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Summary

  1. The number of people out of work in the UK fell by 97,000 to 1.86 million in the three months to December, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said
  2. David Cameron addressed employees at Rolls Royce in Sussex and said unemployment figures show that "more people are in work than ever before"
  3. But Labour said the figures also showed that youth unemployment had risen
  4. The number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK has risen by 15% year-on-year, ONS figures showed
  5. Lord Kinnock said Labour's planned mansion tax would cost the wealthy no more than an expensive lunch
  6. There are 78 days until the general election

Live Reporting

By Nick Eardley and Tim Fenton

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight

That's it for another day of Politics Live, folks. Today, we've had statistics showing

UK unemployment falling to 1.86 million, new figures showing the
number of Bulgarians and Romanians working in the UK and a former
Labour leader saying the "mansion tax" would cost the wealthy no more than an expensive lunch. Tomorrow, details of party donations for the final quarter of 2014 will be published. We'll bring you all the details, plus everything else you need to know from the world of politics, from tomorrow morning. See you then.

Independent front page

Independent front page
BBC

Tomorrow's Independent runs with the front page headline: "No 10 'systemically negligent' with national security secrets"

NME 'honours' Nigel Farage

UKIP leader Nigel Farage was among the winners at tonight's annual NME awards ceremony. Mr Farage was named Villain of the Year, beating Bono, David Cameron, Harry Styles, Russell Brand and Taylor Swift to the title. Hero of the Year went to Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys. More

here.

Daily Mail front page

Daily Mail
BBC

The Scotsman front page

The Scotsman
BBC

What future for FPTP?

Newsnight
BBC

Could first-past-the-post face a fresh challenge after the election as more parties compete seriously for votes? Newsnight has been looking at the issue tonight. Former cabinet secretary Lord O'Donnell says there has been a long-term trend showing decline in support for the two main parties. Eventually, that could lead to more questions over the voting system being thrown up. "We will then end up with all sorts of parties where the relationship between the percentage of votes received and the percentage of seats they get won't be very proportionate," he says. "I think that will raise some legitimacy questions."

The Times front page

The Times
BBC

The Times front page runs with the headline: "Stamp out sick-note culture, GPs told"

Newsnight

@BBCNewsnight

Tweets: Telegraph not only offender, many other media where lines between advertorial and editorial are blurred, claims media analyst Claire Enders

Daily Record front page

Daily Record
BBC

The Daily Record front page focuses on its poll on Scottish voting intentions, saying the SNP is "in line to win dozens of seats as new Scottish leader Jim [Murphy] fails to halt surge"

The House

Precious Lewis
BBC

Newsnight is also running the first of its The House packages tonight, featuring families talking about politics and the issues dominating the general election. The first to feature is Precious Lewis and her family discussing the merits of voting. Her daughter admits to not knowing who any of the party leaders are. You can watch the programme in our live coverage tab on desktop.

Editorial v commercial content

Newsnight spoke to journalists from other publications about pressure from advertisers. Emma Tucker, deputy editor of The Times, said: "To the absolute credit of our commercial department they never ever try to put pressure on us in that way. Because I think they understand just as we understand that it's in nobody's interests to cross that wall." HuffingtonPost UK editor Stephen Hull said: "We always have a church and state arrangement. So editors and advertisers and the commercial team are always very separate. My editors are never asked to write commercial content. I wouldn't accept it and I wouldn't expect it from our commercial department."

The Telegraph claims

Newsnight is looking at the relationship between the editorial and commercial arms of the Telegraph newspaper following Peter Oborne's resignation yesterday. Desktop users can watch the programme on the live coverage tab.

The Sun newspaper

@Sun_Politics

tweets: YouGov/Sun poll tonight - Labour lead by two: CON 32%, LAB 34%, LD 8%, UKIP 14%, GRN 6%

Guardian front page

Guardian
BBC

The Guardian splashes on Ukraine. On its front page wing it has a story about former prime minister Tony Blair agreeing a deal to advise Serbia.

Telegraph front page

The Telegraph
BBC

The Telegraph front page leads on comments by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon about the Ukraine ceasefire. Its headline reads: Putin will target the Baltic next, says Fallon

Financial Times front page

FT front page
BBC

Tomorrow's Financial Times splashes on prosecutors in Switzerland launching a "historic raid" on HSBC over tax claims.

SNP on Survation poll

SNP MP Angus Robertson is quick to respond to tonight's Survation/Daily Record poll on Scottish general election voting intentions. He says: "This is another excellent poll for the SNP showing that our strong lead over Labour is continuing - but we are taking absolutely nothing for granted, and are working hard for every vote and every seat in May. Labour's loss of support under the gaffe-prone leadership of Jim Murphy is now so stark that on these figures they would actually win fewer seats at the next Scottish Parliament election than they did under Iain Gray - while the SNP would build on our record result in 2011."

SNP lead edges back

A new poll for the Daily Record in Scotland suggests a very small recovery for Labour following the appointment of Jim Murphy as leader. The Survation poll of Scottish voters suggests the SNP lead over Labour has fallen slightly. The SNP are down 1% on 45%. Labour is up 1% at 28%. If these figures were reproduced on polling day, Survation says Labour would lose 21 of their Scottish seats to the SNP and the Liberal Democrats would lose 9. More details

here.

Jim Murphy lays out economic plans

Jim Murphy
PA

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy says growing inequality is the "biggest moral, social and economic challenge" facing Scotland. In a speech in Edinburgh tonight, Mr Murphy said a radical approach was required but promised not to increase taxes on the "mainstream middle classes". He promised extra spending on education and the NHS and said cash would come from the annual tax on properties worth more than £2m, a 50p top rate tax on incomes of £150,000 and a tax on bankers' bonuses.

Oborne speak to the Guardian

The Guardian

Peter Oborne has been interviewed by the Guardian about his decision to quit The Telegraph. He tells the former that he had "huge reservations" about quitting the latter, but says he felt a sense of relief after his letter criticising practices at The Telegraph was posted online. He says: "I was worried about giving ammunition to rivals. I failed to press it two or three times. But I did. And after a while, I felt relief. Because then the die was cast." More

here.

UK Prime Minster David Cameron

@Number10gov

tweets: Record levels of female employment - 14.47 million women in work #GetBritainWorking

Female employment figures from DWP
Twitter

Government concedes rights breach

Policies on the handling of communications between lawyers and clients have not fully met the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights, according to a statement issued by the Government today. More details

here.

Spread bet millionaire predicts big gains for UKIP

Channel 4

UKIP "might easily" get into the teens in terms of seats, according to spread betting tycoon Stuart Wheeler. Mr Wheeler told Channel 4 News that, whatever the result, he very much doubted party leader Nigel Farage would accept a role in government. He described current polls as "very, very swingy." It was earlier announced Mr Wheeler had made a £100,000 donation to UKIP's campaign funds.

Poll tracker

Over the next few weeks, we'll bring you the latest polling data when it is published - including tonight's Survation poll. You can also see how the fortunes of the parties have changed by looking at our

poll tracker.

Mike Smithson, polling analyst

@MSmithsonPB

tweets: New Survation Scottish poll for D Record due at 10pm. Last month SNP 20% ahead. What will tonight bring?

Further devolution negotiations?

The SNP could use any post-election talks aimed at forming a new Westminster government to win enhanced powers for Holyrood, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has suggested. Draft clauses that will form the basis of a new devolution Bill have already been set out. But Ms Sturgeon told MSPs there may be "further negotiation that further refines" these following May's general election.

More on our Scotland Live page.

Lord Ashcroft, Conservative peer and pollster

@LordAshcroft

tweets: My next constituency polls will be released tomorrow at 11am.
Sign up at Lord Ashcroft Polls to get results by email.

Allegra Stratton, Newsnight political editor

@BBCAllegra

tweets: Later, we launch Newsnight's kitchen cabinet: "This House believes..." 3 families followed, over dinner, deciding how to vote. It's a treat.

Survation, polling firm

@survation

tweets: **POLL ALERT** 77 days until the General Election - New Scottish Westminster and Holyrood voting intention for @Daily_Record coming at 10pm

Still much to play for on the economy

Ben Wright, BBC political correspondent

Despite the improving state of the economy - highlighted again today by better unemployment figures - the Tories will try to avoid sounding triumphant, says BBC political correspondent Ben Wright. "The Tories do not want voters to think the job is done and argue only a vigorous economy can protect the public services Labour polls well on,"

he writes.

Grant Shapps, Conservative chairman and MP

@grantshapps

tweets: Now down at 5.6% UK unemployment is nearly half that of France. Yet Lab want to replicate the French economy here!

Conservative poster
Twitter

'Woolly ideas'

A Conservative spokesman has also responded to Michael Dugher's comments on public control of the railways. The spokesman said: "These woolly ideas would create chaos on infrastructure that is so vital to passengers and our economy. As part of our long-term economic plan we are investing a record £38 billion in our railways. Labour are yet to set out how this funding would be affected by their intention to be both player and referee."

'Warped narrative' of violent extremists

Theresa May
PA

Theresa May has highlighted the need to counter the "warped narrative" of violent extremists at a summit in Washington DC. Mrs May was speaking at a conference on tackling violent extremism called by Barack Obama in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Condemning recent "shocking" attacks she said they underscored the fact that extremism in a "global problem". The home secretary added: "Terrorists and extremists use a range of methods, including social media, to promote their twisted ideology and we need to be equally able to counter and defeat their warped narrative. Coming together at events such as this can only help inform our ongoing work, including the development of our new extremism strategy to confront and defeat extremism in all its forms."

'Government plays a major role in rail'

Michael Roberts, director general of the Rail Delivery Group, representing rail operators and Network Rail, has responded to comments made by Michael Dugher, the shadow transport secretary, earlier. Mr Dugher said Labour will introduce "more public control" of the railways if elected in May. Mr Roberts says: "Government plays a major role in rail through investment and setting out what it expects Network Rail and train companies to deliver. We will continue to work with government, passenger bodies, suppliers and other key stakeholders in delivering a better deal for passengers and taxpayers."

Six O'clock News

Tonight's BBC Six O'clock News leads with the latest

unemployment figures. Desktop users can watch the programme using the Live Coverage tab above.

McVey declaration "a mistake"

The Independent

Esther McVey
PA

Conservative MP Esther McVey's admission she would like to be prime minister was a mistake, according to the Independent's political columnist, Steve Richards. Ms McVey revealed her ambition on today's Loose Women programme on ITV. Mr Richards told Radio 4's PM programme that "she was being honest and making a terrible mistake...If you display obvious, naked ambition, you never reach the goal you declare you want to reach."

Conservative Home on unemployment figures

Conservative Home

On Conservative Home, Harry Phibbs has been considering the implications of today's unemployment figures. He writes: "It should help the Conservatives, of course. But some voters may feel that it shows we can afford to ease up on the "toughness" of the Conservatives and have some "tenderness" from a Labour Government." More

here.

Do you agree with the comments above? Send us your views on this, or any other subject featured on the Live Page, using the Get Involved tab on desktop. Mobile users can email politics@bbc.co.ukor text 61124

Ed Miliband, Labour leader

@Ed_Miliband

tweets: I'm proud to support Children's Mental Health Week. We must end the scandal of the neglect of child mental health #ChildrensMHW

PM a fan of Church's shoes

David Cameron
PA

The prime minister has revealed he is a fan of Church's - the upmarket shoemaker where a pair of shoes can cost more than £400. Speaking to BBC Radio Northampton, David Cameron was asked where he bought his shoes. He said: "I've bought pairs of Clarks in the past. I've bought all sorts of different pairs of shoes. I can't quite remember where." Pressed on whether he had any from Northamptonshire - famous for its shoemaking - the PM added: "Church's is obviously the big business. I have had Church's shoes in the past. I'm trying to think whether I've got some at the moment. I think I'd better make a resolution here on the radio show to go out and buy a pair of Church's."

Kinnock on mansion tax

More on former Labour leader Neil Kinnock's comments on the 'mansion tax'. Speaking to the Financial Times, he says the proposed tax on expensive properties in the UK would cost the wealthy no more than a good lunch. "For the people who are asset-rich and very prosperous, a couple of hundred quid a month isn't going to make a difference. They would spend that on lunch," he says. More

here.