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Summary

  1. Deputy PM Nick Clegg said millions of public sector workers would be spared pay cuts under Liberal Democrat plans
  2. David Cameron said a Conservative government would create an extra 600,000 free childcare places
  3. Former SNP candidate Alex Salmond said his suggestion he would be writing Labour's Budget in May was a joke
  4. UKIP's Nigel Farage admitted the tone he has used on issues such as immigration and HIV was aimed to "get noticed"
  5. There are 15 days until the general election

Live Reporting

By Dominic Howell, Andy McFarlane and Victoria Park

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Thursday's Recap

    Here is a run-through some of the main political stories of the day:

    Nick Clegg said millions of public sector workers would be spared pay cuts under Liberal Democrat plans

    Former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond said his comment that he would be writing Labour's Budget if it won power in May was meant to be "light-hearted"

    In a BBC interview UKIP leader Nigel Farage admitted the tone he has used on issues including immigration and HIV was designed to "get noticed"

    Gordon Brown has accused David Cameron of stirring up English nationalism to try to win the election

    David Cameron says he will create 600,000 extra free childcare places if he is returned to power next month

    A Labour government would invest £150m a year in cancer diagnostic equipment in England, Ed Miliband has said

    NHS founder Aneurin Bevan would be " turning in his grave " if he saw the way Welsh ministers run the service, the UK government's Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said

    And finally, James Lovelock, a leading environmentalist, has criticised the lack of attention given to climate change during the general election campaign.

    That's it for tonight folks see you at 06:00 BST tomorrow for more news, reaction and analysis.

  2. Osborne 'in it for working people'

    Newsnight

    Chancellor George Osborne was interviewed for BBC Newsnight during a visit to Erewash in the East Midlands.

    George Osborne

    After visiting a family business in the area, the chancellor said he met an employee called Nick who he thought represented "the working people of this country, who work damn hard".

    "He relies on people like me to make sure those taxes are well spent," Mr Osborne added.

    Quote Message: I am in it for the working people of this country, they don't always have pressure groups standing up for them and appearing on Newsnight and the like, but they are the people who keep this country moving forward."
  3. Thursday's Mail

    #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

    Mail
  4. Laura Kuenssberg, Newsnight chief correspondent

    @bbclaurak

    tweets :

    Quote Message: We understand Brown will make a bigger public appearance on campaign tmrw and get more directly involved in central Labour efforts
  5. Spectator front page

    #bbcpapers

    Spectator
  6. Thursday's Times

    #bbcpapers #tomorrowspaperstoday

    Times
  7. Thursday's Independent

    #bbcpapers #tomorrowspaperstoday

    Independent
  8. Thursday's Financial Times

    #bbcpapers #tomorrowspaperstoday

    FT
  9. Poll gives Labour lead

    @LordAshcroft

    tweets :

    Quote Message: YouGov/Sun poll CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRNS 5%
  10. Thursday's Guardian

    #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

    Guardian
  11. Thursday's Daily Express

    #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

    Express
  12. David Cowling, editor of BBC political research

    With precious little on the poll front (YouGov had a one point Conservative lead) perhaps it is time to step back and review all the campaign polls.

    I have registered 48 so far (19 from YouGov alone). Labour led in 24, the Conservatives in 15 and nine were dead-heats. However, three-quarters of Conservative and Labour leads have been either 1% or 2%.

    What of the other parties? The average Lib Dem share in the first 10 campaign polls was 7.8%: in the most recent ten polls it was 8.4%.

    On the same basis, at the start of the campaign, UKIP’s average was 13.5%, compared with 12.3% most recently; and the figures for the Greens were 5.1% versus 4.5% currently.

    The recent Conservative focus on the SNP may pay electoral dividends and change the polls. Something needs to if we are ever to have a decisive outcome to this election.

  13. Thursday's Telegraph

    #bbcpapers #tomorrowspaperstoday

    Telegraph
  14. Power of social media

    The Huffington Post

    Ned Simons

    Ned Simons, assistant political editor of the Huffington Post, has commented on Ed Miliband's new-found appreciation online.

    "I imagine Labour can't believe their luck, they spent about four years trying to turn Miliband's image around. You remember bacon sandwiches, and geeky and weird.

    "Then in a couple of days one tweet from a teenage girl, and suddenly he's a symbol of everything else, you've got people photoshopping him onto actors and models and so on, so I think they'll be quite pleased with this."

    He added that Miliband's poll rating had gone from minus 50 to minus 18... "it's still not great but it's better than where he was before," he says.

  15. Wealth debate

    The Spectator

    Across at the Spectator they are currently holding a debate about wealth. The speakers are Guardian columnist Owen Jones, Spectator journalists Toby Young and Fraser Nelson, blogger Jack Monroe, Green MEP Molly Scott Cato and editor of Spears William Cash.

    People can join in using the hashtag #SpecDebate on Twitter.

  16. Morgan intervenes on minority languages

    Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has said a future Conservative government would "guarantee the future" of GCSEs and A-levels in minority languages such as Polish, Gujarati, Bengali and Turkish.

    There has been a campaign against exam board plans to withdraw these languages as exam subjects in England.

    Nicky Morgan

    Mrs Morgan has written to exam boards telling them to reverse their decision.

    Labour's Tristram Hunt said it was a "desperate attempt" to "undo the damage of chaotic exam changes". Full story here.

  17. Matt Chorley, political editor of MailOnline

    @MattChorley

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Another riveting campaign day: Clegg can't cook, someone fell over near Miliband, Dave and Boris did a jigsaw and Farage said immigrants
  18. Nigel Farage

    The UKIP leader's chat with Evan Davis (see below) is on BBC1 now. You can also watch on the live coverage tab above.

  19. 'Out of touch'

    Labour's shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna reckons David Cameron’s admission on BBC Radio 1 that he does not know how much the living wage is shows "he’s completely out of touch".

    "Unlike the Tories who have done nothing to promote it, Labour will help employers pay a living wage with new incentives through Make Work Pay contracts," he adds.

  20. Teenage voters

    Newsbeat

    One audience member at the Newsbeat Ask the Leaders pressed the prime minister as to why 16 and 17-year-olds couldn't vote, and suggested it was because the Conservatives feared young people's "disillusionment" with the party's policies.

    Mr Cameron wasn't having that. He said there was strong support, even at many schools he visited, for keeping the voting age at 18, and added:

    Quote Message: I don't accept if you gave the vote to 16 or 17-year-olds they would miraculously vote this way or that way."

    You can read the full account of the prime minister's appearance in Newsbeat's round-up of the event.

  21. Brown: PM 'stirring nationalism'

    Newsnight

    Gordon Brown has accused David Cameron of stirring up English nationalism to try to win the election, and the SNP of misleading people over their offer to be part of a Labour-led administration.

    Gordon Brown

    The former PM told a gathering of fewer than a hundred voters in Fife that "the only way they can win is to build resentment in Scotland of the English and resentment in England of Scots" and that David Cameron was "whipping up English nationalism".

    On the SNP, he said "people must realise they are not interested in a Labour government" and that only Labour would "immediately deal with food bank poverty, zero-hours poverty, inequality and the NHS". Large numbers of SNP MPs could mean "months of constitutional chaos", he warned.

  22. 'Truly shocking' - Alastair Campbell

    @campbellclaret

    Former Labour spin-doctor Alastair Campbell has responded to Prime Minister David Cameron's tweeted video of SNP leader Alex Salmond making a "joke" about writing Labour's budget.

    Mr Campbell tweets :

    Quote Message: @David_Cameron what is truly shocking is that you are PM and you post this bilge and expect to be taken seriously. Your campaign is a joke."
  23. PM faces young voters

    Newsbeat

    As mentioned earlier, David Cameron has been appearing in BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. Thankfully, perhaps, he wasn't giving a rendition of Benny Hill's Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West), which he apparently enjoys singing in the shower.

    Instead, he was facing questions from 10 young voters, who quizzed him on topics such as the voting age, homelessness and the "tampon tax".

    David Cameron in the Live Lounge
  24. Taking the battle to the 404 page

    Most internet users know the 404 error page as a land of broken promises (and links) but the Lib Dems see it as just another space to get their message out.

    They've previously used their website's error page to mock David Cameron and take a swipe at Ed Balls.

    And today they've deployed it to poke fun at Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps, after he was denied claims he edited Wikipedia entries about himself and other MPs.

    Childish? Maybe. Amusing? We'll let you decide.

    A screengrab of the 404 error page on the libdems.org.uk website - 22 April 2015
  25. Farage interview

    Nigel Farage and Evan Davis

    Here's a bit more from the Nigel Farage interview being broadcast at 19:30 BST on BBC One with Evan Davis.

    The UKIP leader said "you could argue" there are parts of the country where the police have withdrawn and Sharia law applied.

    And he said turning a blind eye to such issues had led to "some of the most appalling sexual scandals that I think we've seen in our history".

  26. Brotherly love?

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Ed Miliband says he's getting the full support of his brother David during the general election campaign. The Labour leader says he regularly talks to his older sibling, who's now based in New York.

    But he says the former foreign secretary - who he beat to the job of leading the party - won't be returning to British politics.

    Ed and Dave Miliband

    Asked on BBC Radio 5 live's John Pienaar whether "the door was still open" for his brother to return to politics, Mr Miliband says: "That's what we call 'curtain measuring' in my business John.

    "I'm thinking up to 7 May, 10pm, 'cause that's where my focus is."

    Quote Message: David's happy doing the job he's doing in America. So I'm focused on getting Labour government elected."
  27. Heated exchange

    Nigel Farage also admits he struggled at the start of the election campaign because he tried to do too much.

    During an often heated exchange with Evan Davis on BBC1's leader interviews, Mr Farage disputes claims he told US television there were parts of the UK that were "ghettoes" and "no-go areas" for the police.

    However, he admits "perhaps at times that tone had to be used". The programme appears on BBC1 at 19:30 BST or on the Live Coverage tab above.

  28. Farage's attack tone 'to get noticed'

    Nigel Farage

    Nigel Farage has admitted he's used a tone to attack some immigrants and Muslims in the UK which was designed to "get noticed", but he's insisted it was necessary.

    The UKIP leader told the BBC's Evan Davis the language he's used in the past about some Romanians and Muslim people who supported the Charlie Hebdo attacks "had to be used".

  29. 'Vote for Name Surname'

    The UKIP flyer that was ripped apart by an English teacher last week was a classic - but it's far from the only example of dodgy political literature out there.

    We collected a few of the worst offenders yesterday and we've added a whole new batch today, including this great offering from "Name Surname" in east London - as pointed out by @willnich on Twitter.link

    A badly thought-through leaflet for a Tory candidate in east London - 22 April 2015

    If you spot any questionable party material coming through your letterbox, let us know via haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk or upload them here.

  30. PM on 'living wage'

    Newsbeat

    The PM tells BBC Radio 1 that he can't cite the "living wage" figure - that's the hourly rate campaigners say an individual must earn to cover basic living costs.

    David Cameron says the rate differs "depending on different parts of the country" but - asked if he knew the rate for those outside London - adds: "I don't have those figures in my head."

    Mr Cameron says staff at Downing Street are paid the living wage. About the lower "minimum wage", Mr Cameron says: "I don't want the minimum wage to go up at a rate, [that] the experts tell me, will increase unemployment."

    Quote Message: I sometimes find that frustrating as prime minister."
  31. Barry Sheerman, Labour & Co-op candidate

    @BarrySheerman

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Still time to restore #ClimateChange to a high priority in this Election campaign!
  32. David Cameron in the Live Lounge

    PM quizzed by Radio 1 listeners

    Newsbeat

    David Cameron's been answering questions from 10 young voters in the BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. They quizzed him on housing, the voting age and the living wage. Listen live now.

    David Cameron with Newsbeat's Chris Smith in our photo booth
    Image caption: David Cameron with Newsbeat's Chris Smith in our photo booth
  33. Salmond: 'I was joking'

    Alex Salmond insists he was joking when he talked about writing the Labour budget at a public meeting - a video of which was tweeted today by David Cameron.

    Mr Salmond says: "Obviously it was a joke, as you can see from the context of the meeting. So this was a real public meeting. We're real people."

    Alex Salmond
    Quote Message: I was making a joke about the Tory campaign saying I was going to write the Labour budget and everybody thought it was a pretty funny joke poking fun at the Tory campaign." The problem with David Cameron is that he doesn't have public meetings, he doesn't meet real people, he doesn't even do his own tweets for that matter and he's got both a humour by-pass but above all, a people by-pass."
  34. Get involved

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Tom Davis:

  35. 'Lock out' Conservatives?

    SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie urges Ed Miliband to spell out clearly whether he will work with the nationalists "to lock David Cameron out of Downing Street - or prefer to see the Tories back in government".

    Stewart Hosie
    Quote Message: As long as there are more anti-Tory than Tory MPs sent to Westminster in this election, we can ensure that the Tories are locked out of government. With a strong team of SNP MPs holding the balance of power, we can end the cuts - and deliver the investment in jobs and public services that both SNP and traditional Labour supporters want to see." from Stewart Hosie
    Stewart Hosie
  36. Nick Robinson, Political Editor, BBC News

    @bbcnickrobinson

    tweets:

    Quote Message: .@David_Cameron : Salmond "footage will shock you". @StewartHosieSNP: "he was having a bit of fun". @Ed_Miliband says Lab will write budget
  37. Get involved

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Dominic Elsworth:

  38. Need a quick catch-up?

    Here's a video of interesting snippets of today's campaigning - catch up in just one minute, 44 seconds. It includes politicians' comments on public sector pay, childcare and the NHS.

  39. Kevin Maguire, Daily Mirror associate editor & New Statesman columnist

    @Kevin_Maguire

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Certainty is the enemy of news. Only thing likely in this election is no party wins an outright majority. Anybody's guess after that
  40. Osborne comments on Salmond video

    @George_Osborne

    In response to the video in which former SNP leader Alex Salmond says he will be "writing the Labour Party Budget" (see previous entry 14:45 BST), Conservative Chancellor George Osborne tweets :

    Quote Message: Salmond remarks confirm that weak Miliband + SNP in charge = economic chaos for UK. Two big risks of election have just collided"
  41. Police investigate UKIP 'beheading' threat

    Police are investigating after a UKIP candidate claimed he was threatened with beheading in a phone call from a member of the electorate.

    David Robinson-Young says he was left "shaken" by the call, which came yesterday from a man calling himself Mr Khan and claimed to live in the South Gosforth area of Newcastle upon Tyne East .

    After 20 minutes of "ranting", Mr Robinson-Young says he told the man he would end the call, before being told: "You will be beheaded next."

    A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: "The matter has been reported to the police and is being investigated."

  42. Snooze time

    Sleeping man

    It is time for the early team of Alex Stevenson and Aiden James to head home after completing their "oh-my-goodness-it's-early" shift, and we offer you the parting suggestion that there’s been an odd theme to today: a general sense of politicians tiring at the rather prolonged, rather carefully-controlled campaign. Here’s a sleep-themed summary:

    • - Concerns have been expressed about the campaign being too stage-managed – with Cathy Newman complaining minimising risk carries its own danger of “boring us all rigid” (10.36)
    • - The Tories, in particular, are feeling “exhausted” by the sheer length of the campaign (12.45)
    • - The three main parties tried their hardest to get the narrative away from speculation about what will happen in a hung parliament by focusing on the policies instead (6.55)
    • - Ed Miliband once again tried to put to bed the idea that Labour would work with the SNP (13.49)
    • - Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    This Election Live page won’t be going to sleep just yet, though – we’ll be keeping you updated on all the latest developments until midnight tonight with Dominic Howell and Andy McFarlane.

  43. Boris Johnson on Tory leadership - 'a wonderful thing'

    Boris Johnson, pressed about whether he would like to be leader of the Tories when David Cameron steps down, tells Sky: "It would be a wonderful thing to be thought to be in a position to be considered for such an honour."

    Earlier today the two men got their hands dirty when they visited the Advantage Children's Day Nursery in Surbiton, Surrey.

    Boris Johnson and David Cameron
  44. Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC technology correspondent

    @ruskin147

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Cars parked outside the office - girls asking "is it Justin Bieber?" Sorry, it's a Leading Politician
    Cars parked outside the BBC's New Broadcasting House - 22 April 2015
  45. #cameronettes trending on Twitter

    @TheModernScipio tweets:

    Quote Message: Interesting that the Tories picked "#Cameronettes" as the name of their pretend social media movement. Patronising, gendered term.

    @RudeLibertarian tweets:

    Quote Message: So #milifandom is a stunt, and no doubt #cameronettes is too. This is the depths they have dropped people. Voting for them still?

    @josie_torrice tweets:

    Quote Message: Every so often I question the point of twitter and then something like #milifandom & #cameronettes comes up & it all makes sense
  46. #cameronettes

    The Daily Telegraph

    Exeter University student Charlie Evans tells the Telegraph why he started a rival to the #milifandom Ed Miliband fan club on Twitter.

    The rival fan club, called the #cameronettes, is devoted to David Cameron.

    The newspaper reports: "He later admitted it was a joke, but asked by the Telegraph why he decided to jump on the bandwagon he said he felt somebody needed to speak up against a left-wing takeover of Twitter."

  47. Salmond 'giving the game away'

    BBC News Channel

    Boris Johnson

    Boris Johnson is in Westminster explaining why he thinks the YouTube clip of Alex Salmond joking that he’ll be writing a Labour government’s Budget is significant.

    “The SNP will say it’s a joke and a bit of fun, but there’s a deep truth contained in the joke,” the London mayor tells the BBC News Channel. “Ed Miliband hasn’t got a prayer of getting legislation through the House of Commons without the support of the SNP.

    "There you’ve got Alex Salmond giving the game away, showing what’s going on in his mind which is that he knows full that if there is to be a Labour government… the SNP will be the Scottish nationalist tail wagging the Labour dog.”

    Pressed on whether he can rule out a Conservative-UKIP deal, he says it’s his view that there shouldn’t be any deals – but he concedes he can’t speak for the Conservative Party. “I haven’t spoken to David Cameron,” he concedes.

  48. John Pienaar, BBC5 live's chief political correspondent

    @JPonpolitics

    tweets:

    Quote Message: I've been on Ed Miliband's bus. Hear my interview at 5pm on @bbc5live Drive. The Labour leader demanded this selfie.
    The BBC's John Pienaar (left) with Labour leader Ed Miliband - 22 April 2015
  49. Gandalf backs Labour

    Sir Ian McKellen

    Well, the actor who played the wizard is, anyway. Sir Ian McKellen, following in the footsteps of fellow actors Martin Freeman and David Tennant, has endorsed a Labour government after the party launched its LGBT manifesto yesterday, saying:

    Quote Message: I am impressed by the aims and commitments of Labour’s manifesto for LGBT people, particularly the appointment of Michael Cashman as an international LGBT Rights Envoy. Such initiatives cost little, yet help make the world a better, safer place for us all.” from Sir Ian McKellen
    Sir Ian McKellen
  50. Isabel Hardman, Assistant editor, The Spectator

    @IsabelHardman

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Just arrived in gorgeous Glasgow for a few days' watching the most exciting bit of this general election.
  51. A Lib Dem balancing act

    With the election just 15 days away, one parliamentary candidate has already put herself in the highest position - with her circus skills.

    Liberal Democrat candidate Kelly-Marie Blundell has walked the tight rope with the Moscow State Circus, eight feet above the ground at Stoke Park in Guildford, Surrey.

    "It was good to squeeze in some balancing practice between hustings," she said. "I should have had a red rosette on one side and a blue on the other."

    Other candidates for the Guildford seat include Anne Milton for the Conservatives, John Pletts for the Greens, Richard Wilson for Labour and Harry Aldridge for UKIP. The full list is available here.

    Kelly-Marie Blundell
  52. 'I wouldn't claim to be cool' - Ed Miliband

    Ed Miliband as superman

    Justine Miliband is reportedly "bemused" by the sudden outpouring of internet passion for her husband by teenage girls calling themselves the Milifandom, the Labour leader has revealed.

    And Ed Miliband admitted he was "blushing" to read some of the comments from his new-found fans, protesting: "I wouldn't claim to be cool."

    As explained in previous entries (see 12:29 BST and 15:06 BST) in the past couple of days, Twitter has been awash with messages marked with the hashtag #milifandom, declaring passion for the Labour leader in tones normally reserved for film stars or pop singers.

    Mr Miliband's face has also been photoshopped onto images of Superman and James Bond, while a clip of him gazing into the camera to the tune of George Michael singing Careless Whisper racked up almost three million "loops" on video-sharing site Vine.

  53. Meanwhile, #milifandom has been trending on Twitter

    @Sidra_h92 tweets:

    Quote Message: @twcuddleston thank you for starting the #milifandom - you've changed the election game!

    @B_eibhlin tweets:

    Quote Message: When did this #milifandom thing happen? How did I miss the start of this glorious thing? I'm in awe

    @RuariC93 tweets:

    Quote Message: #milifandom amazing how it caught on in support of Ed Miliband. Tories afraid of newly famous hashtag, their own hashtag failed miserably.
  54. Final pitches

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Economy debate

    The economy debate ends with some final pitches from the parties:

    • The SNP’s Stewart Hosie says there’s no need for more cuts, and instead calls for spending a “modest amount” to lift the squeeze on medium-earners
    • UKIP’s Patrick O’Flynn pledges to put the British people first by putting taxpayers’ money “back in their pockets”
    • Conservative David Gauke says there’s a “clear choice” between his party’s plan and the “chaos of the SNP propping up Ed Miliband”
    • Liberal Democrat Dick Newby says the discussion highlighted “stark differences” and it’s “only the Liberal Democrats” who will help eliminate the deficit and help bring about a “fairer society”
    • Labour’s Chris Leslie says there’s a need to build “strong economic foundations” and emphasises that none of his party’s pledges involve additional borrowing
  55. Mansion tax

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Economy debate

    Labour's Chris Leslie, questioned on his party's plans to introduce a mansion tax immediately, says he believes £1.2 billion can be raised from the policy - because the Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, says so. Mr Leslie admits he hasn't seen HMRC's analysis himself.

    That prompts a pretty sceptical response from everyone else in the studio. "There's no way you can bring this in this year," Conservative Treasury Minister David Gauke says above the din.

  56. Team Coalition

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    The Lib Dems’ record on consistency is questioned now, as Dick Newby says compromises are inevitable when you don’t have an overall majority. He suggests the same question should be put to both the Conservative and Labour parties, given they are unlikely to win full control of the Commons.

    Robert Peston suggests to him that the Lib Dems’ plan to find £7 billion from tax avoidance and tax evasion measures is coming out of thin air. “We’ve generated billions from tax avoidance measures in this parliament,” Lord Newby says.

    There is a rare moment of coalition solidarity in the campaign as Treasury minister David Gauke comes to his Lib Dem coalition partner's rescue, saying “there is still scope to take further action”.

  57. Hosie under fire

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Economy debate

    Stewart Hosie says the SNP is “very pleased” by the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ analysis released earlier that showed a £9bn "fiscal gap" by 2020. He says it also shows the deficit would have been halved by then.

    Asked about the the SNP's reliance on oil revenues, Mr Hosie denies that falling prices are denting Scotland’s financial prospects. “Nobody expected the price to soften in the way it did,” the SNP's deputy leader says.

    The other debate participants line up to criticise him. Conservative David Gauke says the SNP got it rather wrong, before Labour's Chris Leslie challenges the SNP to explain why it is seeking full fiscal autonomy. That won’t happen for years, Mr Hosie responds.

  58. Salmond video

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Stewart Hosie responds to a video in which former SNP leader Alex Salmond says he will be "writing the Labour Party Budget" during the Daily Politics debate.

    "I think he was having a bit of fun," the SNP Treasury spokesman says.

    Labour's Chris Leslie says any suggestion that Alex Salmond would be writing a Labour Budget is "total nonsense".

  59. 'Rotten idea'

    Nick Clegg

    Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg - who is campaigning in south west England and Wales - warn that the Conservatives could seek to revive the idea of regional pay settlements for public sector workers.

    He warns that the move could have taken £1.4 billion out of the economy in Wales.

    Mr Clegg claims his party blocked the proposals which would have meant "public sector workers having their wages slashed".

    Speaking at the Airbus plant in Bristol, Mr Clegg described regional pay as a "rotten idea".

  60. UKIP vs SNP

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Patrick O'Flynn and Stewart Hosie

    Robert Peston wants to know why UKIP is so keen on positioning itself as the anti-business party.

    “We’re not anti-business," Patrick O’Flynn responds. "We think big business has driven the agenda in this country for too long and we very much see ourselves as the party of small business.”

    He wants to tackle immigration, but Stewart Hosie of the SNP isn’t impressed. “The answer isn’t to demonise people who come from another country,” he declares.

  61. 'No Budget compromise'

    Chris Leslie

    The SNP’s Stewart Hosie is fairly upbeat about the possibility of his party coming to an accommodation with Labour in the event of a hung Parliament. “There is a deal to be struck which is fiscally responsible,” he says.

    But Labour’s Chris Leslie is unyielding. “We are not going to compromise on any Budgets,” he declares, adding that the SNP won’t have any influence on Labour policy at all.

  62. Debating the 50p rate

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Economy debate

    BBC economics editor Robert Peston asks about concerns in the City that a Labour government could lead to higher interests rates. Chris Leslie disputes the premise of the question, saying not all businesses are fearful.

    Lib Dem Dick Newby challenges Mr Leslie over an HMRC report on the cost of the 50p top rate of tax - and Tory David Gauke denies any ministerial interference in it. He rejects the 50p rate proposed by Labour, saying he’s all in favour of making the rich pay more but arguing that “the 50p rate is a lousy way of doing it”.

    UKIP’s Patrick O’Flynn, asked about immigrants’ contribution to economic growth, says they won’t improve GDP per capita. But Stewart Hosie points out that half of migrants arriving in Scotland are educated to degree level.

  63. Opening statements

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Summaries of the remaining opening statements from the parties in the Daily Politics' debate on the economy:

    • UKIP’s Patrick O’Flynn calls for tax cuts, including for those on the minimum wage. He claims it is affordable “because we alone are prepared to take the axe to politically correct spending” – on things like foreign aid, HS2, the Barnett formula and the EU.
    • The SNP’s Stewart Hosie says a vote for his party is about giving Scotland “a voice at Westminster”. He’s pushing for investment in the NHS and an end to austerity because “we simply can’t afford another five years of cuts”.
  64. Economy debate underway

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Economy debate

    Here’s a summary of the opening statements from the Daily Politics’ election debate on the economy – and their answers to one or two awkward questions from Andrew Neil.

    • Labour’s Chris Leslie the UK is struggling in a "low wage economy". He calls for a government on the side of the majority because “if working people succeed, Britain as a whole succeeds”.
    • The Liberal Democrats’ Dick Newby says his party wants to build on the achievements of the coalition by growing spending in line with economic growth after the deficit’s been eliminated.
    • Conservative David Gauke says five years ago “we inherited an economy in crisis”. But now “our economic plan is working”. He acknowledges there’s “more to do”, though.
  65. Rupert Myers, Political Correspondent @BritishGQ

    @RupertMyers

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Between #milifandom, the rise of the #cameronettes and stories about Grant Shapps, has the election campaign reached peak triviality?
  66. Mark Ferguson, Editor of @LabourList

    @Markfergusonuk

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Grant Shapps won the 100m at the Olympics, carrying Usain Bolt on his back #WikiShappsFacts
  67. Banking worries

    Goldman Sachs

    US investment bank Goldman Sachs has attracted one or two headlines today with an "election special" giving its view that a Conservative government would be better news for business than a Labour one. “Concerns are likely to emerge that reliance on the SNP would pull the Labour government away from the centre to the left of the political spectrum, as well as raising the spectre of distributional policies favouring Scotland at the expense of the UK as a whole,” the briefing sent to clients states. By contrast, the coalition government had achieved “some credibility in markets as a consequence of its contribution to the stabilisation of the economy and revival of growth that has been achieved since 2010”.

  68. Salmond vs Miliband

    Alex Salmond and Ed Miliband

    Pressed by Jeremy Vine over whether Labour will do any kind of a deal with the SNP – even an “agreement” rather than a “coalition” – Ed Miliband says: “There’s not going to be that.”

    He adds: “If you want to ask who’s going to write Labour’s first Budget, it’s the Labour Party, not the SNP.”

    But, according to a video highlighted in a tweet from PM David Cameron, that clashes with the view of Alex Salmond.

    It shows the former SNP leader at an event earlier this month in which he quotes a Labour spokesman saying Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy would not be writing the Labour Party Budget.

    Mr Salmond adds:

    Quote Message: But then I knew that already, because I’m writing the Labour Party Budget!”
  69. Michael Rosen, writer & broadcaster

    @MichaelRosenYes

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Grant Shapps is several chaps. People in the media think he fiddled wikipedia. Grant Shapps never lies. He mistakenly over firmly denies.
  70. Farage on Shapps

    Nigel Farage

    Nigel Farage has offered his take on the story that Grant Shapps allegedly changed details of his Wikipedia account:

    Quote Message: “He called himself Michael Green, didn’t he? And didn’t he attend a business conference with a badge using a different name? I’m amazed this guy is chairman of the Conservative Party and, you know, we all look at media stories and form an opinion, but I would be surprised if this wasn’t true.”
  71. Cancer testing

    BBC Radio 2

    The Labour leader is emphasising the importance of "speeding up the testing" for cancer diagnosis. "It's the kind of change we need in our health service," he says. He confirms the mansion tax is a part of the £2.5 billion fund Labour will use to pay for it.

    Quote Message: There are huge challenges in the health service - where is the money coming from? I don't think you can fund the NHS with an IOU, you have to fund it with real resources."
  72. Video Killed The Radio Star

    BBC Radio 2

    Ed Miliband, having spent the entirety of Video Killed The Radio Star trying to remember who the band was, expresses his relief when Jeremy Vine informs him it’s the Buggles .

  73. No 'cuts' here

    BBC Radio 2

    Ed Miliband doesn’t do spending cuts, only “spending reductions”, as he puts it in BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine interview. He’s not prepared to say when he’ll finish off reducing the deficit. “It’s about the sums adding up,” he says.

  74. Get involved

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Grant Williams:

  75. Lessons learned

    BBC Radio 2

    Ed Miliband

    Ed Miliband, interviewed by Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2, says he takes a “big lesson” from the last five years: “If living standards stagnate, the tax revenues don’t come in and the books don’t get balanced.” He thinks Labour can do something about living standards, listing changes he says will “ease that cost-of-living crisis and build a stronger economy for the future”. The Labour leader says there are 1.3 million people working part-time in the economy who say they want a full-time job. “This goes to a big question, which is: are we satisfied with the jobs we’ve got in our economy, or do we think too many of them are low-paid, insecure?” Mr Miliband highlights the “dramatic growth” in zero-hours contracts and claims everyone knows someone who’s on such a contract now.

  76. Immigration views

    Nigel Farage

    Pollsters Ipsos Mori are carrying out a survey of a panel of around 4,500 respondents, looking at their attitude towards the issue which UKIP has made the centrepiece of its campaign: immigration. Here are some of the highlights of the the first findings:

    • Only 12% say they are currently satisfied with the government’s handling of immigration
    • The average guess from the public on what proportion of the UK population is foreign born is 21% - when the latest official estimate is around 13%
    • Views are polarising, with 27% saying we’re talking about the issue too much – compared to just 11% who thought the same thing in 2011
    • There’s a growing generational divide on immigration
    • But it’s political allegiance which is now the most important predictor of who worries about the issue
  77. Get involved

    Text: 61124

    Election live reader:

    SMS Message: Farage quite right. There are millions of these migrants waiting. We cannot afford to help the whole world.
  78. Tony Parsons, journalist

    @TonyParsonsUK

    tweets:

    Quote Message: David Cameron will be left out for the bin men of history unless he gets the vote of people he called fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists
  79. Bez speaks out

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Bez

    One final post from today's BBC Daily Politics programme. The Reality Party, Happy Monday's Bez’s new project, has three candidates standing in the general election. Mark Berry, as barely anyone knows him, explains that the party began out of opposition to fracking. What about the Greens, then? “I can’t see the Green Party doing well, that’s why I formed a new political party,” Bez says.

    He wants to create a cultural centre in Salford and take back “responsibility for our own food supply”. Bez wants to “set up the idea of community again” and adds that “we need to take responsibility for our own health”, too. So how long would it take to sort out? “Not very long,” he reckons.

  80. The Guardian's Andrew Sparrow

    @AndrewSparrow

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Strewth! In Lndn @NicolaSturgeon is most dangerous wmn in world, but in Scotland apparently she's the new Princess Di
  81. There's more Andrew Neil in an hour

    Andrew Neil

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Daily Politics viewers get an hour off for a quick bite to eat after the lunchtime programme just ending on BBC2, as Andrew Neil is back for an economy debate at 14:00 BST.

    He will be joined by BBC economics editor Robert Peston to put questions to Conservative David Gauke, Labour's Chris Leslie, Lib Dem Dick Newby, UKIP's Patrick O'Flynn and the SNP's Stewart Hosie for the hour-long live debate.

    Desktop viewers can watch on Live Coverage tab above.

    Daily Politics debate graphic
  82. BBC's Sam Macrory

    @sammacrory

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Has he told Shaun? Bez says he'd quit the Happy Mondays if elected. "I'm quite willing to do that for the sake of the people." #bbcdp
  83. Get involved

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Mick:

  84. Minority fatigue

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Peter Hennessy

    Ellie Price has been reporting for the Daily Politics about what a confidence-and-supply agreement actually means for the government. The last time it happened, of course, was under Jim Callaghan in the years before Margaret Thatcher came to power.Historian Peter Hennessy says the Labour PM found the whole experience rather draining.

    "I remember talking to Jim Callaghan – and he said it wore him out, after the Lib-Lab Pact had gone down, bartering with the smaller parties on a day-to-day basis just to get the government’s business through,” he recalls. “It’s a very punishing routine for a prime minister and a cabinet having to do a rolling series of deals – but that’s what it essentially means.”

  85. Unison wants 'decent pay rise'

    Dave Prentis

    Public sector Unison’s general secretary, Dave Prentis, isn’t very impressed by the Liberal Democrats’ proposals to end public sector pay restraint from 2016/17. The “harsh economic policies” of the coalition mean people should be forgiven for treating these promises “cynically”, he says – adding that it’s easy for Nick Clegg to make pay promises with inflation flat-lining.

    Quote Message: With the election just weeks away, Nick Clegg is now trying to show that he understands the financial hardship experienced by public servants. Five years of wage freezes and capped pay have meant tough times across the civil service, local government and the NHS. It's time to make good the damage done to household budgets by years of falling real pay."
  86. 'Tired Tories'

    The Spectator

    Tory placard

    Not every Conservative, as we saw yesterday with Lord Forsyth’s comments, is entirely over the moon with how this election campaign is being conducted. Now Isabel Hardman at the Spectator has spoken to Tories who fear their "nasty party" image is being propagated by their approach to the SNP. More here.

  87. Natalie Bennett foodbanks speech

    Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has attacked benefit sanctions in a speech at Sheffield Students' Union:

    Quote Message: "We don't think that punitive sanctions will lift people out of poverty – in fact they are morally indefensible and deeply damaging. It is the duty of government to ensure that our economy provides decently paid jobs for all those looking for work. The principle that those at the bottom of society shouldn't be made to pay for the mistakes and fraud of the bankers, runs through everything we are doing as a party."
    Natalie Bennett
  88. Childcare clashes

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Jacqui Smith and Sam Gyimah

    There’s a bit of a clash over Labour and the Conservatives’ childcare policies on the Daily Politics. The Tory offer is for 30 hours’ free childcare for three- and four-year-olds, with Labour offering 25 hours.

    But there’s disagreement over whether the Conservatives have costed their policy properly – with Labour former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith pointing out that 25 hours of free children will cost £800m.

    “You haven’t taken into account universal credit savings and the benefit savings we will make,” Sam Gyimah protests.

  89. Get involved - childcare costs

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Jeremy Rabinovitch:

  90. #MyHeartHasExploded

    Ed Miliband

    Responding to an upsurge in Milimania, the man in question - Labour leader Ed Miliband - has told the 17-year-old behind the Twitter fan feed devoted to him that it's "good to hear" young people engaging in politics.

    Abby, who goes by the Twitter handle @twcuddleston, started a Miliband appreciation feed known as #milifandom. Responding on Twitter, Mr Miliband said: "@twcuddleston It's good to hear young people who care about politics speaking up for the things they believe in."

    Mr Miliband's acknowledgement of the campaign was warmly received by #milifandom participants.Replying to Mr Miliband's message, one Twitter user wrote: "MY HEART HAS EXPLODED".

  91. 'Statesmanlike' Cable

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Vince Cable

    What happens if Labour ends up the largest party and the Lib Dems come to a deal with them that also needs SNP support? Vince Cable rules out any kind of agreement with the nationalists. “We’ve rejected the idea of working with the SNP because their underlying objective is to break up the UK,” he says. Doing so would be “very dangerous”, he adds.

    He talks of the “two extremes” of the election – Labour-SNP and "Blukip". When it comes to the latter he really means the right-wing of the Tory party, he explains, rather than UKIP, which he says he expects will only win one or two MPs.

    Labour former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is thoroughly approving of these comments. “We’ve got Vince Cable being more statesmanlike than the prime minister in emphasising the requirement to keep the union together,” she says. Mr Cable looked rather pleased at that – as you can see in the picture above.

  92. 'Not a big change'

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Vince Cable

    Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable is on the Daily Politics being asked about the party's public sector pay rise policy. "The promise we’re making is there won’t be further real cuts," he explains. But with private sector growth likely in the coming years, doesn’t his party’s promise mean public sector workers will be relatively worse off? Mr Cable responds by playing down the idea this is a big deal:

    Quote Message: It’s not massive largesse for people in the public sector, we don’t pretend that… it’s not a big change of policy.
  93. Cameron: 'Fired up' for good news

    ITV's This Morning

    Asked if he had any regrets following his five year premiership, David Cameron said there were certain things he wished he had done sooner, including introducing the Help to Buy housing sceme "even faster".

    "The big task I faced in 2010 was to get the economy moving, to get people back to work, to get the deficit down," he added, saying: "I think we're on the brink of something really special which is turning that economic news into good news for families and everyone else....That's what fires me up."

  94. Cameron on immigration

    ITV's This Morning

    David Cameron says his government has brought down net immigration from outside the EU - but from within Europe there has been an increase in immigration.

    To address these issues, the PM told ITV's This Morning there would be no unemployment benefit for new arrivals. If they have not found a job within six months, they will be returned home and they will not be allowed to send child benefit back home, he said.

  95. Labour Press Team

    @labourpress

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Tories all over the place on childcare today - now announced same policy twice without saying where the money is coming from.
  96. Home owning promise

    ITV's This Morning

    File photo of houses

    David Cameron said 88,000 people have been helped on to the housing ladder. "We've got to build more houses, but 'help to buy' has stimulated house building," he said. He told ITV's This Morning that for every social housing property sold, another house could be built. "It's a great plan because it enables more people to become home owners," he said.

  97. Childcare pledge

    ITV's This Morning

    Asked what he would do to reduce the cost of childcare, David Cameron told ITV's This Morning that for every £10,000 spent on childcare, parents would get £2,000 back.

  98. Daddy Cameron - boss of the blue team

    ITV This Morning

    David Cameron says he has given 10 speeches during the election campaign - and it has taken its toll on his family.

    "They are sad they are not seeing as much of me as they would like," he told ITV's This Morning. He said that his youngest child, Florence, four, who was born after the last election in 2010, regularly comments on his absence. "Florence gets that there's a blue team and I'm in charge," he said. "I come home and she asks: 'Daddy, have you won the election yet?'"

  99. Childcare tussle

    Jo Swinson with Nick Clegg

    Lib Dem equalities minister Jo Swinson claims the Conservatives' free childcare plans "could leave some parents locked out of the labour market for years on end". Ms Swinson was responding to David Cameron's pledge to double free childcare places for three and four-year-olds to 30 hours per week. She said:

    Quote Message: Lib Dem plans would extend early-years education to all two-year-olds and ensure that free childcare support kicks in as soon as paid parental leave ends for children where both parents work. This will help with the cost of childcare and ensure working parents have a genuine choice about when to return to work."
  100. 'Who's that, Alex Salmond?'

    ITV's This Morning

    David Cameron and Alex Salmond

    At the end of David Cameron's interview on This Morning, presenter Phillip Schofield previews the next segment on the programme, which features a man who can "pinch your wallet, your watch and even your tie without you noticing".

    David Cameron is heard off camera, quipping: "Who's that, Alex Salmond?"

  101. NHS charges

    David Cameron tells ITV's This Morning that people from outside the EU would face a charge on their visas if they use the NHS.

  102. Alistair Burt, Conservative

    @AlistairBurtMP

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Strong speech from David Cameron in Bedford on why jobs and welfare reform is the real way out of poverty
  103. Ben Glaze, @DailyMirror political correspondent

    @benglaze

    tweets:

    Quote Message: #Cameron dodges "full confidence" question over Grant #Shapps #GE2015 #Tory
  104. Cameron: 'Action needed' on Med crisis

    Prime Minister David Cameron has told ITV's This Morning that more action is needed to save lives following the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean that has left thousands of migrants dead. "We need to do better - Europe needs to do better... but no-one should pretend there are easy answers here," he says. Mr Cameron says he would like to see more search and rescue operations, to go after the traffickers and their boats and action to stabilise migrants' countries of origin.

  105. Happy Wednesday with Bez?

    Andrew Neil

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    The Daily Politics has been interviewing a series of smaller parties contesting seats at the general election, and it’s fair to say not all of them are household names to everyone. On today’s programme, Jo Coburn will be talking to Mark Berry, better known as Bez from the Happy Mondays, who is a candidate for the We Are The Reality Party, which believes in closing all off-shore tax havens, renationalisation of water, energy and transport, and banning fracking. Watch his previous Sunday Politics interview with Andrew Neil.

    Mark Berry, knoiwn as Bez
  106. James Tapsfield, Press Association

    @JamesTapsfield

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Cameron short and sweet on Shapps
  107. Lib Dem 'rinse aid'

    The Guardian

    Lib Dem placard

    The Liberal Democrats’ strategy of promising “passion” in a Labour government or “rigour” in a Conservative one looks good on paper but isn’t quite working out in reality, Rafael Behr suggests in the Guardian.

    He writes: “Clegg wants to be seen as a vital component in the machinery of government but the Lib Dems come across more like rinse aid in a dishwasher: probably useful, surely not essential, easily forgettable, and few people are clear about what it does.” Ouch.

    He argues the Lib Dems are losing airtime to UKIP, the Greens and the SNP – and have been surprised by the sheer partisanship of attacks from the right-wing press.

  108. Cameron on Shapps

    David Cameron is asked if he has full confidence in his party chairman, Grant Shapps.

    Quote Message: Grant does a great job, he’s made a very clear statement about this and I’ve got nothing further to add to that."
  109. Tim Montgomerie, Columnist for @TheTimes

    @montie

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Vote for the Universal Credit - says @David_Cameron #MakeWorkPay
  110. BBC's Jonny Dymond

    @JonnyDymond

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Difficult to believe the Conservatives have brought us to a toilet factory. #ge2015
    Jonny Dymond
  111. Emily Gosden, Energy editor & political correspondent for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph

    @emilygosden

    tweets:

    Quote Message: David Cameron: "The Labour Party? Really? I sometimes think the name’s an offence under the Trade Descriptions Act."
  112. Alastair Campbell

    @campbellclaret

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Sun/Mail moving beyond comic territory in election coverage. Will the last person to take them seriously turn the printing presses off?
  113. 'Magic money tree'

    None of the main parties are being straight with voters about the spending cuts to come, Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies argues in today’s Thunderer column in the Times .

    He says there’s a “sense that there is free money out there just waiting to flow into the Treasury’s coffers without anyone noticing”. It’s all part of a “wider narrative that there is a magic money tree that we can pluck at will”. Just to be clear, he adds: “There isn’t.”

    It's a message Mr Johnson has been putting forward for some time - back in December he warned there are "colossal" spending cuts still to come.

  114. 'Failure of the system'

    Victoria Derbyshire

    Tessa Munt

    More on the appeal by a cross-party group of MPs for the decision not to make Lord Janner face child sex abuse charges to be reconsidered.

    The Lib Dems' Tessa Munt is one of a cross-party group who signed a letter to the Times calling on the Director of Public Prosecutions to "immediately reverse her decision".

    She tells Victoria Derbyshire that there is precedent for people suffering from advanced dementia to face trial and warns of a potential "complete failure of the system" if Lord Janner does not.

  115. Gary Streeter, Conservative candidate

    @gary4SWDevon

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Reflecting on enjoyable full days canvassing with @olivercolvile in 3 different parts of his constuency yesterday: l sniff a deserved win
  116. Boris on Shapps and Wikipedia

    LBC

    Grant Shapps

    Boris Johnson tells Election Call on LBC that the Grant Shapps story is "trivial by comparison with more free childcare [and] cuts in inheritance tax" which the Conservatives are proposing.

    The Conservative election candidate and London mayor says: "Grant has knocked this thing on the head, he has said it is completely untrue and defamatory."

    Conservative Party chairman Mr Shapps has denied claims he repeatedly edited entries about himself and other MPs on Wikipedia.

    Mr Johnson adds that he is sure his own Wikipedia entry has been "edited by all sorts of people". He describes the website as:

    Quote Message: A farrago of stuff cobbled together by hidden hands. You know not where or who they are. Many of them know absolutely nothing about what they're talking about, plainly."
  117. 'Boring us rigid'

    The Daily Telegraph

    Gillian Duffy and Gordon Brown

    One of the big themes of this election is the strenuous efforts the parties’ campaign managers are making to avoid another Gillian Duffy moment (pictured above). This basically translates to stage-managed events – as has been discussed on both the BBC News Channel and the Today programme this morning.

    Channel 4’s Cathy Newman has expressed her own frustrations about the style of the 2015 campaign, too. “I’m not advocating egg-throwing or punch-ups but I do wish all politicians would realise that in the process of striving for a flawless campaign they’re in danger of something far worse than antagonising the public – they risk boring us rigid,” she writes in the Telegraph. “Mr Cameron keeps promising to take to the streets and yet it is stage-managed audiences of hand-picked ‘voters’ that we keep seeing.”

    She suggests the rules which broadcasters have to stick with during election campaigns don’t exactly help, either.

  118. Special forces in Libya?

    LBC

    Commenting on the recent deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean, Boris Johnson says: "You need to choke off the problem at source. You need to stop these people being put into boats."

    Asked if this means the use of UK special forces in countries such as Libya, he responds with a question: "Isn't it the tradition that you don't discuss the use of special forces?"

    He argues that "you need to do something" as there are "well-organised and ruthless people who are sending people to their deaths".

  119. 'Absolutely key'

    David Cameron

    After his short stump speech, David Cameron starts taking questions. He says the east of England is “crucial” to his bid to be re-elected as prime minister. “Seats like Bedford, seats like Ipswich will be absolutely key to determining the outcome of this election.” Mr Cameron thinks voters in Bedford should feel “empowered” and invites them to back the Tories who, he points out, fell just 23 seats short of a majority in 2010.

  120. Harriett Baldwin, Conservative candidate

    @HarriettBaldwin

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Number of children in workless households at record low. More help with childcare will help lower it even more
  121. Boris 'on all fours'

    LBC

    Boris Johnson sums up his approach to immigration thus: "Don't tell all foreigners to bog off but don’t take in people who want to scrounge."

    Asked if that means he differs from government policy, the London mayor insists somewhat cryptically that he is "on all fours with the government".

    He clarifies that this means being "at one with David Cameron and the government about what they're saying now about welfare".

    Ensuring that immigrants "can't claim benefits for several years" is fair and reasonable, he argues.

  122. Gareth Siddorn, Labour Councillor for Blackheath

    @GarethSiddorn

    tweets:

    Quote Message: New Tory "in touch" leaflet has their candidate posing outside Lewisham A&E. Presumably protesting against his party's attempts to close it?
  123. 'Milimania'

    Norman Smith

    Assistant political editor

    Mad Men Miliband

    Ed Miliband has had his face imposed on pictures of Hollywood hunks, Norman Smith tells Victoria Derbyshire. All this follows on from him being surrounded by that hen party - ever since then there’s been an upsurge in Milimania. Apparently young girls up and down the country are going crazy - one of them has started a Twitter handle called #milifandom – and loads of young girls have been listing how they admire Ed Miliband. Obviously they haven’t got enough to do these days!

  124. Not just 'lines on the graph'

    Quote Message: I’ve said it before: I’m not in this job to be some high powered accountant. I don’t just want the lines on the graph to go in the right direction, I want lives to go in the right direction. I believe passionately in reducing poverty. And the best route out of poverty is this: work. We’ve proved that. Since we came to power we’ve got more people working than in our history. The figures speak for themselves." from David Cameron
    David Cameron
  125. Charlie Brooker, satirist and broadcaster

    @charltonbrooker

    tweets:

    Quote Message: So is Grant Shapps essentially an episode of Catfish?
  126. Soapbox politics

    BBC Radio 4 Today

    John Major

    Ed Miliband was mobbed by a hen party on Saturday – a rare moment of unplanned interaction in a tightly controlled election battle. What a contrast with 1992, when John Major got on his soapbox and found that meeting the public can be a vote-winner.

    “The most striking thing about it was it was unplanned,” Tim Collins, who was Sir John’s press secretary during that campaign, tells Today. “People thought ‘here’s a guy who’s actually prepared to fight for my vote’, and I think that’s what’s lacking now.”

    He suggests that politicians nowadays are fearful of going out and engaging with the public – perhaps mindful of the risks involved in terms of being heckled or making a slip-up like Gordon Brown’s Gillian Duffy moment in 2010. Mr Collins thinks playing safe won’t break the deadlock of this election, though.

    Quote Message: They should be a little bit less controlled, a little bit more passionate, and they might actually get the breakthrough they’re so desperate for."
  127. Johnson on Janner

    LBC

    Boris Johnson comments on LBC about the decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that Labour peer Lord Janner will not face child sex abuse charges because the severity of his dementia makes him unfit to stand trial.

    "Nobody should be under any impression that Greville Janner has had an easy ride from the CPS or has been in some way allowed to escape justice," Mr Johnson argues. He says he has "some sympathy" with the director of public prosecutions who had to "cope with the fact that Lord Janner has dementia".

    LBC presenter Nick Ferrari says Lord Janner - who has always denied any wrongdoing - "escaped prosecution three times" before the current decision that he was not fit to stand trial.

    The London mayor says that is "very very disgraceful, it's regrettable" and "questions need to be asked".

  128. Cameron on his feet

    David Cameron

    David Cameron is in Bedford, where he’s trying to persuade voters to return Tory incumbent Richard Fuller to Parliament.

    Today he wants to talk about “the economy as people’s lives” – as opposed to “the economy as statistics”.

    A full list of election candidates in Bedford is available here.

  129. Get involved

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    John Daly:

  130. Face-to-face