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Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Matthew Davis

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's all for now folks

    That about wraps up Campaign Countdown for Sunday, on a day in which Education Secretary Nicky Morgan gave a strong indication that a future Conservative government would ring-fence most of the budget for schools in England. She said an announcement would be made "very shortly". The Liberal Democrats went further, promising to protect more by pledging no cuts affecting three- to 19-year-olds.

    Meanwhile, Labour election strategist Douglas Alexander told the BBC that newspaper claims that Labour's campaign was in trouble were "rubbish", the SNP called for one of the General Election leaders' debates to be held in Scotland, and UKIP's Nigel Farage celebrated the end of Dry January.

    Join us again at 06:00 on Monday.

    Nigel Farage
  2. Alastair Campbell

    Former No10 spokesman

    tweets: timeline full of campaigners all parties saying they're getting great doorstep reception. Be good to see the odd 'got told to get lost'

  3. Julian Huppert

    Liberal Democrat MP

    tweets : I'm very pleased that prisoners will now be able to get books. We should be encouraging prisoners to read and study.

  4. Prison 'book ban' rule relaxed

    Prison Book Ban

    The rule that effectively stopped prison inmates in England and Wales receiving books has been relaxed.

    The Incentives and Earned Privileges scheme was introduced in November 2013. Under the rules, prisoners are prevented from receiving parcels unless there are "exceptional circumstances", such as a medical condition.

    But a High Court ruling in December said that restricting prisoners' access to books was unlawful.

  5. 'Not proud' of same-sex marriage

    The Independent

    Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has told party activists he is "not proud" his government introduced same-sex marriage, the Independent reports.

    The paper has got a hold of a conference call in which Mr Rees-Mogg, the MP for Somerset North, allegedly tells sympathetic Tory activists "I'm not proud that this government passed that into law and it alienated a lot of our traditional supporters. So I think the least said soonest mended."

    Jacob Rees-Mogg
  6. Dan Hodges

    Political Commentator, Telegraph

    tweets: Labour's response to Stefano Pessina is madness. Foreign? Wealthy? Britain don't want your stinkin' money...

  7. Leaders' debates

    More on that call by the SNP for one of the General Election leaders' debates to be held in Scotland:

    MSP Stewart Maxwell says in a statement: "The SNP are taking nothing for granted, but we believe that the election campaign in Scotland, and hopefully the outcome, will be significant on a UK-wide basis - therefore it would be appropriate for the broadcasters to consider holding one of the seven-way debates in Scotland."

    He adds: "The network broadcast media are rightly doing more than at the last election to reflect political diversity across the UK, and so the debates themselves should not all take place in London."

  8. Murphy: Labour will beat SNP

    Daily Record

    Jim Murphy

    Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy has insisted that his party will win more Westminster seats than the SNP, the Daily Record reports.

    The latest poll gives the SNP a 18-point lead but Murphy said he believes public opinion will "switch big" to Labour in the run-up to the May 7 election, even predicting his party would increase their 41 MPs in Scotland.

    His comments came as he celebrated 50 days in his role as head of Scottish Labour, who in turn have released a five second vine of his achievements in office.

  9. Labour hits back

    Chris Mason

    Political correspondent, BBC News

    The shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna has responded to comments by Stefano Pessina, Executive Chairman of Alliance Boots, who said a Labour government under Ed Miliband would be a "catastrophe" for Britain.

    "It is important that the voice of business is heard during this General Election campaign, not least on Europe. But the British people and British businesses will draw their own conclusions when those who don't live here, don't pay tax in this country and lead firms that reportedly avoid making a fair contribution in what they pay purport to know what is in Britain's best interests."

  10. Nadine Dorries interview

    The Sunday Telegraph

    Nadine Dorries

    The newly rebranded Nadine Dorries, author and MP for Mid Befordshire, has an interview in today's Telegraph where she describe how a bitterly poor upbringing "drove" her to a £500,000 salary.

  11. Prisoner rehabilitation

    Prisoner scheme

    A scheme that will use private contractors to rehabilitate prisoners who have served short sentences is going live today.

    Under the scheme any prisoner who has served a sentence of less than a year will be supervised for 12 months from their release.

    Companies will be paid by results, and earn more cash if the criminals do not commit further crimes.

  12. Tom Newton Dunn

    Sun political editor

    tweets: The most impressive big TV interview yet by @sajidjavid on #bbcsp. The formidable @afneil barely laid a glove on him. Watch this space.

  13. Tim Montgomerie

    Columnist, The Times

    tweets: Rebranded: Not @NadineDorriesMP the politician anymore but "Nadine the Author"

    Nadine the Author
  14. Analysis: School spending

    Robin Brant

    BBC political correspondent Robin Brant: "Promising to protect spending on schools in England is not a big surprise. The Conservatives have already pledged to increase it to £53bn this year and the Lib Dems have gone further, saying they would extend it to include education of children from three to 19 years old.

    "But Nicky Morgan's nod on TV this morning leads to the inevitable question of where will the next round of cuts come then? If school spending in England is protected, and the NHS and international aid, what will the Conservatives cut more to hit their deficit target?

    "The generals at the MoD will fear it's them again although the evidence on welfare suggests they may want to go further there too. For the record Labour has said it plans to get the deficit down 'as soon as possible' in the next five years, but it is yet to lay out its specific plans for education spending."

  15. The 'real Nick Clegg'

    Political commentator for the Financial Times, Janan Ganesh, calls personal attacks on Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg "one of the saddest parts" of this government. Guardian Journalist, and fellow Sunday Politics pundit, Jackie Ashley says that Mr Clegg was "ruined by the tuition fees". Mr Ganesh calls Mr Clegg a "natural performer" after his appearance on Channel 4's 'The last leg', and tells Andrew Neil people have "lost sight" of the real Nick Clegg in "the vitriol of the last five years".

  16. 'Come out fighting'

    Nick Watt

    Nicholas Watt, the Guardian's chief political correspondent, tells Andrew Neil that there are some people in Labour's shadow cabinet who are now "resigned" to the fact that Ed Miliband will not "connect all that brilliantly" with the general public. But he says Labour must, like New Labour and the New Democrats in other elections, come out fighting rather than complaining about the coverage they might get in newspapers.

  17. Pic: Sunday Politics pundits panel

    Sunday Politics

    Sunday Politics newspaper panel
  18. Suction machine London?

    Business Secretary Vince Cable rows back from his previous view that London is "sucking in growth" at the expense of the rest of the country. He tells the London-only bit of the Sunday Politics that London's economy's growth is "welcome" but insists the government are overseeing "growth around the country" through the use of the Regional Growth Fund and City Deals.

  19. Who's Captain Kirk?

    William Shatner wears a starship uniform as Captain James T Kirk in a promotional portrait for the science fiction television series, "Star Trek" in 1967

    Sajid Javid dismisses discussions about ambitions to lead the Conservative Party. The Star Trek fan is asked by Andrew Neil if he wants to be "the Tories' Captain Kirk". The party has already got a Captain Kirk and his name is David Cameron, says Mr Javid.

    The leadership question is "a conversation not worth having". "What the British people want to see is competent leadership, and that's what you get with David Cameron" he says.

  20. Black and ethnic minority voters

    Culture Secretary Sajid Javid says the Conservative Party's relatively poor performance with black and ethnic minority voters is "not a policy issue". The problem is "more about perceptions that have built up over decades," he says. "Perceptions take time to change," he adds.

  21. Young Conservatives?

    Sunday Politics

    Culture Secretary Sajid Javid denies that the Conservative Party is unattractive to young voters. "Young people want jobs, just like everyone else," he tells Andrew Neil "and for that you need a strong economy".

    The government's reform of university fees had led to "more people than ever before going to university, and more from disadvantaged backgrounds", he adds.

  22. Javid on the Sunday Politics

    Sajid Javid

    Culture Secretary Sajid Javid is now on the Sunday Politics sofa. He tells Andrew Neil that the fact the Conservatives are not leading in the polls ahead of the election isn't a problem. "Polls are just a snapshot of the current situation," he says

  23. Graphic: Election campaigns who's who

    Sunday Politics

    A graphic
  24. The more NHS ' the better'

    Sunday Politics

    On the Daily Politics Labour's Tom Watson counters former health secretary Alan Milburn's claims that Labour's "comfort zone" campaign could lose them the general election. "The more we are talking about the NHS the better" he tells presenter Andrew Neil.

  25. Voters 'not ready'

    Sunday Politics

    Tom Watson

    Labour's Tom Watson is first up on the delayed Sunday Politics. He tells presenter Andrew Neil that he's been doing lots of campaigning and the "news from the front line is that voters aren't ready for the General Election yet... any parliamentarian who thinks this election is won or lost already is sorely mistaken".

  26. Sunday Politics

    Sunday Politics

    A bit later than planned, because of the tennis, Sunday Politics is under way. You can watch it live on BBC One or by clicking on the Live Coverage tab on this page.

  27. Post update

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    tweets: UPDATE: With the tennis over, @afneil may be bringing on #bbcsp guests and panel at 12.45pm on BBC1.

  28. Lim Dems on education

    Liberal Democrat Schools Minister David Laws has weighed in on the schools issue. Responding to Nicky Morgan's comments on school budget policy and standards in primary schools (see 11:11 and earlier).

    He said in a statement: "You simply cannot raise standards in schools while also pursuing a scorched earth policy that would decimate the education budget.

    "More children are now doing well in school because, in this parliament, Liberal Democrats forced the Tories to protect the schools budget. But in the next parliament we will need to go further and protect the whole education budget - including early years and 16-19 education. The Tories are living in fantasy land if they think great schools and teachers come for free."

  29. US governor in London

    Chris Christie

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is on an official visit to London where he will hold meetings with David Cameron and George Osborne, as well as dining with the cabinet. The three-day trip comes amid increasing speculation that he will run for the Republican nomination for the 2016 US election. Gov Christie will also attend Sunday's match between Arsenal and Aston Villa which kicks off at 13:30.

  30. Nicky Morgan: I'm in charge of education

    Michael Gove and Nicky Morgan

    Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has described as "complete nonsense" a newspaper report that Michael Gove was trying to 'backseat drive' her department. Read the full story about her comments on the Andrew Marr Show.

  31. Key clip: Douglas Alexander

    Douglas Alexander

    You can now watch Labour's election strategist Douglas Alexander on the Andrew Marr Show refusing to rule out a coalition with the SNP.

    The shadow foreign secretary was repeatedly pressed on whether Labour would do a deal with Nicola Sturgeon's party in the event of a hung parliament but said he was "not going to play that game".

    Mr Alexander conceded the "polls are tough" for Labour but insisted the party was fighting for a majority.

  32. Heseltine on Europe

    Michael Heseltine

    Former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine argues for the UK to remain in the European Union on Sky's Murnaghan programme.

    Though "Britain has always had doubts about Europe" the UK always joins in out of "an overarching self-interest" in its trading partners, he says.

  33. Post update

    i100

    tweets: Why women in politics still have a long way to go, in 7 charts http://i100.io/MuQHobe

    Leaders
  34. NI peace process

    Former Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy has said establishing peace has taken longer than expected. Speaking to BBC Wales' Sunday Politics, he said process was "a bit slower than we thought".

    "I didn't think the process was going to last quite as long as that. But it did. It's 10, 15 years before things started changing," he said.

  35. Maude stepping down

    Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude will step down as an MP at the general election, the Conservatives have confirmed. The Tory MP for Horsham said that 32 years after entering parliament it was time to ''make way for a younger candidate'', PA News reports.

  36. Miliband defended

    Ed Miliband's campaign manager Lucy Powell dismisses stories of senior figures chipping away at the Labour leader's credibility as "more about the agendas of newspapers than what colleagues are feeling".

    Speaking on Sky's Murnaghan programme Ms Powell says she "totally disagrees" with former health secretary Alan Milburn's comments on the NHS and millionaire donor John Mills comments on privatisation, and describes them as "deeply unhelpful".

  37. Nigel Farage

    UKIP Leader

    Nigel Farage

    tweets: As of this moment I'm returning as a fully paid up member of the drinking classes! #dryjanuary #DryJanuaryIsOver

  38. Labour on education

    Tristram Hunt MP, Labour's Shadow Education Secretary, has responded to Nicky Morgan on the Andrew Marr Show, blaming "David Cameron's flawed schools policy" for "failing to close the learning gap between disadvantaged children and the rest".

    Responding to the education secretary's plan to tackle illiteracy and innumeracy, Mr Hunt said: "The surest way to raise standards in every lesson, in every school, is to improve the quality of teaching in the classroom. That begins with an end to Cameron's unqualified teachers policy."

  39. Post update

    Andrew Neil

    Presenter, Sunday Politics

    tweets: Sunday Politics coming up immediately after the tennis on BBC1. Who's winning?

  40. Salmond on Murnaghan

    Salmond

    Alex Salmond tells Sky's Murnaghan programme that another referendum on Scottish Independence would not form part of any coalition negotiations.

    Scotland has already "set the gold standard " for establishing a national referendum, Mr Salmond says: If Scottish people want another referendum on Scottish independence they should vote for a party that promises one.

    Dermot Murnaghan reports Andy Murray has lost the first set in the Australian Open: "It's just like the referendum," replies Salmond.

  41. Salmond on Murnaghan

    Former Scottish first minister, and prospective parliamentary candidate, Alex Salmond tells Sky's Murnaghan programme he is "not ruling out" a coalition with Labour that would make him Deputy Prime Minister after the general election.

    However "a formal coalition is unlikely" he warns. In his experience "the best way to affect change is to negotiate on a vote by vote basis" he says. But "who'd want to give either David Cameron or Ed Miliband a majority?" Mr Salmond asks.

  42. Union hits back at Boots CEO

    Paul Kenny, General Secretary of the GMB union, has been reacting to comments by the acting CEO of Boots who said a Labour government would be a "catastrophe" for the UK.

    Mr Kenny says: "This is the same boss who used private equity to take Boots private and move the domicile off shore to stop paying corporation tax since 2007. Given the amount of taxpayers money Boots get from NHS you would think this guy would keep his head down. There used to be the slogan 'no taxation without representation'. Surely the opposite is equally true."

  43. Ex-Army chief on IS

    Former head of the army Lord Dannat tells Sky News' Dermot Murnaghan that Islamic State (IS) can be beaten.""if there is the right degree of equipment, training and support from ourselves".

    Lord Dannat warns this will be a "generational struggle" and tells Murnahan the coalition against IS has "to grow" for this to work.

    There has been international outrage after a video appearing to show the beheading of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto by an IS militant appeared online.

  44. Syriza on Marr

    Marina Prentoulis

    Catching up with an earlier Marr interview now. The academic Marina Prentoulis, from Syriza London, was on the show, talking about the new Syriza government in Greece which seems determined to carry out its campaign promise, to overturn years of enforced austerity.

    Ms Prentoulis, from Syriza London, called on the Labour Party to support that fight against austerity.

    "Any person who calls themselves a socialist should come out against austerity," she told Marr.

  45. Laura McInerney

    Editor of @SchoolsWeek

    tweets: I think Nicky Morgan has said "since I've been going around the country" - about ten times. It's the new "as a mum". #Marr

  46. Morgan on Marr

    Nicky Morgan dismisses claims that her predecessor Michael Gove is "back seat driving" the education department as a "complete load of nonsense."

    Michael Gove has been "nothing but supportive", and while he may have seen some departmental briefings in his role as Chief Whip Ms Morgan affirms "I am in charge of the Department of Education".

  47. Post update

    The Andrew Marr Show

    tweets: Morgan - It is an 'outrage' if students leave school with qualifications that do not help them to enter the world of work #marr #marrshow

  48. Morgan on Marr

    Asked by Andrew Marr whether schools funding for ages five - 16 will be "ring fenced" under a Conservative government Nicky Morgan nods. She tells Marr that she is "fighting" for the funding.

  49. Nicky Morgan on Marr

    Nicky Morgan on The Andrew Marr Show

    Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is on the Andrew Marr Show, defending her "war on illiteracy and innumeracy" which includes new plans to get all children to know their 12 times table when they leave primary school.

    "Getting... the absolute basics right has to be at the core of our education system," she says.

  50. Alexander on Marr

    Douglas Alexander refuses to be drawn on whether he will make a deal with SNP and Sinn Fein to from a majority government after the general elections. But he accuses the Conservatives of trying to "split the vote on the left" after they tweeted a mocked-up picture of Ed Miliband alongside SNP politician Alex Salmond and Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, with the caption: "Your worst nightmare just got even worse."

    Labour has vowed not to feature Prime Minister David Cameron on its campaign billboards ahead of the general election.

  51. Post update

    The Andrew Marr Show

    tweets: Alexander - Voting for the SNP in the general election will result in a Conservative government

  52. Alexander on Marr

    Douglas Alexander is pressed on the challenge facing Labour in Scotland, where Andrew Marr suggests his own seat is under pressure. "The polls are tough", Mr Alexander says, adding that he realises there is an appetite for change north of the border. But he says "I share that appetite for change" and adds: "The way we can secure that change is to deliver the maximum number of Labour MPs..."

  53. Alexander on Marr

    Douglas Alexander on The Andrew Marr Show

    Labour election strategist Douglas Alexander tells the Andrew Marr Show: "We face a challenge to secure a recovery that reaches beyond the city of London and reaches kitchen tables right around the country."

  54. Papers on Marr

    Sun on Sunday editor Victoria Newton and impressionist Rory Bremner are doing the paper review to get The Andrew Marr Show under way

    Reviewing the newspapers on the Andrew Marr Show, impressionist Rory Bremner picks out the Observer's story on what it says is an acute shortage of beds for young mental health patients. This will be a "critical area" for the next government to get involved in, the comedian says. His fellow paper reviewer is Sun on Sunday editor Victoria Newton.

  55. Post update

    Labour press team

    tweets: Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary @DAlexanderMP will be speaking to the @MarrShow this morning on @BBCTwo at 9am

  56. 'Back seat driving'

    The Independent

    The Independent on Sunday

    The Independent on Sunday claims former Education Secretary Michael Gove is still "back-seat driving" his old department and maintains a "shadowy influence" behind the back of his "more teacher-friendly" successor Mrs Morgan.

    The paper says the chief whip still receives paperwork related to Department for Education issues.

  57. New beds crisis

    The Observer

    The Observer leads on what it says is an acute shortage of beds for young mental health patients in the NHS.

    According to guidelines from NHS England, leaked to the Observer, 16 and 17-year olds, who should be admitted to specialist child adolescent mental health facilities (Camhs), are likely instead to be admitted to adult wards.

  58. 'War on illiteracy'

    Sunday Times

    Sunday Times

    The Sunday Times's top story (paywall) is Education Secretary Nicky Morgan's "war on illiteracy and innumeracy". The paper says she plans to remove head teachers from schools where 11-year-old pupils cannot pass tests on basic English and times tables.

  59. Miliband attacked

    The Daily Telegraph

    Telegraph

    Ed Miliband has faced criticism from a leading business chief who said a Labour government would be a "catastrophe" for the UK.

    Stefano Pessina, acting chief executive of Boots, said in an interview with today's Sunday Telegraph that Mr Miliband's plans were "not helpful for business, not helpful for the country and in the end, it probably won't be helpful for them".

    He did not elaborate on which specific policies of the party he disliked but told the newspaper: "If they acted as they speak, it would be a catastrophe."

  60. Sunday papers

    Papers

    It is a very mixed - and highly politicised - Sunday for headlines in the nationals. You can read the full write up from our online paper reviewers. But we'll also break it down into bite-sized chunks for you in the next few entries.

  61. Coming up

    A few must watch items for your Sunday morning:

    The Andrew Marr Show is at 09:00 when Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander will be on the sofa. You can watch via the Live Coverage tab at the top of this page.

    Sunday Politics, tennis permitting, at 11:00 will hear from Culture Secretary Sajid Javid and Labour MP Tom Watson. Again, watch live on this page.

    Other options for your Sunday morning political fix include Pienaar's Politics from 10:00 to 11:00 on BBC radio 5Live and we'll also bring you updates from the Murnaghan programme, over on Sky News from 10:00-12:00.

    And of course you may want to keep one eye on events in Melbourne too, where Andy Murray is taking on Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open tennis final. The BBC has live coverage here.

  62. Good morning

    Hello and welcome to Politics Live. Over the course of the next 10 hours we'll be bringing you all the news, views and analysis as it happens from the BBC's political team in text and video - including all the key moments from the Andrew Marr Show, Sunday Politics, the World This Weekend and reaction to the big Sunday newspaper stories. You can see how Friday, which was a Churchill remembered special, unfolded by clicking here.