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  1. Panorama learns HSBC helped wealthy clients cheat the UK out of millions of pounds in tax
  2. Labour unveils plans to double paternity leave to four weeks and increase the amount paid to new fathers
  3. The All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into anti-Semitism suggests people who spread racial hatred on social media should be banned from the sites
  4. There are 87 days to go until the General Election on 7 May
  5. Rolling coverage from the BBC's political team - from Today and Breakfast through to Newsnight and Today in Parliament

Live Reporting

By Adam Donald, Angela Harrison and Sarah Weaver

All times stated are UK

Get involved


That's all from the Politics Live team for today, a day which saw Labour and the Conservatives pushing each other on who knew what when in the row over HSBC. The Pubic Accounts Committee is to investigate, after leaked documents given to Panorama and other news organisations suggested the British bank's Swiss subsidiary helped its wealthy clients to evade UK taxes amounting to millions of pounds.

In Washington, President Obama said the US would consider sending weapons to Ukraine if diplomatic attempts to halt the conflict there fail. The crisis in Ukraine has claimed more than 5,300 lives and made 1.5 million people homeless.

We'll be back at 06:00 tomorrow, to follow the latest political news, from the Today programme through to Newsnight. There'll be some big political speeches at the the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference and much to watch in Parliament.

Tomorrow's papers


BBC News


tweets: Tuesday's Daily Mail: "Butter isn't bad for you after all" (via @suttonnick) #TomorrowsPapersToday #BBCPapers

Tomorrow's Mail front page
Daily Mail


Daily Politics

Live on BBC Two

tweets: Tuesday's #bbcdp guest of the day is @CamCavendish joining @Jo_coburn from 1200

Camilla Cavendish

BBC London Newsroom


tweets: Watch: @MayorofLondon Boris Johnson proposes underground roads during Boston visit

The economy

New Statesman

Ed Miliband and Ed Balls

At the New Statesman,

George Eaton says that although Ed Miliband's party has struggled to convince in the economic argument with the Conservatives, new research "supplies Labour with vital ammunition to fight back".

Tom Feilden, Today programme science editor


tweets: Tomorrow on #r4today: Politicians all talk a good game on funding basic research to fuel economic growth, but who wins the science vote?

Rowena Mason, Guardian political correspondent


tweets: Two of the prizes at Tory black and white ball - the chance to go shoe shopping with Theresa May and dinner at Carlton Club with Sajid Javid

Tomorrow's papers


BBC News


tweets: Tuesday's Metro: "Teen 'held on his way to behead a soldier'" (via @suttonnick) #TomorrowsPapersToday #BBCPapers

Tomorrow's Metro front page

Tomorrow's papers


BBC News


tweets: Tuesday's Guardian: More on "HSBC files" (via @suttonnick) #TomorrowsPapersToday #BBCPapers

Tomorrow's Guardian front page
The Guardian

Rotherham researcher 'threatened'

Alison Holt

Social Affairs Correspondent, BBC News

A Home Office researcher who tried to raise the alarm in Rotherham about the sexual exploitation of young girls by men of mainly Pakistani background says she was bullied and threatened. Adele Gladman told the BBC she was approached by a police officer outside the council offices who said words along the lines of: "Wouldn't it be a shame if these perpetrators found out where you lived." The BBC's Alison Holt

has the full story here.


BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

tweets: Rowan Williams on military intervention to protect Middle East Christians: "Unless we know exit strategy same probs will recur." #newsnight

Tomorrow's papers


BBC News


tweets: Tuesday's Times: "Pay workers more, says PM" (via @suttonnick) #TomorrowsPapersToday #BBCPapers

Tomorrow's Times front page
The Times

Today in Parliament, 23:30 GMT

BBC Radio 4

Palace of Westminster at night

Join the BBC's Today in Parliament team on Radio 4 this evening for the highlights from all today's action in the Palace of Westminster. On tonight's show: MPs demand answers over claims that HSBC helped its wealthy clients evade tax; Home Office ministers field departmental questions; the House of Lords looks at rebuilding confidence in the banking system; and one MP seeks a statutory requirement for airlines to announce if someone on board a plane has a nut allergy. All this and more at 23:30 GMT.


BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

tweets: Williams on tax avoidance: If an institution is committed to helping people go under the law I don't see how a Christian can help with that.

Mike Smithson, polling analyst


tweets: The first YouGov poll of the week has

CON 34

LAB 33

LD 7



Tomorrow's papers


BBC News


tweets: Tuesday's FT: "HSBC Swiss tax claims spark calls for clampdown" (via @suttonnick) #TomorrowsPapersToday #BBCPapers

Tomorrow's FT front page
Financial Times

Bashar al-Assad interview

Jeremy Bowen

BBC Middle East editor

The BBC's Jeremy Bowen has interviewed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It will be shown across the BBC from 06:00 GMT tomorrow.

'Incredible' range

BBC Radio 5 live

"There has never been anything like this," Richard Bilton from Panorama told Radio 5 Live. He has been covering the HSBC tax scandal story. "The range is incredible ... pop stars, royalty, housewives, students, dentists, doctors," he says.

HSBC tax scandal

Nick Robinson

Political editor

David Cameron, William Hague, Vince Cable and Stephen Green
Getty Images
David Cameron meeting with William Hague, Vince Cable, and Stephen Green (right)

Nick Robinson says that with today's furore over HSBC advising clients on how to evade tax - and the prime minister's decision to appoint former HSBC boss Stephen Green as a trade minister in 2011, after making him a peer the year before - tonight is "not perhaps the ideal night for David Cameron to welcome his richest supporters to a Tory ball expected to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for the party".

Tomorrow's papers


BBC News


tweets: Tuesday's Telegraph: "Give staff a pay rise, Cameron tells bosses" (via @suttonnick) #TomorrowsPapersToday #BBCPapers

Tomorrow's Telegraph front page
Daily Telegraph


A Taser

The Home Office has said the use of Tasers is down to chief police officers in each area. Earlier, the Police Federation of England and Wales said all officers should be allowed to carry them, particularly because of the terror threat. The Home Office says Taser use is based on an assessment of risk and threat and that it has asked for the publication of data on how much they are used and where.


BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

Rowan Williams
Press Association

On Newsnight tonight: Evan Davis sits down with former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, while Labour's John Mann and the Conservatives' Mark Garnier discuss tax evasion and avoidance.

U.S.-German diplomacy

Jon Sopel

North America editor

Angela Merkel and Barack Obama
Getty Images

The meeting of US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel today will have been monitored closely by governments across the world, but especially in Europe. Earlier we brought you a few tidbits, and now the BBC's North America editor Jon Sopel has given his take on the proceedings.

Read Jon's analysis here.

Archbishop 'begs' for Western intervention

David Campanale, BBC News

Islamic State terrorist holding prisoners
Associated Press

One of Iraq's most senior Christian clerics is calling for direct western intervention "on the ground", just days after Prince Charles again highlighted the plight of Christians in the region.

The Catholic Archbishop of Irbil in northern Iraq made the call in a visit to Westminster.

Archbishop Bashar Warda of the Chaldean Church said the country's Christian community had fallen dramatically from 1.4m during the time of Saddam Hussein. He said: "I beg you to focus on the need for military action. What we are seeing is worse for the world than what happened in Afghanistan, with more and more young people going to fight with Daesh [the Arabic term which loosely equates to ISIS]. Military action is needed - powerful force - to get them out of our villages."

Nuts on planes

House of Commons


Airlines will not be forced to warn passengers if someone on board has a peanut allergy, a minister has said. The DUP MP Ian Paisley staged a debate to call for such announcements to become routine, saying there was a danger that someone with an allergy might inhale allergens from nuts being eaten by others and go in to anaphylactic shock. Transport minister Robert Goodwill said there was little evidence to suggest a warning would make a difference.

'Black and White ball'

The Conservative Party is hosting its annual 'Black and White ball' for party donors. Guests from a variety of industries have been invited, but the Conservative high command is not fully in attendance - David Cameron is there, but Theresa May and Boris Johnson are missing out. Some of the better-known guests:

Michael Gove
Getty Images
Chief Whip Michael Gove
Conservative peer and businesswoman Karren Brady
Getty Images
Conservative peer and businesswoman Karren Brady
Jeremy Hunt
Getty Images
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt
Peter Stringfellow and guest
Getty Images
Nightclub tycoon Peter Stringfellow and guest

Tax evasion re-cap

  • Politicians and tax officials are under pressure to explain why they didn't prosecute bankers and wealthy clients after leaked documents revealed a Swiss subsidiary of the British bank HSBC helped some people avoid or evade paying millions of pounds
  • Panorama has seen accounts from 106,000 clients in 203 countries, leaked by a whistleblower in 2007
  • The documents include details of almost 7,000 clients based in the UK.
  • HSBC admitted it was "accountable for past control failures," but said it had "fundamentally changed"
  • In the Commons this afternoon, the government was under pressure to explain why only one person has been prosecuted since the details were passed to the UK in 2010
  • The Conservatives accused Labour of presiding over a "culture of tax evasion" when they were in office.
  • The Commons Public Accounts Committee is to investigate.

Panorama, 20:30 GMT


HSBC logo
Getty Images

Tune into

@BBCPanorama shortly on BBC One for the in-depth version of the story that's dominated the headlines today: revelations that HSBC - Britain's biggest bank - has been helping its wealthy clients evade taxes.

The man behind the polls

The Daily Telegraph

Lord Ashcroft
Getty Images

Lord Ashcroft's polling is now a staple of the British political scene: In the run-up to this year's general election, his surveys have already dominated news cycles - most recently last week when he revealed Labour is on course to lose more than a dozen seats in Scotland to the SNP.

At the Daily Telegraph, Dan Hodges says the Tory peer "is attempting to reinvent himself as a politically neutral master of polls. But what does he really want?"

Patrick Wintour, political editor of The Guardian


tweets: New DWP numbers show in 2013-2014, 18%, or 568,430, were sanctioned out of the total 3,097,630 claiming JSA. A record & not a hard core.

Parliamentary drought

Palace of Westminster
Associated Press

Problems affecting the Belgravia area of London have caused some problems today in the Palace of Westminster. Everyone who works in the complex - from MPs to peers to interns - was advised to use facilities elsewhere on the parliamentary estate if possible. Thames Water said their priority is "to ensure the business of parliament is not disrupted". Perhaps that explains why MPs wrapped up their business by 17:00 GMT, having only kicked off at 14:30.

Robin Brant, BBC political correspondent


tweets: No @MayorofLondon (who is abroad) and no sign of Theresa May at @Conservatives big fundraiser at grosvenor hotel in London tonight

Straw 'peerage'

London Evening Standard


Jack Straw

Earlier on Monday, we reported a Mail Online story claiming former foreign secretary Jack Straw was to be given a peerage after the election - and before the likely publication of the Chilcot report into the Iraq War. Now,

the Evening Standard reports that former Lib Dem minister Norman Baker has said: "Jack Straw was central to the events of 2002-3 and I would think it prudent to await the outcome of the Chilcot process before anyone in that position is honoured."

MPs to probe HSBC claims

The chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, Labour MP Margaret Hodge, says it will be launching an urgent inquiry into the HSBC tax claims, adding that it "will require HSBC to give evidence - and we will order them if necessary".

HSBC tax scandal

Channel 4

On Channel 4 News, shadow treasury minister Shabana Mahmood and Conservative MP Mark Garnier have been talking about today's big story. Ms Mahmood says criticism of the Labour government's record on tax-evasion crackdown is absurd: "Tax evasion is illegal, so the idea that a minister would be aware of other people breaking the law is a total nonsense by this government."

Mark Garnier said it was "completely reprehensible both legally and morally to steal from the taxpayer, which is what tax evasion is". He also said that it was a "very, very fair criticism" to wonder why Lord Green had been appointed a trade minister in the coalition.

John Cryer

Some news from Labour. John Cryer has been elected chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party this evening. The MP for Leyton and Wanstead succeeds Dave Watts, who is standing down from the influential role.

Washington talks on Ukraine

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has re-stated her view that she sees diplomacy as the solution to the conflict in Ukraine - not military action. Speaking in Washington after talks with President Obama, she said: "We continue to pursue a diplomatic solution, even though we have suffered a lot of setbacks. These days we will see whether all sides are ready and willing to come to a negotiated settlement."

Pro-Russian separatist fighter jumps from an armoured vehicle near a destroyed Ukrainian tank in Uglegorsk, 6 kms southwest of Debaltseve on 9 February 2015
Mrs Merkel's US trip is the latest in a flurry of diplomatic activity to try end nearly a year of conflict in Ukraine

Robin Brant, BBC political correspondent


tweets: .@Conservatives chief Andrew Feldman greeting guests as they start to arrive at uber fundraiser ball at grosvenor hotel in londons Mayfair

Fracking: U-turn allegation

House of Lords


Ministers have been accused of making a "U-turn" over controls on fracking operations. Last month in the Commons, the Government agreed to an outright ban on fracking in national parks and Labour proposals for tougher regulation. But tonight in the Lords, Energy and Climate Change minister Baroness Verma said the changes were not viable or workable and introduced alternative amendments to the Infrastructure Bill.

Lady Verma said shale gas was an "exciting new energy resource for the UK," offering huge potential. But Green party peer Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, said the new amendments missed "absolutely crucial" detail. "I feel the Government here is doing a U-turn. It is not good enough to pass something in one place and then change it quite substantially," she said