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Live Reporting

By Nick Eardley and Victoria King

All times stated are UK

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  1. Signing off

    That's it from the Politics Live team for today. It's been a busy Sunday, so here's a quick recap of what's happened:

    • Conservative election candidate Afzal Amin has been suspended over allegations he schemed with the English Defence League (EDL) to win votes
    • Mr Amin said the allegations were "completely untrue"
    • Former SNP leader Alex Salmond - appearing on the Andrew Marr Show - predicted a "vote by vote arrangement" between a minority Labour government and the SNP after the election
    • UKIP's Nigel Farage told Andrew Marr he will continue to be "utterly ruthless" in dealing with UKIP general election candidates who "step over the line"
    • He also ruled out any cut to the top rate of tax in UKIP's manifesto

    We're back at 06:00 GMT tomorrow. See you then.

  2. 'Valedictory speeches'

    Our parliamentary correspondent Mark D'Arcy, in his weekly look ahead, says the final sitting of the Commons on Thursday will begin with Business, Innovation and Skills questions. "Any last minute tidying up of Lords amendments will be dealt with and then there will be what is delicately described as 'an opportunity for retiring members to make short valedictory speeches.' I'm told around 30 retiring MPs may decide to bid farewell..."

  3. HS2 demand?

    What role could HS2 play in any post-election discussions? The Guardian, in its write up of this morning's Alex Salmond interview on the Andrew Marr Show, says the SNP politician could demand that work on a high-speed rail line starts in Scotland as the price of backing a minority Labour government. More here.

  4. Lord Ashcroft, pollster and former Tory deputy chairman

    @LordAshcroft

    tweets: Average of the Sunday Polls LAB 34% CON 33% LDEM 8% UKIP 15% GRNS 5%

  5. Afzal Amin response

    Afzal Amin

    Afzal Amin, the Tory candidate for Dudley North who has been suspended over allegations he schemed with the English Defence League (EDL) to win votes, has just tweeted a link to his response over the claims.

    He says recordings of meetings between himself and the EDL "are a gross misrepresentation of the reality".

    He writes: "This was altruistic, community service work. Instead of these private discussions leading to something fruitful, [former EDL Leader Tommy] Robinson clearly wishes to further damage community cohesion instead of working to prevent conflict as he had originally presented himself as doing. I am saddened that the Mail on Sunday has furthered this agenda."

  6. Northern Ireland pacts

    Gerry Adams

    More on electoral deals in Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein president Gerry Adam says the SDLP has made a "monumental blunder" in spurning a nationalist general election pact. In four constituencies, the DUP and Ulster Unionists have established a pact in an attempt to maximise representation. But the SDLP wasn't keen on doing the same with Sinn Fein.

    Mr Adams said today: "The recently announced unionist electoral pact for the Westminster election is a negative alliance. It is aimed at preventing equality of citizenship, frustrating political progress and imposing a Tory austerity agenda.

    "Unfortunately, the SDLP leadership has actively facilitated this by refusing to talk to Sinn Fein about how to counter the threat to pro-Agreement, progressive politics."

  7. Alex Salmond warned

    Sir Malcolm Bruce

    Veteran Liberal Democrat Sir Malcolm Bruce has predicted Alex Salmond will be "shaken to his foundations" when voters thwart his hopes of returning to Westminster. Sir Malcolm - who is standing down at the election - currently holds the Gordon seat, which Mr Salmond is contesting on 7 May. Christine Jardine is hoping to keep the seat for the Lib Dems.

    Sir Malcolm said: "He says he wants to shake Westminster to the foundations. Yet, everything he came into politics to achieve has been rejected here in the north east and I believe local people will reject him too. He will be shaken to his foundations. I know for sure Christine will serve the people of Gordon far, far better than he ever could."

  8. Lib Dem 'Budget'

    Sky News

    Danny Alexander

    Political journalist Andrew Pierce is scathing about Danny Alexander's alternative Budget, delivered 24 hours after the real thing. "Even Nick Clegg couldn't stomach it," and left the Commons chamber half way through, he claims. "I'm surprised the Speaker allowed it," he adds. Kevin Maguire, associate editor of the Daily Mirror, tries to be a bit more charitable. He says: "I see what he was trying to do, but it didn't work."

  9. Farage's children 'forced to flee mob'

    Nigel Farage says his children were forced to hide after anti-UKIP protesters invaded a pub where he was having a family lunch.

    The party leader was apparently with his wife and two younger children at a pub in Kent when the incident took place. Dozens of demonstrators initially went into the George & Dragon, where Mr Farage has previously been pictured having a drink, before realising he was in the other pub nearby.

    They are said to have gone into the Queen's Head, chased the Farages out and then jumped on the UKIP leader's car bonnet as he drove away.

    Mr Farage said afterwards: "I hope these 'demonstrators' are proud of themselves. My children were so scared by their behaviour that they ran away to hide.

    "At the time of writing this a relative has gone to look for them, and they are not yet at home. These people are scum."

  10. Final days of this Parliament

    Parliament

    Parliament will be dissolved this week ahead of the election. Mark D'Arcy, the BBC's parliamentary correspondent, writes on his blog that the Palace of Westminster has emptied out since the Budget. But there could be a few attempts at pre-election point scoring before Thursday, he adds. And there's the final PMQs before 7 May.

  11. Engaged electorate?

    The Spectator

    Most commentators seem to agree the Budget hasn't had a decisive effect on the polls. Over on the Spectator website, James Forsyth makes that point, and writes that the Tories don't think people will start to really engage in the election debate until after Easter. More here.

  12. Sturgeon on equality

    Nicola Sturgeon

    Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, has said she supports "system-wide approaches" to tackle the problem of the under-representation of women in politics. The SNP conference next weekend will discuss plans to return more female MSPs by creating a number of all-women shortlists for the selection of candidates in the 2016 Holyrood elections. Scotland on Sunday reports today that Ms Sturgeon could face a rebellion on the issue.

    Speaking earlier, Scotland's first minister said she 100%" that people should be selected for posts on merit, but that measures should be looked at to address the factors in society which are "holding women back".

    She said: "People say to me, 'I don't want quotas, I don't want all women shortlists because I believe people should get on on merit'. I absolutely 100% believe in that, I think people should get on on merit.

    "The problem is that's not what happens very often just now. If we had a system that was purely based on merit, we'd have gender balance because women are 52% of the population, and unless you think that women are somehow less capable, then if we had a merit-based system we wouldn't have these problems of under-representation of women."

  13. Tim Wallace, senior reporter for City AM

    @Tim_Wallace

    tweets: I know what the Tories are going for, but this new Miliband/Salmond video is just bonkers. Deranged.

  14. Coalition questions

    In the Independent on Sunday, John Rentoul has been looking at the deals that could be done after the election. It is possible the Conservatives could be the biggest party, but Ed Miliband could be prime minister, he writes. The SNP would have no choice but to allow Mr Miliband to form a government, but could threaten to remove support at any time, he adds. More here.

  15. Michael Crick, political correspondent, Channel 4 News

    @MichaelLCrick

    tweets: Teenage candidates: Michael Burrows (Ukip, Inverclyde, 18) Solomon Curtis (Lab, Wealden, 18) George Aylett (Lab, SW Wilts, 19). Any more?

  16. Northern Ireland pact

    As we reported last week, the DUP and Ulster Unionists have agreed an election pact in some constituencies in a bid to increase unionist representation at Westminster. This morning, UUP leader Mike Nesbitt denied his party was getting less out of the deal than the DUP. Mr Nesbitt said the pact was part of his long-term strategy for the party. More here.

  17. Afzal Amin 'should stand down'

    Afzal Amin

    Dudley Conservative councillor Les Jones has been speaking about the suspension of Afzal Amin - the local Conservative candidate for the general election suspended over allegations he schemed with the English Defence League to win votes. He said he was shocked when he heard the allegations and thinks it will reflect badly on the whole political process.

    He called for Mr Amin to stand aside, saying: "I think it would be the honourable thing for him to stand down now."

  18. Andrew Rawnsley

    George Osborne

    In today's Observer, Andrew Rawnsley has been looking at the high approval ratings enjoyed by Chancellor George Osborne, despite him having missed a number of his key goals. Mr Rawnsley writes this is because Mr Osborne has controlled the narrative, been flexible and currently oversees an economy people are feeling increasingly positive about. More here.

  19. What do the polls tell us?

    What are the polls telling us? Ben Page from Ipsos MORI was discussing just that with Andrew Neil and the Sunday Politics panel earlier. You can see the clip here.

  20. Scottish Labour 're-energised'

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Alex Salmond wasn't the only Scottish politician doing the rounds this morning. Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy was also on a number of political programmes. He told Sunday Politics his party is "re-energised and pretty determined". You can watch his interview here.

  21. 'Ideas and visions'

    Ken Livingstone

    Former Labour mayor of London Ken Livingstone tells The World This Weekend the gap between Labour and the Tories is "most probably bigger than at any time in the last 20 years but that isn't getting over to people". He thinks there's no shortage of big "ideas and visions" coming from political figures, but that's not apparent from the newspapers, which he says are owned by five millionaires pushing they own agenda. Mr Livingstone urges people to watch television and listen to the radio if they want to see the bigger picture.

  22. Louise Birt, BBC Radio 4 assistant editor

    @B1Lou

    tweets: "Dudley isn't Kandahar" a senior Conservative tells @BBCShaunLey #AfzalAmin @BBCMarkMardell #tw2

  23. 'Hurts politics'

    Les Jones, former Conservative leader of Dudley Council, has been speaking to the BBC's Shaun Ley. "We would have hoped to win the seat," he said. Labour had a majority of just over 640 at the 2010 general election. Mr Jones continued: "I think it hurts politics which is more important. Examples like this - if it's proven of course - make it harder for those of us who are honestly involved in the political process to be believed."

  24. Nick Sutton, editor of BBC Radio 4's World at One and The World this Weekend

    @suttonnick

    tweets: @BBCShaunLey met @Afzal4Dudley on Friday when he chaired a hustings meeting. He's reporting live on #tw2 shortly.

    Sean Lay and Afzal Amin
  25. BBC Sunday Politics Midlands

    @sunpoliticsmids

    tweets: @Afzal4Dudley has told the BBC he will be responding to the allegations "shortly" he wouldn't confirm or deny if he was in Dubai

  26. Conservative video

    The Conservatives have produced a new election video, taking their favourite theme of "Miliband in Salmond's pocket" to new, er, heights. Set to Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens - a strategic choice of tune no doubt - the graphic novel-style video features Ed Miliband quite literally dancing to a tune played by Alex Salmond. Here's a still to show you what we mean.

    Still from Conservative election video
  27. 'Gender dynamic'

    James Forsyth, writing in the Mail on Sunday, has got the inside scoop on David Cameron's preparations for the TV debates. In mock versions of the contests, he says Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is playing Nick Clegg - as he did in 2010 - and George Osborne's "brainy aide" Rupert Harrison plays Ed Miliband. But apparently casting a Nicola Sturgeon was more difficult.

    "She ended up being represented by Andrew Dunlop, Cameron's point man on Scotland," Forsyth writes. "There is a worry that having him play Sturgeon means Cameron, who has found it difficult to strike the right tone with female opponents, isn't prepared for the gender dynamic of debating with her."

  28. Beth Rigby, FT's deputy political editor

    @BethRigby

    tweets: Running thru my Twitter feed post #bbcsp - clear that viewers very underwhelmed by Murphy's tap dancing around matter SNP/Lab post May

  29. 'Austerity nimbies'

    Northern Ireland has reached a watershed regarding decisions on public sector cuts, the Ulster Bank's chief economist has said. Richard Ramsey said people in Northern Ireland had "almost been guilty of being fiscal austerity nimbies", and while large public sector bodies should be seen as positives, restructuring was needed.

  30. Alex Salmond

    The Andrew Marr Show

    If you missed Alex Salmond with Andrew Marr this morning, his full interview is online now.

  31. Andrew Sinclair, political correspondent for BBC East

    @andrewpolitics

    tweets: Lovely Quote on sunday politics east from a ukip official on where they campaign: "where there's a wimpy there's a winning chance"

  32. Lunctime recap

    It's been a busy morning in the political world. As you tuck into your Sunday roast - and we scoff our sad little sandwiches - here's what's happened so far:

    • Afzal Amin - a Conservative candidate at the general election - has been suspended over allegations he schemed with the English Defence League to win votes
    • Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond predicted a "vote by vote arrangement" between a minority Labour government and the SNP on the Andrew Marr Show
    • Mr Salmond also confirmed Nicola Sturgeon would lead any post-election negotiations
    • UKIP leader Nigel Farage told the programme he would continue to be "utterly ruthless" about dealing with any of his general election candidates who "step over the line"
    • Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy didn't rule out an informal deal with the SNP after the election, but said a vote for the party would make a Conservative government more likely

    Alex Salmond also made us smile with this.

  33. Bernard Aryeetey, head of policy at charity Shelter

    @BernieAryeetey

    tweets: On #GE2015 debates agree with @BethRigby that Tories have seemingly played a blinder on the format finally agreed. A gamechanger? Doubt it.

  34. Salmond interviews

    The Daily Telegraph

    Here's the Telegraph's take on Alex Salmond's interviews this morning. The newspaper writes that the former Scottish first minister claimed he will help write Ed Balls' first Budget after the general election.

  35. More from Tommy Robinson

    Some quotes in full from former EDL leader Tommy Robinson on the Sunday Politics. Asked about the Afzal Amin story, he said: "Things started off great, I was introduced to Afzal and he ticked all the boxes. I was introduced to him as one of the Muslims who could solve this country's problems.

    "And then I became insulted, quite quickly, when he clearly wanted to buy me. And not just buy me, but put offers forward that could buy the English Defence League.

    "He wanted us to set up a fake demonstration. It was completely his campaign. He wanted to use us. He wanted to use us for his own gain."

    Mr Amin says the allegations are untrue.

  36. More to come

    And that's all from Sunday Politics. But stick with this for the next few hours - we'll be posting some more analysis and commentary on the big politics issues and recapping a busy morning.

  37. Money offered

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Afzal Amin's "minder" offered money to Tommy Robinson and made it clear he would be looked after, the former EDL leader tells the Sunday Politics.

  38. Suspended candidate

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Tommy Robinson

    Tommy Robinson, the former English Defence League leader, tells the Sunday Politics Afzal Amin was introduced to him as a Muslim who could "solve this country's problems". But it became clear he wanted to use the EDL and set up a fake demonstration. Background to the story here.

  39. Election debates

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    It feels like "game, set and match" to David Cameron on the TV debates, Nicholas Watt says. But it's not a total victory. The real danger for the prime minister now is that in the final interviews on 30 April on the BBC, Ed Miliband will mock Mr Cameron relentlessly. Beth Rigby says the Tories have played a "blinder" in negotiations.

  40. Miliband 'nicer'

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Ben Page, from Ipsos Mori, says the Tories are seen as mean, but efficient. Ed Miliband is seen as nicer, but not necessarily competent with the economy, he adds.

  41. 'Dream Budget'

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Nicholas Watt, of the Guardian, says George Osborne's message - more austerity, but it is getting better - could be hard to sell on the doorstep. Beth Rigby, from the FT, says this a "dream Budget" compared with 2012 - that was the one labelled the Omnishambles, you might remember. She thinks Mr Osborne did what he needed to do in the constraints of where he was.

  42. On message

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Sunday Politics line-up

    Janan Ganesh, from the Financial Times, says the Tories weren't expecting a bounce after the Budget - they chose not to have giveaways so they could retain their message.

  43. Labour majority

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Ben Page says a draw in percentage points at the election could still lead to a majority for Ed Miliband because the Labour vote is better spread across the UK.

  44. Polls

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Ben Page, from pollsters Ipsos-Mori, says there is no sign of a post-Budget bounce for the Tories. Most people say it wasn't harmful, but also won't make much of a difference, he adds.

  45. Sunday Politics SE

    @BBCSPSE

    tweets: Michael Howard: "If renegotiation with Brussels not successful, I would vote to leave #EU."

  46. Farage meets Salmond

    Nigel Farage and Alex Salmond shaking hands

    The shots of Nigel Farage and Alex Salmond sitting side-by-side on the Andrew Marr Show earlier looked a bit frosty. This image, showing the pair shaking hands before the show, is a bit more cordial. Just a bit.

  47. 'Ruthless' Farage

    Nigel Farage

    Here's our story on Nigel Farage's appearance on the Andrew Marr Show earlier. The UKIP leader said he would continue to be "utterly ruthless" about dealing with any of his general election candidates who "step over the line".

  48. Jim Pickard, Financial Times chief political correspondent

    @PickardJE

    tweets: Watching JimMurphy on #murnaghan it occurs that Labour campaign in Scotland is by definition negative: "Vote SNP get Cameron". That's risky.

  49. Scared of Salmond?

    Sky News

    Jim Murphy

    "Is that a question or a joke?" asks a clearly bemused Jim Murphy. He was responding to a suggestion from Dermot Murnaghan that he might be "physically scared" of Alex Salmond.

  50. Parity of care

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    This financial year, mental health funding has seen a real-terms increase, Norman Lamb says. The complete imbalance in rights - between mental and physical ailments - which the government is starting to end, drives where the money goes, Mr Lamb says. That discrimination has to end, he adds.

  51. Beth Rigby, FT's deputy political editor

    @BethRigby

    tweets: "The Budget clearly was full of Lib Dem gains" says @normanlamb #bbcsp" >250k seagull study (Don Foster) + lots of bungs 4 Clegg Sheffield

  52. James Tapsfield, Press Association political reporter

    @JamesTapsfield

    tweets: Odd combo of arguments from Jim Murphy: Scots can't vote SNP to get Labour gov - but SNP MPs wouldn't dare bring down a Labour gov

  53. Mental health

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Norman Lamb

    Norman Lamb has been championing the need for more investment in mental health services. But why should we take you at face value on that issue when there have been a number of failures under the coalition, he is asked. The minister says there is an imbalance that is being addressed. He pledges to introduce comprehensive plans over the next five years.

  54. Out and about

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Why were so few Lib Dems there for the alternative Budget? Norman Lamb says he was out supporting MPs before the election - we have a big fight on our plans to get the message out about what we have achieved in government, he adds.

  55. 'Any invitation'

    Sky News

    It's "dangerous" for Ed Miliband to appear in the opposition leaders' debate - without either David Cameron or Nick Clegg - says Conservative blogger Tim Montgomerie. There's a risk "he will be pulled away from the mainstream" by the Greens and others, he thinks. Damian McBride tends to agree. "There's a feeling among some of the people around Miliband that the more people see of him the more they'll like him... They will accept any invitation."

  56. Better place

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Norman Lamb on the Sunday Politics

    The Lib Dems have played an "absolutely fundamental" role in securing political stability, Norman Lamb says. The country is in a better place now than it was, he adds.

  57. Different perspective

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Lib Dem care minister Norman Lamb is up next on Sunday Politics. Speaking about his party's alternative Budget, he says it's legitimate in a coalition for the minority party to make its case - the Lib Dems have a different perspective on "what happens next".

  58. BBC Sunday Politics Midlands

    @sunpoliticsmids

    tweets: Unconfirmed but the rumour is that @Afzal4Dudley has "flown to Dubai"

  59. Bond baddie

    Sky News

    Over on Murnaghan, former Treasury adviser Damian McBride says: "For me the Budget was a big mistake." He compares it to the moment in every James Bond film where the baddie has the chance to kill Bond by doesn't take it. He says the Budget did nothing to puncture Labour's argument that the NHS isn't safe under the Conservatives.

  60. 2016

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Jim Murphy will run for Holyrood in 2016, he says. He will announce to his constituents whether that means he will stand down from Westminster then, he says.

  61. Wait and see

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Jim Murphy won't rule out talking with the SNP after the election, but is that why the public are so fed up with politicians, Andrew Neil asks. Mr Murphy says the election can't be based on what happens after the vote - let's have the contest, then see what happens, he says.

  62. 'Their mistake'

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Jim Murphy won't be drawn on post-election negotiations. He repeats - as has every other politician of any stripe - that his party is aiming to the biggest after the election. If we are the biggest party, he says, we will put our policies to a vote. If the SNP vote for it, "that's nice". If they don't, it's "their mistake".

  63. Nicholas Watt, the Guardian

    @nicholaswatt

    tweets: If Scottish Labour had elected @JimForScotland as leader a decade ago - polls would be different tale. Strongest striker brought on too late

  64. Looking back

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Jim Murphy

    In 1979, the Labour government was brought down by one vote, where the SNP voted with the Tories, Jim Murphy says. I'm determined they won't do that again, he adds.

  65. Gerry Hassan, political commentator

    @GerryHassan

    tweets: 3 times Jim Murphy mentions 1979 & SNP bringing down Callaghan Govt. No one mentions 11 Liberal MPs who voted same way. #GE2015 #bbcsp

  66. 'Bloody awful'

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    If polls are repeated on election day, it would be "bloody awful" for Labour in Scotland, Jim Murphy admits. But it would also let the Tories in - something Scots would hold against the SNP for years to come, he adds.

  67. Beth Rigby, FT's deputy political editor

    @BethRigby

    tweets: Murphy admits that he is struggling to pull back SNP leaning voters. Back to threat line: SNP surge could put Cameron back in No 10 #bbcsp

  68. Listening again

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    What are the grounds for optimism, Andrew Neil asks Jim Murphy. Mr Murphy says undecided voters are listening to his party again - they are realising the biggest party gets to form the government. You cannot vote for the Labour party by proxy, he adds.

  69. 'Radical' Scottish Labour

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Jim Murphy on Sunday Politics

    Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy is on Sunday Politics now. He reiterates the party has not been good enough or strong enough north of the border, but there is a sense of optimism now. They have a "pretty radical" programme that will help narrow the polls, Mr Murphy says.

  70. New candidate

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    The Guardian's Nicholas Watt says Tory sources have made it clear Afzal Amin will not be the party candidate for Dudley North.

  71. EDL claims

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Beth Rigby says allegations about Afzal Amin invoke the idea of the Tories being the nasty party. Her Financial Times colleague Janan Ganesh says it is worrying for the Tories and their selection process.

  72. New face

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    The Conservatives will be looking for a new candidate in Dudley North, Tim Montgomerie says. Afzal Amin, let's not forget, says the allegations against him are completely untrue.

  73. Big blow

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Tim Montgomerie tells Sunday Politics that claims a Conservative candidate at the general election schemed with the English Defence League to win votes are a big blow to the party. Afzal Amin was someone the party had placed high hopes in, Mr Montgomerie says. While we've become somewhat used to UKIP having some issues with its candidates, it's clear the Tories aren't immune to similar problems, he adds.

  74. Sunday Politics

    @daily_politics

    tweets: Three media tarts who will debate anyone, anywhere any time, says @afneil introducing his #bbcsp panel @JananGanesh @BethRigby @nicholaswatt

  75. On now

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    We're live with Sunday Politics now. Guests include Jim Murphy, the Scottish Labour leader, and Lib Dem health minister Norman Lamb.

  76. SNP membership

    SNP election poster

    Alex Salmond alluded to it earlier on the Andrew Marr Show and the Sunday Herald has more on the SNP's membership passing the 100,000 mark. The party has seen a massive increase in its membership since the independence referendum last September.

  77. Party donors

    BBC Radio 5 live

    "I've never believed in cash for favours," Jack Dromey says, as he's pressured about Labour's links with the trade unions. On the other hand, Labour might have one hedge fund manager as a donor, but the Conservatives have "a queue" of them, he adds.

  78. Catch up

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Alex Salmond and Anna Soubry

    "Your plans fill me with absolute horror". Tory MP Anna Soubry didn't hold back when discussing Alex Salmond's politics with the former Scottish first minister. You can watch the exchange here.

  79. More tax

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Inequality is narrowing under the coalition, Lord Scriven says, but it actually got worse under Labour. Millionaires are paying more in tax under the coalition than they did during the last Labour parliament, he adds.

  80. Heads and hearts

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Lib Dem peer Lord Scriven says the British public are clear they can't trust Labour on the economy and can't trust the Tories on "the poor". It's a head and heart debate, he says. People are looking for a party that can finish the job of sorting the economy but also doing it in a fair way.

  81. 'Last big hope'

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Labour MP Jack Dromey, shadow policing minister, says the Budget has not worked for the government because people are not feeling the benefits of the recovery that George Osborne talked about. The SNP is the last big hope of the Conservative Party, he says. But it's undoubtedly an unpredictable election, he tells John Pienaar.

  82. 'Besmirches politics'

    Sky News

    Over on Murnaghan, the Afzal Amin story is being discussed. Labour MP John Ashworth says that if true, "it's cynical and divisive" and the Conservatives "should get shot of him". Lib Dem Sir Menzies Campbell says allegations like this "besmirch the whole business of politics". Mr Amin, has of course, denied wrongdoing.

  83. Consistent message

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Conservative MP and Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke says the Budget was responsible and serious. Asked why his party hasn't seen more of a bounce in the polls, he tells John Pienaar the most important thing was that the Budget was consistent with the message the coalition has been delivering.

    Speaking about the Tory candidate at the general election who has been suspended over allegations he schemed with the English Defence League to win votes, Mr Gauke says there is no place for such actions, if true, in the Tory party.

  84. Jim Pickard, chief political correspondent for the Financial Times

    @PickardJE

    tweets: Perplexion re Isis medical students: "People who flew aircraft into the Twin Towers..were graduates," says Sir Menzies Campbell #murnaghan

  85. 'Turn it around'

    BBC Radio 5 live

    For a while, Scottish Labour wasn't strong enough - people didn't know what we stood for, Jim Murphy admits. Recently, we have set out a number of things we are for, he adds. "It takes time, and I'm confident we will turn it around."

  86. Peter Thompson, Conservative blogger

    @TheRedRag

    tweets: UKIP: The UK Independence party manifesto may not be published until 15 to 18 days before the general election.

  87. 'Anyone but Labour'

    BBC Radio 5 live

    The SNP are interested in the disruption and demise of the Labour Party, Jim Murphy says. The consequence of an "anyone but Labour" strategy is that you get exactly that - and David Cameron is the only other possible prime minister, Mr Murphy adds.

  88. Labour strategy

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Jim Murphy

    Why isn't Labour strategy in Scotland working, John Pienaar asks? Jim Murphy says if the polls are borne out on election day, it will dreadful for his party and will increase the chances of a Tory government.

  89. Talk left, act right

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Alex Salmond's party has been in power for eight years in Scotland but hasn't done many of the things it says it wants to do after this election, Jim Murphy says. Talk left, act right is what often happens with the SNP, he adds.

    Scotland won't forgive the SNP if his party allows the Tories into power, he goes on. The fact is, he says, you can't get a Labour government without voting for your Labour candidate.

  90. Kevin Schofield, Sun's chief political correspondent

    @schofieldkevin

    tweets: Former Lib Dem adviser Sean Kemp tells #murnaghan that English anger could be "overwhelming" if Labour do a deal with the SNP.

  91. 'Going for victory'

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Alex Salmond loves Scotland as much as I do, Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy tells John Pienaar. He says Labour are going into the election to win.

    Mr Salmond says there is not much sign of Jim Murphy keeping his promise to hold onto most Labour seats in Scotland. There's also a mention of the former's book. He says the latter is mentioned only briefly - probably best as it sounds like that mention wasn't particularly complimentary.

  92. 'Foolish' Miliband

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Ed Miliband was "foolish" to rule out coalition with the SNP, Alex Salmond says - not because it was ever likely to happen, but because he did so under pressure from the right - the Conservatives and certain elements of the press.

  93. 'Best buddies'

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Is it not a bit far-fetched to expect a relationship between Labour and the SNP after the election, David Torrance asks? Alex Salmond says he has respect for a number of Labour MPs in England, but parliamentary arrangements don't have to depend on them being "best buddies". You vote based on what you think is best for the country, he adds.

  94. Darren McCaffrey, Sky News political reporter

    @DMcCaffreySKY

    tweets: Lord Maude? Francis Maude says: 'politics and public service is deep in my DNA...surprised if I would be saying goodbye to it forever.'

  95. No deal

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Tom Newton Dunn asks Alex Salmond what the Tories could offer him to persuade the SNP not to vote on English and Welsh laws. Mr Salmond says he won't do any deal - formal or informal - with the Conservatives. The Tories can't be trusted, Mr Salmond says.

  96. Trident

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Alex Salmond says he finds it incredible that Labour think they can sustain government based on austerity while at the same time spending millions on a replacement for the Trident nuclear weapons system. That has more chance of tearing the party apart than anything he is proposing, Mr Salmond adds.

  97. 'Cut its own costs'

    Sky News

    Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude

    Francis Maude is standing down as an MP and says it's "not for me to speculate" when asked by Dermot Murnaghan if his future lies in the House of Lords. He does though, say there's still "a huge amount to do" when it comes to cutting costs in Whitehall, adding: "This is what the public are entitled to expect - that the government will cut its own costs first."

  98. Team player

    BBC Radio 5 live

    What is Alex Salmond's position in the SNP now that Nicola Sturgeon has taken over the leadership? She calls the shots, Mr Salmond says, but the party has always had a strong emphasis on team work. Ms Sturgeon will decide strategy after the election if a deal is on the cards, he says.

  99. Varied politics

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Politics is getting more complicated, Alex Salmond says. More and more people like the idea of varied and interesting politics, he insists.

  100. NHS savings

    Sky News

    Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude says some of the techniques he's used to save billions in the civil service are "applicable in the health service as well". He suggests the example of procurement, using the buying power of the NHS to drive down prices.

  101. Alex Salmond

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Alex Salmond has jumped studios and now tells Pienaar's Politics he has "had better days" than 19 September - the day after the referendum. He says he was "hugely disappointed" after the vote, but you have to move on to the next thing, he adds.

    Scotland in 2015 is not he same country politically as it was in 2014, he says.

  102. 'Squeeze'

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Scottish journalist David Torrance tells John Pienaar the SNP have done extremely well in avoiding the "Westminster squeeze".

  103. Dudley North allegations

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Tom Newton Dunn, the Sun's political editor is discussing Afzal Amin, the Tory candidate at the general election who has been suspended over allegations he schemed with the English Defence League to win votes. He says it's very bad news for the Tories. He says Mr Amin was a "dream candidate" for the seat, but it is likely Labour will win now.

  104. Kevin Schofield, Sun's chief political correspondent

    @schofieldkevin

    tweets: Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude says the Tories are taking the accusations against Afzal Amin "extremely seriously". #murnaghan

  105. Pienaar's politics

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Pienaar's politics on Radio 5 is live now, where John is discussing the Scottish influence at the election. Alex Salmond is live, as is Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy.

  106. Catch up

    The Andrew Marr Show

    You can watch Labour's Gloria de Piero and Conservative Anna Soubry discussing the Sunday papers here.

  107. Iain Martin, political journalist

    @iainmartin1

    tweets: Wow. Anna Soubry 5 - Salmond 0. Cameron, Miliband take note. That, is how to debate him. #Marr

  108. Trident

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Mr Salmond said scrapping Trident would be a red line in any confidence and supply arrangement with Labour, but not necessarily in a vote-by-vote deal.

  109. SNP and Labour

    The Andrew Marr Show

    A vote-by-vote arrangement is possible even if Labour pursue the renewal of Trident, Alex Salmond says. A confidence and supply deal is possible, but a vote-by-vote arrangement is probable, the SNP politician adds.

  110. SNP 'terrifying'

    The Andrew Marr Show

    The Alex Salmond interview was one of the scariest interviews I have heard in some time, Tory MP Anna Soubry says. "Absolutely terrifing." You lost the referendum, she adds, and this is a "back door way" of trying to break up the UK.

  111. Norman Smith, BBC News assistant political editor

    @BBCNormanS

    tweets: SNP membership now reached 100,000 says @AlexSalmond @MarrShow

  112. James Tapsfield, Press Association political reporter

    @JamesTapsfield

    tweets: Tories will be absolutely rubbing their hands at this Salmond turn on Marr

  113. Iain Dale, LBC presenter

    @IainDale

    tweets: This Alex Salmond interview on #Marr is such a gift to CCHQ poster creaters. 'If you hold the balance, you hold the power."

  114. In demand

    The Andrew Marr Show

    More people came to my book signing in Aberdeen than were at the Lib Dem spring conference, Alex Salmond says scathingly.

  115. 'Fed up'

    The Andrew Marr Show

    A decisive bloc of SNP MPs would hopefully move Labour in a different direction, Alex Salmond says. Many in England want that too, he adds. People across the UK are fed up of the duopoly at Westminster, people want something more interesting he argues.

  116. Keith Bunting

    @KeithBunting007

    tweets: @almurray @Eastwood1A1 @paulwaugh Complete opposite. Al is using satire to expose UKIP and Farage. It is a compliment to the electorate.

  117. James Tapsfield, Press Association

    @JamesTapsfield

    tweets: Salmond says a Labour minority government would have to negotiate its budget with the SNP

  118. Vote-by-vote deal

    The Andrew Marr Show

    We won't do any deal with the Tories, but options with Labour are open says Alex Salmond. It's most likely there will be a vote-by-vote arrangement, he says.

    Mr Salmond also talks about his time running a minority administration in Scotland.

  119. 'More power than UKIP'

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Alex Salmond says any European referendum should require all constituent parts of the UK to back an exit. And he says defiantly that his party will call the shots more than UKIP after the election.

  120. Jim Pickard, Chief Political Correspondent for the Financial Times

    @PickardJE

    tweets: Nigel Farage accuses @almurray of being "very middle class". So what is the Ukip leader and onetime banker? Salt of the earth? Aristocrat?

  121. The Vow

    The Andrew Marr Show

    We want the delivery of what Scotland was promised, Alex Salmond says of devolution and "The Vow" - for considerably more powers for Scotland - made in the days before the referendum.

  122. Possible deal

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Alex Salmond

    Should there be tax rises to deal with the deficit? Alex Salmond says extending the period of fiscal consolidation is the best plan. That doesn't make tax rises or cuts inevitable. That policy will be one they take to Labour after the election if in a position for a possible deal, he says.

    Nicola Sturgeon will call the shots in the negotiation process, he says.

  123. Paul Waugh, editor of PoliticsHome

    @paulwaugh

    tweets: How will Salmond respond to Farage line earlier on #Marr? Tories "will be the biggest party not least cos Salmond's party is doing so well"

  124. 'Different approach'

    The Andrew Marr Show

    On a so-called progressive alliance with the Greens and Plaid Cyrmu, Mr Salmond says the SNP want a move away from austerity, no renewal of Trident and a "different approach" to politics and economics. He says we should deal with the deficit "sensibly" - not through the "cut and burn" approach of the Tories.

  125. SNP manifesto

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Independence won't be decided at the general election, Alex Salmond says. What's in the SNP manifesto for the next Holyrood election is up to his successor Nicola Sturgeon, he insists.

  126. Dan Hodges, commentator for the Telegraph

    @DPJHodges

    tweets: Suspect Nigel Farage's line on the EDL is going to come back to haunt him...

  127. On now

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Alex Salmond is up next on Andrew Marr. Speaking about his book, the former SNP leader says he thinks the story of Scottish independence has not finished, though he won't put a timescale on it. He says the direction - with the eventual destination being independence - is as near to inevitable as it could be.

  128. Ann Treneman, political sketchwriter

    @anntreneman

    tweets: I've been with al Murray (fukp fame) in Thanet and people love him even though he is, as Nigel says, Oxbridge #marr #comedymoment

  129. 'Wouldn't touch the ground'

    Nigel Farage

    Mr Farage was asked about the allegations concerning a Conservative election candidate for Dudley North. If those sorts of things proved to be true about someone in UKIP, Mr Farage says "their feet wouldn't touch the ground". Afzal Amin has said the claims against him are "completely untrue".

  130. South Thanet

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Nigel Farage says he believes he will win the South Thanet seat on 7 May. He also hits out at Al Murray, another candidate in the seat, saying the comedian is patronising people in the constituency.

  131. Norman Smith, BBC News assistant political editor

    @BBCNormanS

    tweets: Immigration still number One issue in this election - @Nigel_Farage @MarrShow

  132. Biggest party

    The Andrew Marr Show

    I still believe the Tories will be the biggest party after the election, Nigel Farage says. There will be a body of MPs - including the DUP and UKIP - who will be able to force a referendum on Europe, he adds.

  133. Weeding out

    The Andrew Marr Show

    We are "very, very good" at weeding this sort of thing out, Nigel Farage says. One or two may say silly things, but we have hundreds of candidates, the UKIP leader adds. He says the party's "internal sieve" is working just fine.

  134. 'Ruthless'

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Mr Farage is asked about UKIP candidate Janice Atkinson, who was suspended over allegations that a member of her staff tried to overcharge EU expenses. Mr Farage says that, if she knew about it, the candidate should stand down.

    He says he has been ruthless with candidates who have "stepped over the line".

  135. 'Radical cuts'

    The Andrew Marr Show

    The party will support sensible cuts to spending, Nigel Farage says when asked about welfare cuts. We will show tomorrow we can make some genuine savings by cutting bureaucracy - via quangos and in other ways - the UKIP leader says. They will be practical plans, he says, adding: "We will be proposing some pretty radical cuts to middle management bureaucracy right through the civil service."

  136. Tim Montgomerie, Times columnist and Conservative blogger

    @montie

    tweets: Farage tells #Marr his tax cuts are for the poor. In reality poorest get £35pa from Ukip while richest wld get £1,143 (via @resfoundation)

  137. Inheritence tax

    The Andrew Marr Show

    This government was formed to eradicate the deficit, but that's failed, Mr Farage says. Tomorrow, his party will announce its economic policy. His party also wants to get rid of inheritance tax, he says, but cutting the top rate will not be in the manifesto for the election.

  138. Nigel Farage

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Nigel Farage is now in the chair with Andrew Marr. On the Budget, he says his party would introduce "big tax cuts at the bottom", but cutting the top rate of tax would not be an immediate priority.

  139. Ben Riley-Smith, political correspondent, Daily Telegraph

    @benrileysmith

    tweets: Jeremy Clarkson has "been a bit of a prat", Tory minister Anna Soubry says. Quite a different line from PM.

  140. Andrew Marr Show

    @MarrShow

    tweets: Here is a link to the Andrew Rawnsley story that @GloriaDePiero picked out #marr #marrshow

  141. James Tapsfield, Press Association

    @JamesTapsfield

    tweets: Please, please, let Marr ask Soubry about her infamous "finger" jibe about Farage...

  142. Future of politics

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Gloria de Piero says there is a crisis in politics. She's been travelling the country finding out what people think of politicians. Ms Soubry says both of them have done other things before they entered politics - that's really important, she adds. She takes the opportunity for a bit of a dig at Nigel Farage, whom she says has been a career politician "for decades".

  143. 'It's getting better'

    The Andrew Marr Show

    We've made difficult decisions and it has been tough, Conservative Ms Soubry says. But she insists that people have been telling her, when she's been out campaigning, that things are getting better.

  144. Tom Newton Dunn, Sun political editor

    @tnewtondunn

    tweets: Great telly to have @Anna_SoubryMP and @GloriaDePiero sparring on the #Marr paper review. Two of their parties' best performers.

  145. Budget analysis

    The Andrew Marr Show

    On the Budget, Ms de Piero says Wednesday's speech was not a "game changer". She tells Andrew Marr she wants a chancellor who'll stand up and say "people are still hurting". She adds that the cuts that are coming under Tory plans are "savage".

    Ms Soubry says, perhaps unsurprisingly, it was a very good Budget.

  146. Beth Rigby, FT's deputy political editor

    @BethRigby

    tweets: The MoS splash on EDL/Tory PPC allegations a gift to Farage - sure he'll make the most of it when he appears on #marr

  147. James Tapsfield, Press Association

    @JamesTapsfield

    tweets: Anna Soubry says Afzal Amin shd "fess up" & go if allegs true, but notes that sometimes candidates get "a bit carried away" #marr

  148. George Eaton, political editor, New Statesman

    @georgeeaton

    tweets: Dudley North (where Afzal Amin was standing) is Tories' no.9 target seat by vote share. That majority isn't getting any easier...

  149. Papers

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Anna Soubry, the Tory defence minister, and Labour's shadow minister for women and equalities Gloria de Piero are both reviewing this morning's newspapers.

    Ms de Piero, talking about the Mail on Sunday splash, says the idea anyone would do a deal with the EDL is astonishing.

    Ms Soubry says that if the story is true, it's "dreadful". She highlights that Afzal Amin has denied the story, but calls on him to go now if there is any truth in the story.

  150. Coming up

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Alex Salmond and Nigel Farage

    This morning's main men.

  151. The Andrew Marr Show

    @MarrShow

    tweets: Good Morning! We are live now on @BBCOne. Our newspaper review is with @Anna_SoubryMP and @GloriaDePiero. #marr #marrshow

  152. Sunday polls

    Three polls out this morning paint a mixed picture of whether Conservative hopes of a post-Budget bounce have materialised.

    An Opinium survey for the Observer puts the party up three points on 36%, with Labour down two on 33%. UKIP and the Liberal Democrats are both unchanged on 14% and 7% respectively.

    But a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday shows the Conservatives on 30%, still trailing Ed Miliband's party by four points, with both gaining one over the past month. UKIP are down two on 17% and the Lib Dems remain at 10%.

    A further survey by YouGov for the Sunday Times found Labour has gained two points at the Tories' expense, and now lead by 35% to 33%. UKIP are up one on 14% and the Lib Dems are unchanged on 8%.

  153. Alberto Nardelli, Guardian data editor

    @AlbertoNardelli

    tweets: Latest @guardian projection - CON 276, LAB 270, SNP 53. As things stand, LAB/SNP have the numbers Read more.

  154. Select committees

    Do select committees at Westminster have too much power? Tom Shakespeare has been looking at the issue this morning in the light of the recent "cash-for-access" scandal. You can read his analysis here.

  155. John Pienaar

    @JPonpolitics

    tweets: On Pienaar's Politics at 10am, I'll be joined by former Scottish first minister @AlexSalmond and Scottish Labour leader @JimForScotland

  156. Sunday papers

    With just a few weeks until the election, plenty of the Sunday papers run with political stories this morning. The Mail on Sunday splashes with the story about Afzal Amin - who has been suspended from the Conservatives over allegations he schemed with the English Defence League to win votes. The Sunday Times writes that the Tories are to revive Thatcher's right-to-buy scheme. And the Sunday Telegraph reports an ex-minister is to lead the fight against defence cuts.

    Andy Sully has more in the newspaper review.

  157. Sunday Politics

    Norman Lamb

    On Sunday Politics from 11:00 GMT, Lib Dem health minister Norman Lamb will be discussing the Budget and mental health. Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy - whose party is facing an uphill battle to retain most of their seats north of the border according to recent polls - will also be on the programme.

  158. May2015, New Statesman election site

    @May2015NS

    tweets: ComRes poll—Only 32% of Ukip councillors want the party to stay neutral after May. 60% want them to back Tories. (111 surveyed out of 363)

  159. YouGov, polling firm

    @YouGov

    tweets: Update: Lab lead at 2 - Latest YouGov / Sunday Times results 20th Mar - Con33%, Lab35%, LD8%, UKIP14%, GRN5%; APP -14 Read more.

  160. Andrew Marr

    Alex Salmond book launch

    This morning, we've got UKIP leader Nigel Farage and former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond on the Andrew Marr Show. Both men are hoping to become MPs on 7 May, but have also launched side careers as authors recently. Mr Farage released The Purple Revolution earlier this month, while Mr Salmond released The Dream Shall Never Die, his account of the independence referendum campaign, last week. Will either book get a mention?

  161. TV debates deal

    Yesterday, we finally got a deal over TV debates. According to the broadcasters, a deal has been struck which will see David Cameron take part in one debate with seven party leaders - but no head-to-head with Ed Miliband. The live debate with the seven leaders will take place on ITV on 2 April. The BBC will also host a debate on 16 April with five opposition party leaders. And Mr Cameron and Mr Miliband will appear - separately - in a live question and answer programme on Channel 4 and Sky News. More details here.

  162. Conservative candidate suspended

    Afzal Amin

    Our top political story this morning involves Afzal Amin, a Conservative parliamentary candidate. He has been suspended from the party over allegations he schemed with the English Defence League to win votes. According to the Mail on Sunday, Mr Amin plotted to persuade the EDL to announce a march against a new "mega-mosque" in the marginal seat of Dudley North. The newspaper says that he then planned for the march to be scrapped so he could take credit for defusing the situation. Mr Amin says the claims are "completely untrue. More here.

  163. Good morning

    Welcome to another packed day with the Politics Live team. With 46 days to go until election D-Day, we'll bring you all the action and reaction, including coverage of the Andrew Marr Show and Sunday Politics.