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  1. Ed Miliband has criticised David Cameron's foreign policy, including failures in post-conflict planning in Libya
  2. A row has blown up over the Labour leader's words, with the Conservatives reacting angrily to Mr Miliband's accusations
  3. David Cameron has outlined proposals for "English votes for English laws"
  4. Lib Dem Treasury minister Danny Alexander has said there are concerns in the financial markets over a minority government
  5. There are 13 days until the general election

Live Reporting

By Angela Harrison, Bernadette McCague and Andrew McFarlane

All times stated are UK

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Friday recap

The Politics Live page is closing for the evening, but before we go, here's a brief look-back at the day's main election news.

  • David Cameron has criticised as "ill-judged", the suggestion by Ed Miliband that the government's approach to the Libya conflict led in part to the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean
  • In a speech on foreign policy, the Labour leader said there'd been a "failure in post-conflict planning" and that the current refugee crisis should have been anticipated
  • The Conservatives say that if they win the election, they'll deliver proposals for " English votes for English laws " before their first Budget
  • The Scottish National Party says the plans breach an agreement on devolution
  • The Lib Dems say there is "a lot of concern" in the financial markets about a minority government

Good night. Join us tomorrow for more Politics Live.

Conservatives on SNP

Responding to Nicola Sturgeon’s interview with The Times , a Conservative spokesman said:

By 'enormous influence', Nicola Sturgeon means higher taxes, higher spending, higher welfare bills and weaker defences."

English votes

Chris Ship, ITV News deputy political editor

Quote of day. Man in Largs, Scotland on #EVEL ' We don't want them poking their noses in our business, we shouldn't poke our nose in theirs'

More from Farage

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been speaking to the BBC about how he was "in a great deal of pain" at the start of the election campaign. He said he was receiving private treatment because campaigning left him no time to manage NHS appointments.

The UKIP leader - who addressed rumours about his health in an interview with the Telegraph - said people had noticed a difference in his demeanour, and that the speculation about his health was "his fault".

"I've not been doing physio. I've not been doing my exercises," he said.

I've been so obsessed with the UKIP campaign that I put myself into a position where I wasn't really firing on all cylinders."

Tomorrow's i


Newsnight Index

BBC Newsnight Index

Newsnight forecast

Tonight's Newsnight Index shows a three-seat gain for the Conservatives at the expense of Labour. The other parties are unchanged.

Throughout the general election campaign, Newsnight is publishing a picture of the likely election outcome each evening, based on a sophisticated forecast model. It is produced by Professor Chris Hanretty from the University of East Anglia and his colleagues at

For more information on how the Index is produced, see the video on the BBC's YouTube page.

Farage's health

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been speaking to the Telegraph about a problem with his back, for which he's having treatment twice a week at a private London hospital.

Mr Farage says he's had chronic back and muscle pain since a plane crash in 2010 and is taking medication and having physiotherapy for it.

He says he was forced to speak out after rumours about his health.

'Thank you David'

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has thanked David Cameron's party for helping to raise the profile of the SNP. She said the Conservatives' focus on the potential influence the SNP might have at Westminster was "not unhelpful".

Ms Sturgeon has said the SNP could prop up a minority Labour administration even if Labour get up to 40 fewer MPs than the Conservatives after the general election. In an interview withThe Times, she said her party expected to wield "enormous influence" over Labour if the party formed a minority government.

Nicola Sturgeon

At every Westminster election I've fought until this one, the biggest challenge that we've had to overcome is being heard and being relevant. We don't have this problem this time."

Is Clegg closer to the Conservatives?

According to Saturday's FT , Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is dismissing support for any deal with Labour involving SNP. The paper adds: "In the clearest sign yet that he is contemplating a renewal of his 2010 coalition with the Conservatives, Mr Clegg told the Financial Times that Labour had been consumed by 'frothing bile' towards his party."

Lord Ashcroft

Writing in the Independent , the Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft says:

Some voters who prefer Cameron to Miliband but Labour to the Tories are starting to make their minds up – in favour of Labour."

Saturday's Telegraph


Saturday's Guardian


Tomorrow's Independent


Saturday's Times

The Times
The Times


Labour leader Ed Miliband has revealed that he has never smacked his children. He told the PoliticsHomewebsite :

"Your children can be very naughty and it's particularly when they are doing dangerous things. It's tough when they are much younger, but I think basically you should try not to do that."

'They want the country to fail'

A bit more from David Cameron's interview with Channel 4 News earlier. The PM said a Labour/SNP deal would be "intolerable" because the Scottish nationalists "want the country to fail".

At the end of a five-year Parliament propping up Ed Miliband, does Nicola Sturgeon want to look back and say 'That was a great Parliament, that was very successful at Westminster. My, how well this government is working?' Of course not, her or Alex Salmond or any of them. They want Westminster to grind to a halt. They want the government, the country, to fail, because they want to leave it."

Saturday's Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Daily Mail

Death threat

Labour candidate Anas Sarwar has received a death threat on his answering machine. The caller threatened to shoot the former Scottish Labour deputy leader in a message left on the machine of his Glasgow office earlier this month.

Scottish Labour says the matter has been reported to police. Mr Sarwar is standing to hold his seat for Glasgow Central. Other candidates for the seat can be found here .

Lord Janner case

There was unanimous agreement from the cross-party Any Questions panel that it was wrong that the allegations of child sex abuse against Lord Janner did not go to court. Earlier this week, Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said because of the Labour peer's dementia, it would not be in the public interest for him to face trial. He had denied the allegations.

The former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer said:

Lord Janner

She was wrong. There should have been an open hearing. A decision should not have been made behind closed doors, but by a jury. I can think of nothing more awful if I was a victim than if I was not given an opportunity for my case to be heard."

More from Any Questions

Stewart Hosie, of the SNP, says there is always an argument to say you "should have a plan to win the peace as well as to win the war" and that too many times we have seen "mayhem", when there has been no post-conflict plan.

Former Lord Chancellor, Labour's Lord Falconer, said it had not been an inappropriate comment from Mr Miliband. "It was absolutely right for him to raise the issue," he said.

"The point he was making was that the international community should have done everything in its power to deal with the anarchy that took place in Libya."

Any Questions: Migrant crisis

The panelists are divided over comments made by Ed Miliband on the tragedies unfolding in the Mediterranean. A questioner asked whether his remarks were ill-advised.

Former Conservative Defence Secretary Liam Fox said: "There's a perfectly good case to have a discussion during the general election. The way it was phrased was very unfortunate."

Lib Dem equalities minister Jo Swinson said Mr Miliband had been "ill-advised" to reduce the issue to the responsibilities of any politician and that it was "not the best way to have the debate and resolve the problems".

rescued migrants

Scottish Greens

The Scottish Green Party has accused Westminster governments of holding back the progress of small businesses, writes Scotland Correspondent Laura Bickers.

The party unveiled a plan in Edinburgh which it says will create jobs and put public services back in public hands. The party is putting up candidates in 32 of the 59 Scottish constituencies, appealing to the low-paid with a pledge for a minimum wage of £10 an hour. It also wants to re-nationalise the railways. Its co-convenor, Patrick Harvie said small- and medium-sized Scottish firms were being held back.

Wells resignation call

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has called on the DUP's Jim Wells to stand down as Northern Ireland's health minister after his comments about same sex marriage and child abuse.

Mr Wells has apologised for his remarks.

Mr Tatchell said:

If Jim Wells had made these comments about black or Jewish parents he would have been forced to resign. I don't see how he can remain as health minister. If he won't stand down he should be sacked. Jim's apology does not alter the fact that he and the DUP have a long history of supporting legal discrimination against gay people and voting against gay equality."

Peter Tatchell

Any Questions

Starting now on BBC Radio 4, Jonathan Dimbleby chairs political debate in Any Questions.

Tonight the programme is from Logie Coldstone in Aberdeenshire and includes the former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, former Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, Deputy Leader of the Scottish National Party, Stewart Hosie MSP, and the Liberal Democrat Equalities Minister Jo Swinson.

Send us your comments


Terry Henson:

PM on welfare

David Cameron was asked by Jon Snow on Channel 4 News how the Conservatives would make their promised cuts to the welfare bill. He said the cuts would be "half of what we did in the last parliament when we saved £21bn" and that some of the savings would come from the fact that an extra one million people would go in to work and therefore be off welfare.

Cameron on Libya

Interviewed on Channel 4 news, the Prime Minister rejects claims that Britain got it wrong with Libya and says the country had carried out airstrikes with France because "Colonel Gaddafi had said he was going to kill his people like rats" [in Benghazi].

He also rejected claims that the government had not done enough to plan for the aftermath of the airstrikes.

David Cameron

I don't accept that we did not have a plan - we did. Britain and Europe could have put troops on the ground; I don't think that would have worked, but we did stop Gaddafi carrying out a genocide."

"We are still working with the Libyan authorities, trying to bring together the various sides to get a government for Libya - but this is something the Libyan people have to do for themselves," he adds.

What about England?

The Spectator

The Spectator’s gossip columnist, Steerpike, has been looking at Gordon Brown's pledge that Labour will give money to every food bank in Scotland if the party wins the election.

Why not give cash to English ones too? Or can they wait beyond May 8 because they’re, em, English?"


'No soap opera'

During his LBC phone-in earlier, Ed Miliband spoke about his brother David and whether he would be helping campaign for his brother.

He's been sending me very encouraging messages throughout this campaign and I'm really grateful to him for that. He's got his own job in America and he said when he left British politics that he didn't want the soap opera"

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband in the Live Lounge

Labour leader questioned by young voters


Young voter questions Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband has been facing questions from 10 young voters on the European migrant crisis, the threat to Labour from the SNP, the state of the NHS in Wales and LGBT attitudes in Northern Ireland. It got pretty lively with even Newsbeat's presenter Chris Smith interrupted by a member of the audience at one point. It was the latest in a series of interviews with the main party leaders in Radio 1's Live Lounge, where listeners normally hear the likes of Ed Sheeran doing cover versions. Listen to the interview here

Celebrities back Lucas

Sir David Attenborough has added his name to a letter backing Green Caroline Lucas for reelection in Brighton Pavilion. Comedian Rory Bremner and singer Billy Bragg have also signed an open letter saying they think "it’s crucial" Ms Lucas is in the next Parliament.

We believe that our democracy can only be strengthened by maintaining such a strong and inspirational presence in Parliament.”


David Miliband, former Labour Foreign Secretary

Sharing a picture of his postal ballot.

Proud to have voted #Labour. #Ed4PM.

Proud to have voted #Labour. #Ed4PM.

Foreign policy fury

James Landale

Deputy political editor

Labour is "furious" the row over Libya has dominated the headlines today, says our deputy political editor James Landale. Ed Miliband had hoped to set out his "credentials as a future world statesman", he says.

But the Tories are also furious at what they see as a personal attack on the prime minister, he adds.

Duck crossing?

James Tapsfield, Press Association tweets:

Cameron delivering dire warnings about prospects for the Ipswich Wet Dock crossing under Labour/SNP here. Or maybe it was wet duck crossing

'Febrile atmosphere'

BBC Radio 4

Former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell tells BBC Radio 4's PM that were it not in the "febrile atmosphere of a general election campaign", some of Ed Miliband's foreign policy remarks might have been received differently.

But he says the Labour leader "briefed one way, then spoke other" and that it was inevitable his comments would be seen as attributing blame to David Cameron on the subject of Libya and the Mediterranean migrant crisis. Sir Menzies says the prime minister's reaction was "pretty generous" to his opposite number.

Add to the debate


Tony, Staines:

Ed Miliband's radio takeover


Ed Miliband's appearance on Radio 1 was pre-recorded a short time ago. The Labour leader is now on LBC, where he has been challenged by presenter Iain Dale about his foreign affairs experience. "I’ve got more than David Cameron had when he became PM," Mr Miliband says, pointing to trips when he worked for the last Labour government.

Ed Miliband on 'loyalty'


Ed Miliband

The Labour leader is asked on BBC Radio 1 whether people can trust him because, the questioner says, "you were not loyal to your brother".

Ed Miliband says that's the charge being made by the Conservatives but that he does not "buy that".

"It was hard", he says, but it was right that he stood against his brother and he did so because he thought he was the right person to "move on from New Labour".

He said he had moved the party on on the issues of immigration, Iraq and inequality.