Emwazi as a "hero".
tweets: Quite a few MPs criticising media's naming of Emwazi & the three schoolgirls who've gone to Syria. Theresa May backing calls for 'restraint'
More now on what BBC Director General Tony Hall had to say on proposals to move away from the licence fee. Speaking on the World at One, he said the licence fee was a "much cheaper way of funding great content than subscription".
The Government has stressed its commitment to debate and the search for consensus on defence spending. Challenged on the next Strategic Defence and Security Review in the Lords, the minister, Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD), said he hoped there would be more time for the 2015 review, due to start after the election, than there had been in 2010. That would allow time for debate on the UK's role in the world, the threats faced and how much spending was appropriate. The former First Sea Lord and Labour peer, Lord West of Spithead, called for more, open discussion earlier in light of the likely need for the incoming government to review urgently public spending in general.
Lord Wallace accepted the UK was "in a much more acute security situation, not only in Eastern Europe but also in North Africa and across the Middle East" than had been the case five years ago. The exchange followed concerns raised earlier by the head of the US Army about the impact of cuts on the UK's armed forces.
"It's important to make clear to people the dangers and horrors, even if people are going to Syria for humanitarian and the best of intentions," Mrs May tells MPs. "We are consistently saying people should not be travelling to Syria and Iraq."
At this point, Nick Eardley and Victoria King are handing over the reins of Politics Live to Angela Harrison and Tim Fenton for the rest of the day. We're here through to midnight, so stick with us for more political updates and analysis.
Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke asks Mrs May if she agrees more powers should be given to authorities. Mrs May tells him human rights laws have in the past have an effect on attempts to remove individuals and that needs to be be reformed
tweets: Ashcroft National Poll, 2 Feb-1 March: CON 34%, LAB 31%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 7%. Full details on @ConHome, 4pm.
Matthew Offord MP, Conservative, asks about universities and their role combating extremism. Mrs May says universities should have a care for the welfare of students. If radicalism is taking place on campus, institutions should be aware and willing to deal with it, Mrs May adds.
Michael Ellis, the Tory MP, asks Mrs May about campaign group Cage's comments on Mohammed Emwazi. She says there can be "no excuse for the barbarism that has been shown" by ISIL.
A fake passport apparently used by one of the girls from London in travelling to Turkey suggests problems, says Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, a Tory MP. Exit checks are being introduced in April, Mrs May says.
Tory MP Bob Stewart says it is "utterly abhorrent" that the media uses a picture of Islamic State militant Mohammed Emwazi and continues to use a nickname in referring to him. He suggests this may encourage others. Mrs May won't comment on the specific cases, but expects the barbarity of IS to be reflected in reporting.
Keith Vaz, chairman of the home affairs select committee and Labour MP, asks why it took days for Turkish authorities to find out the three London schoolgirls had travelled to the country. Mrs May said police had made the information "absolutely clear". She says movement to Syria is an on-going issue and she will look at whether there are further measures that can be taken to try and prevent people travelling on airlines to the country.
Former home secretary and Labour MP Jack Straw is on his feet. He asks whether Mrs May thinks she made a mistake removing powers in 2011. Mrs May highlights again that some cases were before changes were made.
David Davies, the Tory MP, asks Mrs May if she will revisit the issue of intercept evidence in court. Mrs May replies that this is an issue that has been looked at a number of times and says the latest review found it was clear it was not appropriate to change arrangements.
"This is not just a question of government... it is about families and communities as well", Mrs May adds. "We all have a role to play".
Theresa May tells the Commons Ms Cooper has failed to highlight that the many cases in the media were from when relocation powers were still available.
On Prevent, Theresa May says the government changes were made for "very good reasons". She suggests Ms Cooper has not learned the mistakes of her government on the issue. Mrs May explains the difference with control orders and says Ms Cooper "should study the history" of the UK's constitution. Control orders were not sustainable, Mrs May adds.
Some 600 Brits are believed to have travelled to Syria to join ISIL (also known as IS), Yvette Cooper says in reply. She calls for answers on certain government polices:
Despite "robust" government action, everyone needs to play a part in protecting the UK, Theresa May says, highlighting the roles of social media companies, schools and families.
Over 2,000 people have been referred to a scheme to identify those vulnerable to terrorism, Theresa May says. Local Prevent projects have reached 55,000, she says. Additionally, the government has promised exit checks from later this year.
Theresa May says the government has taken steps to make sure the UK is protected from terrorist attacks. She lists a number of measures introduced recently to try and combat terrorism in the UK and abroad.
Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, has asked the government for a statement on counter-terrorism. Theresa May says the threat is "grave and growing". She says she can't comment on specific cases, but reaffirms a terrorist attack is highly likely.
Yvette Cooper is expected on her feet soon for an urgent question on the government's counter-terrorism measures and implications for people travelling to conflict zones such as Syria. We'll bring you the latest.
tweets: Breaking news! Man on the #pinkbus It's @tom_watson !
We mentioned earlier that there had been a discussion on Daily Politics about whether or not Parliament should be moved out of London. Alex Hilton, from Generation Rent, argued our legislature should up sticks to Hull. The package is now on our website. You can find it here.
tweets: Matter of fact question to minister Nicky Morgan about social mobility / selective schools. She loses it, attacking ukip manifesto. Odd
The Chartered Institute of Housing has been responding to today's debate. Gavin Smart, interim chief executive, welcomed the focus on supply and affordability that the starter homes scheme represents.
"But we are very concerned about these sites being exempt from section 106 agreements, which usually require social or affordable homes to be built as part of a development, for people on lower incomes," he said.
"This smacks of building for one group of people at the expense of another. Social housing is critical if we are going to solve the housing crisis - there are always going to be people who can't afford to buy and we must provide decent, affordable homes for them too. If all the focus is on home ownership, we are never going to build mixed communities."
Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt claims "the attainment gap" between poorer and better-off pupils has widened under the present government.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan accuses Mr Hunt of talking "drivel" and insists the gap is closing.
In the Commons, MPs are currently questioning education ministers. You can keep up with the session here.
A brief taste of what's still to come:
David Cameron announced today that 200,000 homes will be made available to first-time buyers in England by 2020 if the Tories win the election. Here is a selection of emails from Politics Live readers on the subject.
If Thatcher hadn't been so obsessed in selling off the public housing stock we would not be in this mess.
If the private sector rented housing stock was in better condition young people wouldn't be in such a rush to buy.
Let's get some decent affordable rental properties for people to live in and if they still want to buy they have chance to save the deposit.
It is commonly accepted that the major building firms are not interested in small-scale building/renovation work. Cannot understand why Local Authorities are not far more pro-active in granting planning permission for small-scale builds/renovations on brown field sites in the inner city areas.
One incentive might be to abolish any rate relief on empty dwellings to encourage owners to either let or re-develop them. Small builds employ proportionately more people than the large-scale, highly mechanised ones.
S.M.Tiktin, Leighton Buzzard.
Why aren't any of the parties talking about improving private renting? That could have an immediate effect for millions of tenants, across the country.
Building new houses doesn't always help: Cambridge has very high house prices and lots of the new building going on but a new build 1 bedroom flat will cost you at least £200,000.
Rosie Shaw, Cambridge
Firstly stop any more immigrants coming into the country. That will relieve the pressure on housing and the Health service in one go!
Douglas Annette, Farnborough
Do you agree? Email us email@example.com tweet @bbcpolitics
tweets: It's now only about 43 days before people start voting (by post) in the 2015 election
We haven't been building enough houses since the 1960s. If you listen to charities like Shelter, they say we should be building a quarter of a million homes every year just to keep up with the pace of demand - due to a growing population and an ageing population. House prices are also going up like rocket fuel compared with wages and houses are getting more and more out of reach for many families.
This was Ed Miliband in action earlier in Brighton. He also discussed public ownership of the railways, arguing that the coalition "has been doing rail renationalisation by the back door". "So if you are a European public company you can actually bid for the British franchise, but if you are British public company you can't bid for the franchise. This is just absolute nonsense," he said.
tweets: He argues that 9k is right, but suggests split between graduate & Govt because HE has both a private benefit to grad but public benefit too.
Also at the "People's Question Time" event in Brighton earlier, Ed Miliband rejected a suggestion that Labour was not doing enough for "aspirational" middle-class voters. The Labour leader said his party's plans to cut tuition fees in England would help young people from all backgrounds.
"That is absolutely about aspiration... there's nothing more anti-aspirational than kids leaving university with £44,000 of debt," he said. "Investment in our young people is about all of us."
tweet: Interesting letters in Times on uni funding inc by Roger Brown- prof of HE policy at Liv Hope.
Ed Miliband says he won't put his energy in to reforming the voting system if Labour comes to power. He's backed votes for 16-year-olds and says he wants changes to the House of Lords. But speaking earlier in Brighton, he said: "Personally I am more interested in changing the way the country works than the way the way the electoral system works.
"If you are asking about me as prime minister, where would my energies be put into, it would not be into a big debate about the electoral system."
David Cameron's official spokesman told reporters earlier of the PM's reaction to his Conservative colleague Ken Clarke's dim view of the promise to cut immigration below 100,000. "You won't be surprised to know that he takes a different view from Ken on this one. It won't be the first time that he and Ken haven't had exactly the same views." On the promise itself, the spokesman added: "The ambition remains the right one, but it's clear it's going to take more time, more work and more difficult long-term decisions in order to get there."
The Birmingham Post has picked up on comments we mentioned earlier by one of the city's MPs, Gisela Stuart, about the eye-catching idea of a "grand coalition" between Labour and the Conservatives.
"As you work through the options, do not rule out that you have a grand coalition," she said in an interview with the Financial Times.
Is Sol Campbell the Tories' latest signing? After being talked of as a possible Conservative candidate for London mayor, or the Kensington seat being vacated by Sir Malcolm Rifkind, yesterday he said he was taking things "step by step" . Today, some Conservative supporters have reported receiving emails from the ex-Arsenal and Spurs man, trying to rally them to campaign in North London.
David Cameron's argument this morning that protecting the green built should be "paramount" in future housing strategy has been attacked by the free market think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs. Its director general Mark Littlewood said "constraining housebuilding through artificial boundaries such as green belt restrictions is a key reason why house prices in the UK are very high and new homes increasingly small". He says "people not governments" should decide where houses are built.
Prof Michael Gunn says new guidance on extremism should provide "clarity, sensibility, proportionality". He says policy should be about encouraging universities to use current guidance on radical speakers, exploring how to support Muslims and how to utilise links with Prevent. Priority needs to be given to free speech and the guidance should make it clear when there is an exception, he concludes.
Speaking about extremism in universities, Professor Michael Gunn from the Million+ think tank says universities have obligations to ensure free speech at the moment. Debate is a strong way of "resisting radicalism", he says. Universities take their obligations very seriously, he says. The government recently passed laws aimed at banning all "extremist" preachers from campuses. Tory peer Baroness Neville-Jones says if we were confident we could remove the threat of radicalisation, there wouldn't be an issue. But legislation to make obligations statutory is needed because moves so far have not been effective.
Following his speech earlier, David Cameron was also asked about how to tackle extremism. There has been discussion on the issue in light of facts about Islamic State militant Mohammed Emwazi emerging. Mr Cameron said: "My view is national security comes first whatever it takes, whatever is necessary, to keep the British public safe. I will always be a prime minister who wants to push for those changes, but over time, yes of course we will have to do more, to make sure that as technology develops, we can make sure we keep people safe. I'm not satisfied that we can allow a means of communication to develop which in extremis we are unable to intercept."
Rehman Chishti says the Parliament in London is iconic and the cost of moving MPs to another city would be high. If Westminster does need to be renovated, he says, politicians should sit nearby.
Should Parliament be moved away from London? Alex Hilton, from Generation Rent, says yes - to Hull, which has the cheapest rents in the UK. Such a move would help MPs understand and prioritise housing, he suggests, describing today's announcements on the issue as "basically pathetic".
Nigel Evans, the former deputy speaker, describes a Labour idea to give the House of Commons speaker the opportunity to "yellow card" MPs for bad behaviour as "rubbish". The speaker already has the ability to remove MPs in certain circumstances and has lots of discretion at present, Mr Evans says. "You don't want to turn the chamber into a library," he adds. But Labour's Lisa Nandy says the current system hasn't worked.
Labour's Lisa Nancy says no party has got everything right on defence, but says we need to look at the bigger picture if we want to give the armed forces "the ability to do their job". She says Liam Fox - ex-Tory defence secretary - was guilty of just looking at funding, not the wider picture, in comments had made yesterday. Baroness Brinton says the UK is still a major player in the world.
tweets: "Don't laugh" it could happen" - David Cameron tells people of Colchester about a Labour government propped up by the SNP
tweets: Tory discounts for first time buyers mean developers won't be funding new roads/school places. Taxpayers will! Big business wins again.
On defence spending, Lib Dem Baroness Brinton says lots of money has been going into big schemes like Trident nuclear weapons, but it is important to balance that with boots on the ground.
The PM is full of reassurance when asked about defence spending. He says he has committed to growing the defence equipment budget by 1% in real terms every year in the next parliament. He also says he knows "how much the Americans appreciate the fact that Britain is a very strong and very capable partner".
On military cuts, and the head of the US Army saying he is "very concerned" about the impact of those cuts on the UK's armed forces capability, Tory MP Rehman Chishti says David Cameron has made it clear he wants other countries to step up to the plate and commit to spending 2% of GDP on defence. He says he would like to see that figure in the UK, but won't commit to it. Labour's Lisa Nancy says very few countries have made the target and that her party won't reduce the budget any further, pending a strategic review of defence.
Continuing the discussion on personality and policy, Kevin Schofield, from the Sun, says he doesn't think the TV debates will happen now. There are too many obstacles, he says. Laura Hughes, a regional parliamentary reporter, says she thinks they should - and will - still go ahead.
Mr Cameron is taking questions now. As well as housing, he's asked about so-called Jihadi John and whether he has plans to tighten up controls on radicalised individuals. "My view is national security comes first, whatever it takes, whatever is necessary... we want to push for those changes," he tells the audience in Hove. He goes on to say he's "not satisfied we can allow means of communication to develop" that extremists can use and we can't touch.
The Campaign Countdown Review is underway. Desktop users can tune in using the live coverage tab above.
Policy or personality? Rick Nye, from Populus, says party brands - and that includes leadership - are important when people come to vote, even if some people say otherwise. "You are supposed to be about the substance," he says, but "we are all to a greater or lesser extent driven by the attractiveness of parties and their leaders."
Fergal Keane on the relationship between love and politics
Would it be realistic to renationalise the railways?
The dynamics of Bradford's political arena
Only weeks to go - how are the parties faring?
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What we know parties will be promising at next year's election
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