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  1. Labour highlights increased NHS use of the private sector
  2. The Conservatives launch a '2020 Vision' aimed at wooing black, Asian and ethnic minority voters
  3. The Lib Dems rule out forming a government with the SNP and pledge £10m for military mental health services
  4. UKIP leader Nigel Farage says businesses have "nothing for fear" from the UK leaving the EU
  5. There are 12 days to go until the general election

Live Reporting

By Dominic Howell and Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

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Recap of Saturday's events

The penultimate Saturday of the election campaign has been a busy one. Here's a brief recap of the main events of the day.

Labour say rents in the private sector will not go up by more than inflation for three years as part of a package of measures to boost "generation rent".

The Lib Dems say the party with the "greatest mandate" should be first to begin trying to form a government in the event of another hung Parliament.

The Conservatives launch their BME manifesto, saying they expect the first Asian or black prime minister to be a Conservative.

UKIP says business has "nothing to fear" from the UK leaving the EU.

David Cameron admits to "brain fade" over which football team he supports, resulting in a Twitter storm, His team Aston Villa lose 3-2 to Manchester City.

Union boss to hit out at 'dangerous' UKIP

Beryl Shepherd, president of the Communication Workers' Union, is to launch an attack on Nigel Farage's UKIP, claiming it is anti-women, anti-diversity and anti the NHS.

She will tell the opening day of the CWU's annual conference in Bournemouth on Sunday: ''They are no friends of the trades union movement. It is a sobering moment when we hear UKIP supporters trying to endear themselves to the working class and that some people are persuaded by their rhetoric.

"They are not the party of the working class,'' she will say, branding the party as ''downright dangerous''.

Cable: I want to be Chancellor

Vince Cable
Press Association

Vince Cable has indicated that he would like to take over from George Osborne as Chancellor in any future coalition in an interview in the Mail on Sunday.

Generally regarded as the most left-wing of Lib Dem Cabinet ministers in the coalition government, Mr Cable is regularly touted as a possible partner for Ed Miliband if the party went into coalition with Labour.

But the current Business Secretary was critical of Mr Miliband's "very poor judgment" and said he was ready to "stomach" another five years of co-operation with the Tories. But Mr Cable did not rule out a coalition with Labour, saying "I can envisage a scenario in which I would stomach working with the Tories if the situation required. You have to let your head rule your heart."

In the interview he left little doubt which position he has his eye on in any coalition government: "I'm up for having a substantial role. My prime interest is the economy. There are two economic departments in Whitehall and I've done one of them for five years. I'll leave you to do the maths."

Tory council candidate: I’d never support ‘the Jew’ Miliband

A Tory council candidate has said she would never support “the Jew” in an apparent reference to Ed Miliband, the Jewish News is reporting.

Gulzabeen Afsal, who is standing in Derby, made the remarks in a Facebook exchange yesterday, where she wrote: “Just can’t take Mr Ed Miiband seriously!! DC has what it takes to be the future PM.”

When another user suggested she should show some respect “for the future PM”, Afsal replied: “Nah bro! never ever will I drop that low and support the al yahud [Arabic for Jew] lol.”

A Conservative spokesman said: “Her comment was offensive and wrong. She has removed it and apologised.”

Lewis: Labour relaunching 'chaotic' housing policy

Brandon Lewis

In response to Labour's plan for a real-terms cap on rent rises in the private sector, Conservative housing minister Brandon Lewis accused Ed Miliband of "re-launching a policy that descended into chaos when it was first announced".

Mr Lewis said: ''Rent controls never work - they force up rents and destroy investment in housing, leading to fewer homes to rent and poorer quality accommodation.

"Even Ed Miliband's own shadow housing minister admits they don't work. And an SNP-run Ed Miliband government will put our economy at risk, meaning fewer homes and higher rents.

''The only way to have affordable rents is to continue to build more homes. Thanks to our long-term economic plan, house-building is now at its highest level since 2007 and we will now go further by building 200,000 starter homes for first-time buyers and extending Right to Buy.''

Independent on Sunday front page

Independent on Sunday
Independent on Sunday
And finally - the Independent on Sunday gives over its front page to the devastating scenes in Nepal

Scotland on Sunday front page

Scotland on Sunday
Scotland on Sunday
Questions about the SNP's position on a second independence referendum dominate Scotland on Sunday's front page

Sunday Express front page

Sunday Express
Sunday Express
With 11 days until polling day, The Sunday Express suggests David Cameron is to launch a fight to "save Britain"

Mail on Sunday front page

Mail on Sunday
Mail on Sunday
The Mail on Sunday highlights comments by Theresa May about the impact of a Labour government supported by the SNP

Sunday Telegraph front page

Sunday Telegraph
Sunday Telegraph
The Sunday Telegraph devotes its front page to the unfolding tragedy in Nepal

Sunday Times front page

The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times suggests the Tories have had a "wobbly weekend"

Sunday's Observer front page

The Observer
The Observer
Labour's rent announcement makes the front page of The Observer

New Labour supporter warns against SNP deal

Sir Charles Dunstone
Press Association

Carphone Warehouse chairman Sir Charles Dunstone, a former supporter of New Labour, has warned that an Ed Miliband administration propped up by the Scottish National Party could undermine the economy and hurt Britain's most deprived people.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, he also defended his decision to sign a letter to the Daily Telegraph supporting Conservative policy.

Sir Charles said he backed Tony Blair in 2005 because the former Labour leader understood that a strong and growing economy was needed to pay for a fair and compassionate society.

But he said he was ''genuinely concerned'' that this view was not shared by the current Labour leadership, and feared that a Labour-SNP government would be ''anti-business, anti-aspiration and pro-spending money we haven't even earned yet''.

Conservative response to Labour rent cap

Eric Pickles
Getty Images

The Conservatives have responded to Labour's plan for a real-terms cap on rent rises in the private sector.

Eric Pickles has tweeted, quoting the Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck: "Rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city except for bombing."

YouGov opinion poll

It being Saturday night, opinion polls commissioned by some of the Sunday newspapers are being released as the presses roll.

This time it's YouGov, for the Sunday Times, whose figures suggest Labour have a two-point lead over the Conservatives. These are the headlines:

Lab 34% (-1)

Con 32% (-1)

UKIP 14% (+1)

Lib Dem 9% (+1)

Green 6% (-)

Labour plan to cap rent increases

Boards advertising properties for rent

Labour has just announced plans to cap annual rental increases in the private sector for most tenants for three years if they win power.

Ed Miliband has said he would act immediately to curb "massive" rent hikes which have forced some people out of their homes.

Under Labour's plans, to be included in its first Queen's Speech, new tenants would be given the right to find out what their predecessors paid to help them negotiate the "best deal".

Mr Miliband is expected to flesh out the details of the plan when he appears on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday morning.

The announcement comes as the latest opinion poll from Survation for the Mail on Sunday has given the Conservatives a three point lead over Labour.

Police investigate Thanet incident

Police are investigating an alleged incident in South Thanet amid claims that a rosette was torn from a 46-year-old Labour activist canvassing in the Kent constituency.

It later emerged that a "Stand Up to Ukip" stall in the area had been subject to a similar attack later that day.

A video of the incident has been passed to the police.

The Kent seat is one of the most high-profile in the country, with UKIP leader Nigel Farage trying to get elected to Parliament for the first time but facing challenges from both the Conservatives and Labour.

Conservative lead squeezed in poll

The Conservatives have seen their lead over Labour squeezed to one point, according to the latest opinion poll from Opinium.

The Tories were down three points to 34% in the Opinium survey for The Observer , with Labour on 33% (up one), Ukip on 13% (unchanged), the Liberal Democrats on 9% (up one) and Greens on 6% (up one).


David Cameron meets Prime Minister of Pakistan

David Cameron and Nawaz Sharif

David Cameron met with his Pakistani counterpart today after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif flew in to the UK to attend the Gallipoli centenary commemorations.

According to a statement by Number Ten the pair discussed the crisis in Yemen and bringing about a peaceful transition in Afghanistan.

A Number Ten spokesperson said:

"The leaders took the opportunity to discuss a number of regional issues, including situation in Yemen and Afghanistan.

"The leaders set out their support for finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Yemen and working with Saudi Arabia to help bring about this transition.

"Prime Minister Sharif also updated the Prime Minister on Pakistan's work with Afghanistan towards a peace process.

"The prime minister said that it was in Britain and the wider region's interest to see stability and a close working relationship between both countries."

Cameron insincerity?

Marathon Men

MPs Marathon
Press Association Images
(l-r) Richard Drax, Alun Cairns, Dan Jarvis, Edward Timpson and Graham Evans

With the finish line of this year's gruelling general election still far off in the distance, five MPs will be exchanging the contest for their House of Commons seats for a different kind of race - tomorrow's London Marathon.

Four Conservatives are taking part: children and families minister Edward Timpson, Richard Drax, and two Wales Office ministers Alun Cairns and Graham Evans. Labour is represented by shadow justice minister Dan Jarvis.

In past years the marathon field has included even more MPs - shadow chancellor Ed Balls ran the 26-mile course three times and was joined last year by shadow cabinet colleagues Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham.

About 35,000 fundraisers, amateur runners and elite athletes will take part in the 35th London Marathon tomorrow. Forecasters have warned that the 26.2-mile race could be hit by heavy bursts of rain.

Hattersley: Pressure on SNP, not Labour

Roy Hattersley
Roy Hattersley on the Andrew Marr Show

Labour's former deputy leader Roy Hattersley has claimed that it will be the SNP, and not Labour, which will find themselves under intense pressure to make concessions in the event of a hung Parliament.

Rather than holding the whip hand in a hung Parliament, he believes the Scottish nationalists would be in the weaker position because they would be ''decimated'' by voters at the 2016 election to the Scottish Parliament if they were seen to be responsible for bringing down a left-of-centre government.

In an interview to be broadcast on Sunday on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show the Labour peer advises Ed Miliband not to seek a deal, or offer concessions, to the SNP but instead sit tight and ''dare'' Nicola Sturgeon's party to vote him down.

Farage: Lib Dems will talk to UKIP

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage has said it does not matter if Nick Clegg has ruled out a deal with both the SNP and UKIP, because if UKIP wins enough seats the Liberal Democrats and other parties will want to talk to them.

Following his speech in north London, the UKIP leader said: ''At the end of the day this isn't about what people think, this is about arithmetic.

''I feel the UKIP campaign is strong, I feel we're picking up support in our target areas and if we win enough seats, whatever they've said about us they might just want to talk to us.''

Hammond on Nepal earthquake

epalese rescue members and onlookers Nepalese rescue authorities gather at the collapsed Darahara Tower in Kathmandu on April 25, 2015

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has issued a statement on the deadly earthquake in Nepal.

"My thoughts are with the people of Nepal and everyone affected by the terrible loss of life and widespread damage caused by the earthquake," he says. "We are in close contact with the Nepalese government.The British Embassy in Nepal is offering our assistance to the authorities and is providing consular assistance to British nationals."

Farage on #villagate

UKIP leader Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage is the latest person to have a dig at David Cameron over the #villagate saga. The UKIP leader says he has a family connection with Crystal Palace but hits out at what he calls "pretend" loyalties.

"My grandfather was a Crystal Palace supporter, my grandmother was, my eldest son is a season ticket holder, he's there this afternoon, there's a match against Hull today. "Football's not a big part of my life but I don't make pretences about teams I support and then chop and change them."

'I was busking' - PM

Christian Benteke and other Aston Villa players celebrating

The prime minister has been asked about his football team blunder, trending as #villagate on Twitter, in an interview with Sky News's Dermot Murnaghan to be broadcast tomorrow.

Asked to confirm which team he actually supports, Mr Cameron said: "I've been an Aston Villa fan all my life, I literally opened my mouth and I was going off-piste about the fact that in Britain you can be a supporter of the West Indies, a supporter of Manchester United, and a supporter of Team GB.

"I was then busking about other things you can support and was ... I don't know what happened to me, it was just one of those things.

Asked if the mistake was on his script, he said: "No, it wasn't on the script, I was going off-script to add to the examples, and I suppose it is just the campaign.

"By the time you have made as many speeches as I have on this campaign all sorts of funny things start popping out of your mouth."

#Dollgate trends on twitter

Nicola Sturgeon
Getty Images

#Villagate isn't the only story today gaining traction on social media. Following a BBC story last year in which Nicola Sturgeon's sister said she "used to cut the hair off my Barbie dolls" in their childhood, the Sun today had a story that Ms Sturgeon “devilishly hacked the hair” off her sister’s beloved doll and that this was "an early sign of the ruthlessness which has propelled her to the top of Scottish - and potentially British - politics."

This story contributed to the #Dollgate hashtag taking over a small part of Twitter today.

Nicola Sturgeon owned up to the deed on Twitter:

@LindaFSemple I'm not proud of it, Linda, but I've changed. My niece's dolls have never come to any harm. #DollGate

Lord Ashdown: No deal with SNP or UKIP

Paddy Ashdown

Lord Ashdown, the Liberal Democrats' election campaign chief, has confirmed there will be no "formal deal" with either a party that would "break up the United Kingdom", or take the country "out of Europe".

The Liberal Democrats, he said, "would not do what the Tories want to do, which is break away to the right and dump £30bn of deficit on the poor and on our public services".

Neither would they allow Labour "to wreck our economy again". He said the Liberal Democrats would "put the nation first" in order to provide "stable government".

Campaign sidebar

BBC Radio 4

The fog of politics, the meaning of austerity, and the secret language of politicians, plus how do those apps which advise people which party is closest to their views actually work? BBC Radio 4's Campaign Sidebar is a quirky, irreverent take on the twists and turns of the election campaign so far, presented by Hugo Rifkind. Click here to listen now.

Cameron's Villa 'brain fade'

Andy Burnham

On David Cameron's "brain fade" when he asked people to support West Ham when he is a professed Aston Villa fan, Labour shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said: "I think from an Aston Villa point of view, the news just gets better and better, doesn't it?" Referring to Aston Villa beating Liverpool last weekend to get through to the FA Cup final, Mr Burnham said: "First Wembley, and now this. They will feel that things are looking up for them today."

NHS 'being broken up and sold off'

Andy Burnham

Labour shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has said the NHS is being "broken up and sold off" under David Cameron.

"He's put market forces at the heart of the NHS, and we've got to get back to an NHS that puts people before profits.

"Nobody gave this Prime Minister their permission to put the NHS up for sale. He promised no reorganisation, he brought forward the biggest ever."

The EU and politicians and media colude - Farage

Nigel farage

Nigel Farage said: "There is a consensus amongst our political class, there is a consensus amongst much of our media class, there is a consensus amongst the CBI and many of the big corporate businesses and their view is that Britain needs to be part of a political union run from Brussels and Frankfurt and Luxemburg...I would like to give you completely the opposite alternative argument.

"You only have to look at the statement that came from HSBC yesterday to be increasingly worried about what the regulatory regime is doing to Britain's financial service industry."

"For all of you in this industry, it makes little or no difference who gets the keys to Number 10 Downing Street, because all of the rules and regulations that affect your lives and affect your businesses are decisions that will be taken somewhere else, and over which the Biritish government, and British parliament, have no say."

Adding that he is one of the few politicians who has actually had a job Mr Farage said: "Surely the point about the City, the point about the financial services industry is that we should not allow our politicians and our Eurocrats to denigrate the industry, to paint it out as a handful of people who all make a fortune."

Farage 'concern' on pensions

Nigel Farage

Speaking to an investor conference in Islington, Nigel Farage said he had concerns about new pensions freedoms: "I'm also concerned that the change to pension laws - the ability of people now to draw down the total sums in those pensions funds.

"I'm concerned that a lot of people out there frankly are not sophisticated enough to understand what that means and I am deeply fearful that the scammers and the conmen are going to have an absolute field day at the expense of people who have been prudent over their lives."

'I don't love wind energy' - Farage

Nigel Farage

On the question of energy production, UKIP leader Nigel Farage says:

"We have fallen in love apparently with wind energy," he says.

"Now I have to say that I haven't fallen in love with wind energy.

"I think these giant bat and bird chomping monsters are despoiling England's green and pleasant land and our seascape, but that's purely a subjective comment perhaps from me.

"But what we have done is we've lumped on now over 10% on our energy bills, and with the future increases that are written into the system that will be 20% by 2020."

Mr Farage suggests halting the subsidies for wind energy in favour of "the cheapest possible source of energy".

Farage speech begins

Nigel Farage

UKIP leader Nigel Farage is giving a speech at a retail investor show in London. He says that the UK national debt now stands at £1.5trn. "They have doubled the national debt in five years - and that if you think about it that does take some doing," he quips.

"Our debt repayments are already bigger than our defence budget," he adds.

Brown: Black video 'chilling'

James Cook, Scotland correspondent

Gordon Brown

Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown has accused the Scottish National Party of a "completely chilling" plan for a second referendum on independence.

Mr Brown said the SNP candidate for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Mhairi Black, had "told the truth that Nicola Sturgeon won't admit in public," quoting Ms Black in a YouTube video as saying that the election of SNP MPs would be used to secure another referendum.

In the video posted on 5 March, Ms Black says the Westminster establishment would not grant Scotland another vote and "if we can send back that many… SNP MPs to Westminster that is the power to twist their arm and to get that other referendum."

Mr Brown said the SNP wanted to win seats in the House of Commons "not to deliver social justice" but to "deliver the chaos and constant crisis" that would "as she said, force a second referendum."

Labour 'rank hypocrisy' on NHS

Returning to Labour's claim that the Conservatives would oversee the "stealth privatisation" of the NHS, Lib Dem campaign spokesman Lord Paddick said: 

"Under Labour, private providers were paid 11% more than NHS providers for the same treatment and their PFI (private finance initiative) deals are still costing the taxpayer #1 billion a year in repayments. The Liberal Democrats put an end to these sweetheart deals, blocked PFI contracts, prevented privatisation of the NHS through the back door and increased NHS funding each year. Now we are the only party with a detailed plan to fund the extra £8bn the NHS says it needs - almost three times more than Labour will commit."

Iain Martin, political journalist

Tweets :

Cam would have been better 10 years ago saying he's not much of a football fan. But non-football Britons (most of them) won't care abt slip

Thurrock 'history'

Nigel Farage
Getty Images

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said his party could "make history" in Thurrock, Essex, where a poll for former Conservative treasurer Lord Ashcroft suggests the party has a four-point advantage in a three-way race. Conservative Jackie Doyle-Price is defending a wafer-thin majority of just 92 there. According to the poll, UKIP had 35%, with Labour's Polly Billington - a former adviser to Ed Miliband - in second place on 31%, with the Conservatives on 30%.