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  1. There are 83 days until the general election
  2. Labour has published proposals extending the "clawback" of bonuses bonuses from bankers guilty of misconduct
  3. Labour has rejected claims that Ed Miliband was involved in tax avoidance over the purchase of his parents' home
  4. UKIP's Nigel Farage has been speaking about his own taxes, energy and other topics on LBC
  5. Many MPs are looking forward to a weekend of canvassing in their constituencies

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Angela Harrison

All times stated are UK

Get involved


That's all from the late team at Politics Live, after a day that delivered a diet of more tax stories, a dash of bankers' bonuses and tonight, news that some "obsolete" British armoured vehicles are being sent to Ukraine. Earlier, MPs left the Commons for a one-week break and no-doubt, a busy time campaigning in their constituencies. This weekend also sees the start of the political parties' spring conferences - with Welsh Labour being the first. We'll be back on Sunday at 08:00 to take you through the big political interviews of the day, as well as all the other news and comment about the general election.

Leaders' impact

Ed Miliband
Dan Kitwood

A blog post by the British Election Study has claimed that Ed Miliband is a "net drain" on Labour's support, while David Cameron is only a "modest asset", winning his party floating voters but with a high chance of losing them through "slip ups."

In its

study on the impact party leader's have in the run-up to the general election the group found that "Ed Miliband's appeal is unlikely to help Labour's chances of success at the ballot box."

The study also found that Nigel Farage has a greater impact on his party's following than the other leaders, while Nick Clegg is "not as toxic as some have implied", and is unlikely to reduce the popularity of his party.

Miliband on tax

Details have been released about a speech Ed Miliband will make to the Welsh Labour conference tomorrow. He is expected to say Labour would govern without fear or favour so that the same rules applied to the richest and most powerful as they do to everyone else.

"When a few people are able to avoid paying their fair share, it threatens the fabric of the society on which we depend," he will say.

Tomorrow's Express

Daily Express
Daily Express

Tomorrow's Sun

The Sun
The Sun

Tomorrow's Telegrpah

The Telegraph
The Telegraph

One rule for the rich

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

Richard Bacon

Public Accounts Committee member Richard Bacon says his committee found that for "many years under many governments there has been one rule for the rich and one rule for ordinary tax payers and that hacks a lot of people off".

Speaking on Newsnight, Mr Bacon argues that the way to "get around" the tax evasion is to set up a "simpler tax system with very few tax reliefs or no reliefs".

Bacon: Lord Fink was right

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

Discussing the HSBC tax evasion scandal, Conservative MP Richard Bacon says he agrees with Lord Fink's comment that "everyone" avoids tax in some way.

Speaking on Newsnight, he said: "There's lots of ordinary things in ordinary lives like ISAs with tax deductions on them".

Prosecute Tax Evaders

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

Baon and Abbott

Conservative MP Richard Bacon and Labour MP Diane Abbott are both pushing for increased prosecution of tax evaders on tonight's Newsnight.

Ms Abbott argues that the only way to resolve the problem of tax evasion is with an "Inland Revenue that doesn't have not prosecuting as its default."

Mr Bacon says: "I think they should dial up the deterrent effect by doing more prosecutions". If the UK prosecuted tax evaders "somewhat more the deterrent effect would come in pretty quickly" he adds.

Tomorrow's Guardian


Nick Sutton, Editor, BBC World At One


tweets: Saturday's Times front page

Go on diet or lose your benefits, obese told #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

The Times

Saxon sale 'provocative move'

BBC News Channel

BBC Political Correspondent Carole Walker, on the BBC 10 o'clock news, says the Ukrainian armed forces are going to "waste no time in mounting weapons" on to the 20 Saxon Armoured vehicles that the Ministry of Defence have confirmed have been delivered to Ukraine.

The Russian forces, who have faced repeated accusations that they are arming the pro-Russian rebel movement in Ukraine, will "no doubt see this a provocative move" following the

peace deal signed in Minsk last night, she adds.

Round up

A quick re-cap on some of the bigger political themes and stories of the day:

  • Bankers' bonuses - Labour said it would extend the number of years in which a bonus could be clawed back if someone was found guilty of misconduct
  • Labour leader Ed Miliband was called on to publish tax documents relating to his parents' former home; the party said the claims were a lie and no tax was avoided
  • UKIP had what correspondents called a "soft launch" of their election campaign - leader Nigel Farage said it was the only truely "national" party and that it would not "prop up" a party in the event of a hung parliament unless it offered an immediate referendum on EU membership
  • Panorama reports that tax inspectors failed to prosecute a wealthy property developer who didn't pay any tax for 24 years
  • British military armoured vehicles have been sent to Ukraine - the MoD says they are not armoured fighting vehicles

Tomorrow's Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Daily Mail

Armoured vehicles for Ukraine

Carole Walker

Political correspondent, BBC News

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that a consignment of former British military Saxon armoured vehicles has been delivered to Ukraine, but stressed these were out-of-service unarmed vehicles and did not represent lethal equipment. A Ukrainian news agency has reported that 20 British Saxon armoured cars have been delivered to Ukraine, with another 55 expected to arrive in the country in the near future, but the MoD could not confirm these figures.

A spokeswoman for the MoD said the sale had been in train for some time through the Disposal Services authority - an agency which deals with obsolete military equipment. She said these were "protected mobility platforms, not armoured fighting vehicles" and were not lethal aid.

Saturday's papers

The Independent on Saturday
The Independent

Campbell: 'Forget the colour, respect the initiative'

BBC Radio 4

Ming Campbell

Sir Menzies Campbell supports Labour's pink bus, saying it was time to "forget the colour of the van and respect the initiative".

Speaking on Any Questions, the former leader of Liberal Democrats said more parties should join in with the campaign.

Harman defends pink bus

Deputy Leader of the Labour party Harriet Harman defends the Labour party's decision to paint its

"women to women" campaign trail van pink.

Speaking on Any Questions, she says it's a "small bus" but the lack of engagement with women "is a very big issue."

Women are "still a minority - that's why we're getting out there on our pink bus and ...listening to to women's concerns and taking that on board and taking that into government."

Harriet Harman


BBC Radio 4

Former Leader of Liberal Democrats Sir Menzies Campbell says he supports a renewed nuclear Trident programme after 2024, in order to allow the UK to apply pressure and ensure the systematic nuclear disarmament [across the world]".

Speaking on Any Questions, he adds if Trident were to be retired, the UK would be "betting there will never be an occasion where a nuclear armed power seeks to blackmail the UK".

SNP's Trident red line

BBC Radio 4

Former Leader of the SNP Alex Salmond says continued support for Trident would be a red line for his party in any potential coalition discussion after the General Election, on Any Questions.

Soubry: 'Most unholy of alliances'

BBC Radio 4

On Any Questions, Defence Minister Anna Soubry labels a coalition between Labour and the SNP a "most unholy of alliances" that would bring the UK to the "brink of bankruptcy".

Harman on SNP coalition

BBC Radio 4

On Any Questions deputy leader of the Labour party Harriet Harman refuses to rule out a coalition with the SNP after the general election.

However she compares questioning her about coalition policies before an election to "going to an Olympic athlete and asking what will you do when you come fourth."

"We shouldn't second guess the electorate" she says.

Salmond: police investigation at HSBC needed

BBC Radio 4

Alex Salmond

Now on Any Questions former leader of the SNP Alex Salmond asks why the police aren't interviewing HSBC senior executives who've allowed the practice of tax evasion to take place.

Referencing a

BBC story from earlier today Mr Salmond says that if a pensioner had not paid tax for 24 years "we'd be visiting her at Her Majesty's pleasure."

Responding to Defence Minister Anna Soubry, he says there's a "great deal more progress to make" on tax law.

Robbing services

BBC Radio 4

The Deputy Leader of the Labour party, Harriet Harman, tells Any Questions the gap between what tax is paid and should be paid is £34bn. Tax avoidance, she said robbed "the public purse and all of the services". She adds that investigations such as those run by Margaret Hodge and the Public Accounts Committee had brought avoidance by big companies out in the open and said the question now, was was there going to be action.

"There should be no where to hide now," she said.

Soubry: Lord Fink 'wrong'

BBC Radio 4

Anna Soubry

Defence Minister Anna Soubry says Lord Fink was wrong when he commented that "everyone" avoids tax. Speaking on BBC's Any Questions, she claims the vast majority "quite properly pay their taxes".

Those who "avoided tax when they should not have done so" are being pursued with greater "vigour" than ever before, resulting in an extra £100bn being recovered from corporations, companies and individuals, she says.

The Conservative party have made a "very leaky system much more watertight" she adds.


Tim Montgomery, Columnist & Founder, Conservative Christian Fellowship

tweets: Tricky week for Conservatives ends. Important next week's focus on welfare has a reformist (UC, jobs creation) rather than punitive edge...

Record voters register in one week

Bite the Ballot says a record 441,500 people registered to vote during this year's National Voter Registration Week, roughly 1% of all registered voters.

Bite the Ballot, who organise National Voter Registration week, said in a

statement that event "was the most successful voter registration campaign, ever."

The week was held from 2nd - 8th February 2015 and involved high profile campaigns including projecting slogans onto the Houses of Parliament and community-led registration rallies held in schools and further education colleges across the UK.

In addition, a "register to vote" reminder appeared on the Facebook news feed of millions of Britons and Twitter provided a sponsored hash tag.


Isabel Hardman, Assistant Editor, The Spectator

tweets: Personally think Miliband just about 'won' this week overall, though plenty of caveats here

HMRC failed to prosecute tycoon over tax evasion


BBC's Panorama has found that tax inspectors failed to prosecute a property tycoon, Paul Bloomfield, who did not submit returns or pay any tax for 24 years.

HM Revenue and Customs had concluded that Mr Bloomfield, who was involved in the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium, was a UK resident and liable for 20 years' tax, but missed several opportunities to prove Mr Bloomfield's dishonesty. Mr Bloomfield told HMRC that, despite his lavish lifestyle, he did not own any property or have any income.

Panorama has the story


Chris Mason, BBC Political Correspondent


tweets: The UKIP donor Arron Banks has threatened to sue Armando Iannucci, over remarks Mr Iannucci made on last night's #bbcqt on @BBCOne

Any Questions

BBC Radio 4

Hungry for more politics at the end of a politics-packed week? Tune in tonight to BBC Radio Four when Jonathan Dimbleby presents political debate and discussion from the Broadcasting House Radio Theatre in London. In the hot seats will be Sir Ming Campbell MP, the former Leader of the Liberal Democrats; Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman MP; former Leader of the Scottish National Party Alex Salmond MSP and Defence Minister Anna Soubry MP. Any Questions starts at 20:00.

Labour lead in crucial marginal seats

Ed Miliband


latest ITV/Comres poll has found that despite nearly being tied with the Conservatives in the national polls, Labour have a 9% lead on their nearest rivals in marginal seats, a 1% increase since November.

In a poll of 1004 people from the 40 closest Labour/Conservative swing seats across England and Wales, 40% of voters say they intend to vote Labour, compared to 31% Conservative.


Mike Smithson, polling analyst

tweets: ComRes/ITV News poll of 40 key marginals with change on Nov

Con 31=

Lab 40+

LD 8+

UKIP 15-3

GRN 5%+1

And says that the poll "represents CON to LAB swing of 4.5%"

Church defends Lord Green

Lord Green

The Church of England has released a statement defending former head of HSBC and trade minister Lord Green and the

report on leadership training for senior clergy which he chaired.

The statement on the

organisation's official website thanks Lord Green, an ordained Anglican priest, for his work and argues that no reports in the recent coverage "suggest there is evidence that he personally encouraged or orchestrated any scheme of tax evasion".

"The Church of England's opposition to tax evasion or aggressive tax management strategies remains firm" it adds.

Miliband's unorthodox strategy

Nick Robinson

Political editor

In his latest blog, the BBC's political editor suggests there is method in what some see as Ed Miliband's "electoral madness" - his strategy of picking fights with big business and other vested interests. Nick also explains that he was not directly quoting anyone using the phrase "Milly Dowler moment" in reports about Mr Miliband's tax row with Lord Fink.

Teachers jobs warning

A teaching union is warning that

500 teaching jobs could go in Northern Ireland. Schools there recently received a letter from the Department of Education NI, saying they would have to make "difficult decisions" and "live within their budgets as a matter of urgency".

Bonus claw-back

money graphic

Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors, says Labour has made "some serious proposals" and banks should respond "constructively". The party wants to extend the number of years bankers' bonuses can be vulnerable to being clawed back if they are found to be guilty of misconduct.

"We support the principle that bonuses can be clawed back for serious wrongdoing. We agree with Ed Balls that performance-related pay is a vital tool in making executives focus on the long-term success of their bank, rather than one year's profits. Ten years is a long time for a bonus to be vulnerable, and clawbacks of this length should be reserved to matters where there is a significant on-going risk."

Good afternoon

Good afternoon and thank you for reading our Politics Live page. The late watch here in Westminster is settling in to bring you the latest in news, comment and images about the general election, which is now 83 days away. We'll be keeping an eye on what's moving, including on the BBC news programmes and we'll be tuning in to Any Questions on Radio Four tonight, where some key political names will be tackling some of the big questions of the week.