Syria crisis: Robust response needed, David Cameron says


Prime Minister David Cameron: "We must listen to Parliament"

A "robust response" to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria is needed despite UK military involvement being ruled out, the prime minister has said.

David Cameron was defeated in the Commons as MPs rejected a motion on the principle that military action could be required to protect Syrian civilians.

Despite the result of the vote, the US said it would continue to seek a coalition for military intervention.

And France said the vote did not change its resolve about the need to act.

At the scene

The weapons inspectors this morning seemed to be in two or three minds about what was going on.

Twice they left the garage of the hotel where they and foreign correspondents are staying, looking as if they were ready to head out, and twice they went back in.

Perhaps they had a plan to visit some of the suburbs held by rebels that they had been going into to take samples, but there has been a lot of shelling going on in that direction today.

Now they are here at the regime's military hospital. There have been claims from the regime itself that they had soldiers wounded by chemical weapons, and perhaps those are the people they have come to see.

Russia - which has close ties with the the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - welcomed the UK's rejection of a military strike, while Germany has ruled out participation in any action.

Washington said it remained committed to a possible strike and would seek to build a coalition of those in favour of possible military action.

President Obama convened the US National Security Council earlier, according to the AFP news agency.

The White House believes President Assad's regime was responsible for the chemical attack on 21 August which it says killed 1,429 people in the Ghouta suburb of Damascus - a figure far higher than previously reported.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the Syrian forces carefully prepared for the attack days in advance.

UN weapons inspectors have finished their investigation in Syria and are expected to deliver their preliminary findings to secretary general Ban Ki-moon on Saturday.

Mr Cameron said it was a "regret" that he had been unable to build a consensus on the response to the suspected chemical weapons attack.

However he insisted the UK remained "deeply engaged" on the world stage.

Ian Pannell: The victims "arrived like the walking dead"

The UK government's defeated motion had called for military action if it was backed up by evidence from the weapons inspectors.

In Syria, the BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen said he had spoken to people inside President Assad's administration who were "cock-a-hoop" at the UK vote. "They believe it counts as a victory for them," he added.

"We will defend ourselves," Dr Bassam Abu Abdullah from the Syrian Information Ministry said, warning of danger "not only on the Syrian people but... the whole region" if the US decided to attack.

'Appalling crime'

In an interview at Downing Street, Mr Cameron said it was important to listen to Parliament's decision.

Start Quote

Many British former senior officers are relieved that Parliament has - certainly for now - prevented deeper UK involvement in Syria ”

End Quote

And despite MPs voting against military action, he said: "I think it's important we have a robust response to the use of chemical weapons and there are a series of things we will continue to do."

Mr Cameron added: "We will continue to take a case to the United Nations, we will continue to work in all the organisations we are members of - whether the EU, or Nato, or the G8 or the G20 - to condemn what's happened in Syria.

"It's important we uphold the international taboo on the use of chemical weapons."

There had been suggestions from ministers, including Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond, that Britain's rejection of military action would harm its relationship with the US.

Mr Hammond warned against the vote allowing Britain to "turn into a country that prefers to turn its back".

"We must stay engaged with the world," he told the BBC.

Mr Cameron, though, said he would not have to apologise to President Barack Obama.

"I was faced with three things I wanted to do right and do in the right way," he said.

The BBC's Jeremy Bowen reports from Damascus where he says the the vote by UK MPs is seen as a victory

"First of all, to condemn absolutely and respond properly to an appalling war crime that took place in Syria. Secondly, to work with our strongest and most important ally who had made a request for British help. Thirdly, to act as a democrat, to act in a different way to previous prime ministers and properly consult Parliament.

"I wanted to do all those three things. Obviously politics is difficult - that involved going to Parliament, making an argument in a strong and principled way but then listening to Parliament.

"I think the American people and President Obama will understand that."

In other developments:

  • The BBC witnessed the aftermath of an incendiary bomb attack on a school playground in northern Syria which left scores of children with napalm-like burns
  • The US said it would act in its "best interests" in dealing with the Syria crisis, following UK rejection of military intervention
  • French President Francois Hollande said all options were being considered, and has not ruled out a strike within days
  • UN weapons inspectors visited a hospital in a government-controlled area of Damascus
  • The Foreign Office advised against all but essential travel to Lebanon because of a "heightened risk of anti-Western sentiment" linked to the possibility of military action in Syria. The BBC understands that the families of British diplomats are being evacuated
  • Former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans - architect of the so-called "responsibility to protect" doctrine - accused the UK of "making things up as it goes along". He blamed the government's "mishandling of the politics" for what he said was a "disappointing" vote against intervention
  • The Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there was "no doubt" President Assad's forces carried out the chemical attack
Graphic showing break down of how the UK parties' MPs voted

Labour leader Ed Miliband told the BBC: "I think ill thought-through military action would have made life worse, not better, for the Syrian people."

He accused the government of not learning the lessons of Iraq, adding MPs had "sent a message" that British forces would not be deployed "without going through the United Nations and without ensuring we have regard to the consequences in the region".

Syrians search under rubble to rescue people from houses that were destroyed by a Syrian government warplane, in Idlib province, northern Syria, Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 The two-year long civil war continues to inflict huge damage on the country

Earlier he said Mr Cameron was guilty of "reckless and impulsive leadership".

And the prime minister faced criticism from his own side, with former shadow home secretary David Davis accusing him of making a "shaky argument" for intervention.

"There was feeling of rushing to action," he told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme. "It's more important to get this right than to do it on a 10-day timetable".

Syrian refugees at the Cilvegozu crossing gate at Reyhanli in Antakya Refugees from Syria have been crossing the border into Turkey

Former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown has been critical of the decision to not take part in military action, saying the UK was "hugely diminished".

More than 100,000 people are estimated to have died since the conflict erupted in March 2011 and at least 1.7 million refugees displaced.

The violence began when anti-government protests during the Arab Spring uprisings were met with a brutal response by the Syrian security forces.

President Assad's regime has blamed foreign involvement and armed gangs for the conflict.

How could a potential strike be launched?
Syria map
Forces which could be used against Syria:

Four US destroyers - USS Gravely, USS Ramage, USS Barry and USS Mahan - are in the eastern Mediterranean, equipped with cruise missiles. The missiles can also be fired from submarines, but the US Navy does not reveal their locations

Airbases at Incirlik and Izmir in Turkey, and in Jordan, could be used to carry out strikes

Two aircraft carriers - USS Nimitz and USS Harry S Truman are in the wider region

French aircraft carrierCharles de Gaulle is currently in Toulon in the western Mediterranean

French Raffale and Mirage aircraft can also operate from Al-Dhahra airbase in the UAE


More on This Story

Syria's war War in Syria


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1526.

    Cameron's an idiot

  • rate this

    Comment number 1525.

    1392 freeman

    Shown yourself up mate.

    Even if proven next week we have still ruled intervention out regardless. I didn't say it was already proven.


  • rate this

    Comment number 1524.

    Surely we should await a UN resolution and then act , this would allow an effective strategy to be developed in the interim.There is no point in pulling down an independent government without any clear idea of what may follow.Perhaps this also indicates that Cameron is losing the confidence of his own party after some of his deeply unpopular policies this year.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1523.

    1500.Baxtero Rodriguez
    We need a new party for the people which actually listens to the people's wishes and focuses on issues which will improve our lives.
    No that's exactly what we don't need. We need independent MPs with no party that will do what the people who elected them want. MPs from parties toe the party line and that's not what best for the people!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1522.

    For all those that are against Uk Military strike watch this footage from The BBC today

    Lets all sit on our hands and send them a strongly worded letter

  • rate this

    Comment number 1521.

    894.Ryan OJack If you knew anything about history you would know that the Russians did far more to defeat the Germans in WW2 than the Yanks

  • rate this

    Comment number 1520.

    we do not have a special relationship with america, they say jump and we ask how high!!

    Dropping bombs on innocent people doesnt help anyone!! Assad is bad but so are the rebels! so who would we actually be helping??

  • rate this

    Comment number 1519.

    Labour has been playing politics with our economy for the last three years. Now that the economy is on the rise they have switched to playing politics with our foreign policy. What next Health?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1518.

    Assad wants the world to think his government are the good guys, so let us use that against him. If it's true then he should have no problem with UN forces and weapons inspectors moving in to protect civilians from these 'terrorists' that he claims are attacking them. Make sure Russian and Chinese troops are included, the civilians will be safer and everyone will be happy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1517.

    IRONY - CW -US
    Saddam's military ( US Regime Change - 1968 coup) also received intelligence assistance from the CIA in 1987 prior to the Iraqis' early 1988 launch of sarin attacks to stop the potentially decisive Iranian offensive to capture the southern city of Basra, which would result in a collapse of Iraqi military and Iranian victory.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1516.

    Syria has really crossed the redline and MUST be dealt with. If the west do no act, other countries will follow after the footsteps of syria and do worse. I am fully in support of a strike from the US - even if the US throws the first punch. There are LOADS of us waiting to die for America, just to make sure we put an end to the use of nuclear and chemical weapons!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1515.

    In Libya we spent over One Billion Pounds to see the place run by a bunch of THUGS with no law and order and if you have the guns you rule . More people have die in it's jails and else were than under Gaddafi . After that mess we want to stay well away from Syria . Bear in mind that we have in the last 10 years we have spent 50 Billion of Tax Payers money on Arab/african wars.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1514.

    I just love the way that if you don't want to bomb people with no evidence and you can't actually identify the enemy yet - i.e. that you want to get things RIGHT and have a PLAN and be SURE of what you're doing and be SENSIBLE - somehow this makes you an isolationist!

    It's this kind of numb-nuts thinking that got us into a mess in the first place.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1513.

    WW3 here we come...

  • rate this

    Comment number 1512.

    One additional benefit of not backing the yanks...we now have a better chance in the Eurovision song contest.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1511.

    Any MP that voted against the government last night should hang their heads in shame they have let the people of Syria down, let our allies down and let Britain down. We have been made to look like namby-pamby spineless cowards. Ware your white feather with shame

  • rate this

    Comment number 1510.

    To see my country draw back from a coalition in favour of international law and choose to stand aside does not fill me with great joy”

    Lord Ashdown
    Former Lib Dem leader

  • rate this

    Comment number 1509.

    Talk about flogging a dead horse.
    Shut up Cameron, no one is interested in what you think.
    That's why you were outvoted and publically shamed by the Commons vote last night.
    What you do now is resign and crawl back below your rock. You never had any mandate to be PM from the UK electorate anywhere (and to be fair, that's the same as Brown)

  • rate this

    Comment number 1508.

    1385 - if that was happening there would be a different response. It isn't! Instead of a 3-line tory whip for war in Iraq we have decided not to make open ended commitments. It can be reviewed again should Parliment feel there is a need. Mr Cameron is not a dictator.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1507.

    If the government was truly interested in helping innocent Syrians caught up in this conflict, they'd spend the money it would have cost chucking tomahawks at them on humanitarian aid. Oh I forgot, nobody makes any money out of charity!

    Military intervention would almost certainly open up an even bigger can of worms than the situation as it stands now.


Page 53 of 129


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    11:14: Tuition cut "fully costed" Sunday Politics
    Liam Byrne

    Shadow Universities Minister Liam Byrne tells Andrew Neil he is an "evangelist" for the Labour policy - announced this week - that the party would reduce tuition fees by a third. He says in the long-term he does believe a graduate tax is the right thing to do, but that the party currently can't commit to ensuring a graduate tax would work, as opposed to the "fully costed" policy they've decided to pursue.

    11:05: Nigel Farage on Sunday Politics Sunday Politics

    Lots to come in the next hour on the Sunday Politics, with UKIP leader Nigel Farage talking to Andrew Neil following UKIP's spring conference in the past couple of days. Also on the programme, interviews with Conservative former defence secretary Liam Fox, and shadow universities minister Liam Byrne. Watch the programme now live on BBC One, or in the Live Coverage tab at the top of this page.

    11:05: Sin-bin plans 'overkill' BBC Radio 5 live

    William Dartmouth describes Labour's plans to introduce a "sin-bin" system, allowing the Commons speaker to send out misbehaving MPs for an hour for the first warning, or for three sessions if they are a repeat offender, as "an absolutely rotten idea." Transport Minister Stephen Hammond agrees "it's overkill". He complains that the public are judging the politicians by Prime Minister's Questions, "where passions run high."

    11:03: Commons 'sin-bin' BBC Radio 5 live

    The panel of politicians with John Pienaar are discussing a new Labour proposal to introduce a "sin-bin" system for MPs who get a little too excited at Prime Minister's Questions. Although the proposal is not yet entirely fleshed out, all politicians agree they have a soft spot for the one time of the week when there can be the liveliest back-and-forth between government and opposition - and the highest public viewing figures for the House of Commons.

    10:58: Pienaar's panel BBC Radio 5 live
    Pienaar's pannel

    Click the tab at the top of the page to listen in to BBC Radio 5 Live as a panel of politicians, including shadow foreign affairs minister Gareth Thomas, UKIP's William Dartmouth, Liberal Democrat Treasury Minister Lord Newby and Transport Minister Stephen Hammond debate the day's political hot topics on Pienaar's Politics.

    10:53: 'Biggest attack on British values' BBC Radio 5 live

    William Legge, a UKIP MEP and the 10th Earl of Dartmouth, tells John Pienaar it is "absolutely risible" to hear Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey talking about British values since it was the coalition government, with Labour's help, who implemented the European Arrest Warrant - which he describes as the "biggest attack on British Values."

    10:52: Shapps: 'Err on the side of caution' BBC Radio 5 live

    Grant Shapps denies that the disagreement between Conservatives and Lib Dems over so-called hate preachers on university campuses constitutes a coalition "row", saying that "if I had a pound for every time people told me there was a coalition row, not only would I be very wealthy but this coalition would have ended years ago". But he admits there is some difference of opinion, and says the Conservatives want to "err on the side of caution" and draw the line of acceptable speech closer to "protecting the security of the British public".

    10:48: Shapps on MPs' second jobs BBC Radio 5 live
    Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind

    Grant Shapps says he has no problem with MPs holding second jobs as long as it is "completely transparent". He says the way to avoid controversy is to "publish what you're doing, have full transparency and disclosure", and he adds that he doesn't want the House of Commons stuffed with 650 professional politicians "who have never done anything else in their life".

    @alstewitn Alastair Stewart, ITV News Anchor

    tweets: I was reading about @grantshapps on @SkyNews then he pounds out of my speakers on @bbc5live @JPonpolitics Sunday politics conveyor belt.

    10:42: Shapps's praise for Lib Dems BBC Radio 5 live

    Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps tells John Pienaar he'll start with some nice words about the Lib Dems, praising Nick Clegg's party by saying they "haven't wavered on their desire to see the deficit got under control", even though it would have been "easy to do so".

    10:34: 'Juvenile' attitude to coalition BBC Radio 5 live

    The Times columnist Jenni Russell says MPs and the media have been "absolutely juvenile about this whole coalition business", and have chosen to criticise Nick Clegg's party "as if they had freedom of action in government". She says the Lib Dems were "hopelessly naive about the political process when they went into government", but adds that if the British people don't vote in a majority government, voters cannot complain when politicians negotiate and compromise after the election. Ed Davey, unsurprisingly, agrees.

    10:34: Cable blocking 'hate preacher' plans Sky News

    Grant Shapps accuses Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable of blocking Conservative moves to crack down on "hate preachers" in universities. "There is a difference of opinion", he tells Murnaghan: "Cable doesn't want to do what the Conservatives want to do."

    10:29: '75% of manifesto' passed BBC Radio 5 live
    Ed DAvey Ed Davey gets an early morning cup of tea in the Radio 5 Live studio.

    Ed Davey - referencing the trebling of tuition fees earlier in this government - says it is "easy to pick that one out" to criticise the Lib Dems, but he says voters should focus on the "75% of the manifesto commitments [from 2010] that we delivered" under the coalition agreement.

    10:27: Solution to housing problem Sky News
    Grant Shapps

    Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps is now on Murnaghan. He says the solution to Britain's housing problem is pushing people to make brown-field sites available for self-build programmes. He pledges 100,000 new starter homes, which can be purchased at 80% of market value, will be built if the Conservatives get into power. "Government support" and forcing the market "to step up to the plate" will make up the estimated £3.6bn cost of this project, Mr Shapps says.

    10:26: Tuition fees BBC Radio 5 live

    Ed Davey says the Lib Dems would refuse to sign up to the "stupid" policy of Labour's to reduce tuition fees, in the event of coalition negotiations after the May election. He says it is better to spend £2bn on something other than benefiting the "richer graduates" of universities.

    10:21: MI5 role in jihadi John radicalisation 'nonsense' Sky News

    Over on Sky's Murnaghan programme, Dr Afzal Ashraf, a consultant fellow at the defence and international affairs think-tank the Royal United Services Institute, says it is "complete nonsense" to suggest that MI5 would have driven Mohammed Emwazi to join Islamic State.

    10:19: Davey on hate preachers BBC Radio 5 live

    Following reports today that there is a row in the coalition between Theresa May and Vince Cable over so-called 'hate preachers' on university campuses, Ed Davey says "the consensus view - which the Tories used to sign up to" is that prosecutions should only occur if a speaker crossed the line into directly inciting violence. He tells John Pienaar "if you change that line, that's a dangerous attack on free speech".

    10:14: Labour green record 'hopeless' BBC Radio 5 live
    Ed Davey

    Ed Davey tells John Pienaar that the Labour Party has a "fairly hopeless record" on green issues. The Lib Dems, Mr Davey says, "want the next parliament to be the greenest government ever", and to that end his party will be setting out five green bills in their manifesto.

    10:10: Tuition fees BBC Radio 5 live

    The Times columnist Jenni Russell tells John Pienaar she can't understand why Labour have chosen to promise to reduce university tuition fees, which she describes as "a very strange way to spend a couple of billion pounds" given that - according to her - the issue isn't a live political hot potato any more.

    10:03: 'Different types of immigration' The Andrew Marr Show

    While criticising the government's "failed" immigration targets, Yvette Cooper admits that immigration is too high. Refusing to be drawn on specifics, she says that Labour's immigration policy would "target different types of immigration." The government has taken "the wrong approach" by lumping "all migrants" into same migration target, she argues.

    10:02: Surveillance powers The Andrew Marr Show

    Yvette Cooper says that intelligence agencies already have strong legal powers to implement surveillance on terror suspects. While Labour support updating surveillance powers for new technologies, she says these must have "proper checks and balances." That is why Labour have asked for the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson QC, to review the law and recommend changes.

    @JPonpolitics John Pienaar, 5 Live presenter

    tweets: On Pienaar's Politics from 10am, I'll be joined by the Energy Secretary, @EdwardDaveyMP and @grantshapps. Watch:

    09:56: Security services' 'hands tied' The Andrew Marr Show
    Yvette Cooper

    Yvette Cooper says Labour will bring back "the relocation part of control orders" to help "disrupt" terror plots in the UK, by moving suspects "away from their networks, away from the radicalisation, the extremist networks they might have been working with". The security services have had their "hands tied" by the current government, she says, pointing out that despite the "considerable risk" of a terror attack only one person is on a TPIM. This demonstrates that control powers are "simply not strong enough". But she adds that such powers - even if altered in the direction Labour wants - "should not be routinely used".

    09:50: 'Shocking but not surprising' The Andrew Marr Show
    Kalsoom Bashir

    Kalsoom Bashir, co-director of Inspire, says it is "shocking but not surprising" that young girls are being attracted to join Islamic State, as the group have a "campaign specifically targeting young women" by "hooking into their vulnerabilities." School girls - such as Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana who are believed to be travelling to join Islamic State in Syria - are too "religiously illiterate" to know the difference between "Islam and Islamism" or "facts and lies".

    09:37: 'Galvanising' extremism The Andrew Marr Show
    Helen Ball

    The UK senior national co-ordinator of counter-terrorism, Deputy Assistant Commisioner Helen Ball, says the Syrian civil war has had a "galvanising" effect on people becoming radicalised. Counter-terrorism investigations have "increased enormously" since the conflict began, while the police service are uncovering "more plots all the time". She adds the police miss the power of the "control order" - which kept terrorism suspects in their homes without access to phones or internet. She adds that it would take an "enormous number" of officers to provide surveillance on a suspect for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    09:30: Immigration 'dismay' The Andrew Marr Show

    Cardinal Nichols says he is "dismayed" that immigration has become such a big issue in politics ahead of the upcoming general election, and says all parties should have their views on immigration "tested." He adds that "the human person" must be always kept foremost in mind when discussing the issue, and he says without the "positive contribution" made by the "vast majority" of immigrants, London would "grind to a halt".

    @michaelsavage Michael Savage, Times chief political correspondent

    tweets: Key ? on Labour's tuition fees - is there better way to spend £3bn? Tories/Lib Dems could now use same pensions raid to fund something else.

    09:29: Politics 'everyone's business' The Andrew Marr Show
    Vincent Nichols

    Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, defends religious institutions getting involved in politics. He tells Sophie Raworth politics is "about the wellbeing of our country and that's everyone's business." He adds: "It urges people to ask what society we want to be and what role we see for ourselves in the wider world."

    @patrickwintour Patrick Wintour, political editor of The Guardian

    tweets: Labour's tuition fees cut gets pasting in Sundays, but supported 3 to 1 in YouGov poll, despite voters knowing does not aid poor students.

    09:21: Full surveillance 'not possible' The Andrew Marr Show
    Margot James

    On the subject of British citizens travelling to fight for terrorist movements, Conservative MP Margot James says it is unfortunately "simply not possible to subject all potential targets to the degree of surveillance that we would need in order to prevent them travelling to Syria" or other jihadist hotspots.

    09:20: Paper review Daily Express

    The Sunday Express reveals how security forces finally identified Emwazi, who has appeared in several videos showing beheadings carried out by the Islamist group. The paper says spies worked out who he was after he used his student number to download discounted software after arriving in Syria. It also carries an interview with UKIP leader Nigel Farage , who calls for security services to be "given tools" to fight extremism.

    09:13: Paper review The Daily Telegraph

    The Sunday Telegraph leads on a revelation that "an al-Qaeda terrorism suspect closely connected to 'Jihadi John' [a.k.a. Mohammed Emwazi] is living in London, having used the Human Rights Act to prevent the Government from deporting him". The paper also reports that two contemporaries of Emwazi's at his former school have since died while fighting alongside terrorists in Somalia and Syria respectively. Education Secretary has ordered an inquiry into the Quintin Kynaston academy in north London as a result.

    Sunday Telegraph front page
    09:00: Paper review The Guardian

    Mohammed Emwazi had earlier been able to flee Britain despite being a member of a London-based terror cell that had links to the failed 21/7 attacks on the capital in 2005, according to the Observer. Associates of a 12-strong group spent time at a terror camp in Cumbria a year before the bid, the paper says. And it also reports that Labour is on course for an "absolute majority" in the House of Commons, according to a new poll commissioned by the paper.

    The Observer
    08:57: 'Bizarre' response to minimum funding guarantee
    Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb said Welsh ministers were being offered 'exactly' what they had asked for

    Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb has described Welsh ministers' response to a promise on minimum funding as "bizarre". On Friday, the UK government proposed a funding "floor" - guaranteeing a minimum Welsh government income. The Conservatives now want Labour Welsh ministers to call a referendum on devolving part-control of income tax. First Minister Carwyn Jones - a Labour politician - denounced the funding offer as a "vague promise", but Mr Crabb said it was a response to specific Welsh government demands.

    08:49: Paper review Sunday Times

    Inside the Sunday Times, a group of the paper's reporters looks at the "bewildering transformation" of Mohammed Emwazi from a "socially-inept computer programmer" to infamous murderer. The paper leads on an alleged row in the coalition between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems: "New rules drawn up by Downing Street to force universities to ban all 'extremist' speakers from their campuses are being blocked by Vince Cable, the business secretary." And it also carries a story about a plan by some senior Tories to "Save Dave" in the event the prime minister wins more votes but fewer seats than Ed Miliband's Labour in May.

    Sunday Times front page
    08:45: Paper review

    The Mail on Sunday leads with further details of the background of British-born Mohammed Emwazi, a.k.a. 'jihadi John'. The paper's security editor describes how as far back as 2010 Emwazi was convinced the security services were tailing him. Looking elsewhere, the paper's Ian Birrell writes about the recently-assassinated Boris Nemtsov, an opponent of Vladimir Putin's in Russia.

    Mail on Sunday front page
    08:21: BBC One, 11:00 GMT Sunday Politics

    Today's political coverage on the BBC starts, of course, with Andrew Marr - but by no means finishes there. Join Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics sofa at 11:00 GMT on BBC One, where he'll be joined by: Labour's Liam Byrne, the shadow universities minister; UKIP leader Nigel Farage; the Conservative former Defence Secretary Liam Fox; and the journalists Isabel Oakeshott, Nicholas Watt, and Janan Ganesh.

    Sunday Politics guests
    08:20: BBC One, 09:00 GMT The Andrew Marr Show
    Yvette Cooper

    It's been a frantic week in the political world, with election fever spreading to more and more people. UKIP kicked off its spring conference; Labour announced it would reduce tuition fees by a third; and new immigration statistics proved embarrassing for the Conservative Party. But it wasn't a week spent entirely slinging mud - the coalition outlined a new devolved settlement for Wales, in a news conference that saw a show of unity and good humour between David Cameron and Nick Clegg. Join Andrew Marr at 09:00 GMT on BBC One to review the past week and look ahead to the next. His guests today include Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper; Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster; and the actress Kristen Scott-Thomas.

    08:04: Good morning Alex Hunt Politics editor, BBC News Online

    Hello and welcome to a fresh Sunday's political coverage - there are only nine more before the election takes place. Sam Francis and Adam Donald will bring you all the main news and comment from the papers, and all the key moments from the morning's programmes such as The Andrew Marr Show, Pienaar's Politics and Sunday Politics. Don't forget you can get in touch by emailing or via social media @bbcpolitics



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