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  1. David Cameron and Ed Miliband clashed during Prime Minister's Questions with the issue of MPs' second jobs dominating
  2. A Labour motion to stop MPs holding paid directorships or consultancies was defeated
  3. The defence secretary told MPs the UK is considering "further requests" for support from Ukraine but will not send combat troops
  4. HSBC bosses apologised for "unacceptable" practices at its Swiss private bank which helped clients to avoid tax
  5. MPs said "very little progress" has been made on universal credit despite £700m cost to date
  6. There are 71 days until the general election

Live Reporting

By Nick Eardley and Tim Fenton

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Clocking out

A quick look back at the main political stories of the day:

  • David Cameron and Ed Miliband
    clashed over MPs' second jobs at Prime Minister's Questions
  • A Labour motion to ban members of parliament from holding paid directorships or consultancies was
    defeated in the Commons
  • Defence Secretary Michael Fallon
    told MPs the UK is considering "further requests" for support from Ukraine but will not send combat troops
  • In the Lords, the government
    suffered a narrow defeat over the Modern Slavery Bill
  • Bosses from HSBC
    apologised for "unacceptable" practices at its Swiss private bank which helped clients to avoid tax
  • It was
    announced that Greater Manchester is to become the first English region to get full control of its health spending

That's all from the Politics Live team for tonight. We'll be back at 06:00 tomorrow to bring you the latest political news.

Will Bennett's brain fade matter?

The Guardian

What impact will Natalie Bennett's "brain fade" yesterday have on the Green Party? Possibly not that much, according to Tom Clark. He writes in the Guardian that it "may come and go without denting the Greens' standing at all." More


Spectator front page


Tim Montgomerie on UKIP

The Times

Nigel Farage

Over on the Times website, Tim Montgomerie considers differences of opinion over policy in UKIP. He suggests that if Nigel Farage fails to win election in South Thanet, the party may struggle to stay together. You can read his full piece

here (subscription required).

Financial Times front page


i front page


Independent front page

Independent front page

BBC Newsnight


tweets: The last thing older people want to be is a burden - we want somehow to keep our independence, says @ERantzen

Generational debate

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

Esther Rantzen, the broadcaster, and Ben Lyons are talking about what is on offer to different generations. Ms Rantzen says there is not enough age-appropriate accommodation for older people - all the focus is on building houses for first-time buyers or sheltered housing for older people. Ben Lyons says the younger generation faces a "real set of challenges"; including having to work for free in internships before they can get a job.

Politics of NHS devolution plans

James Landale

Deputy Political Editor, BBC News

Speaking about

plans to devolve NHS powers to Greater Manchester, our deputy political editors says:

The Government supports this reform on its merits. It believes it will help the people of Greater Manchester. But the Conservatives know it will also help them politically. It will allow them to claim not just that they are being more radical about health and social care but are also supporting the north-west of England, where they need more votes.

For Labour, it's a challenge. They appear divided on what should be a strong issue for them. The Labour leadership are opposed to the changes. They say it's a two-tier system and potentially the end of a truly National Health Service. They also talk of a funding crisis devolved not resolved. At the same time you have senior Labour councillors saying this is exactly the kind of thing Labour should be involved in.

Times front page

The Times

David Willets plays down generational divide

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

Newsnight is discussing how the election will affect different age groups - and whether older people are getting a better deal than youngsters. David Willets, the former universities minister, says he does not want "generational warfare". He says many young people don't want pensioners to suffer in their old age, but we have to offer young people a good deal too.

BBC Newsnight


BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

ON NOW: fmr Universities Minister David Willetts, @ERantzen and @BenLyons1 debate generational differences in the UK

You can watch the discussion in the Live coverage tab above on desktop

Daily Mail front page

Daily Mail
Daily Mail

Guardian front page


Telegraph front page

Daily Telegraph

Natalie Bennett apology

The Guardian

Natalie Bennett has penned an apology to Green Party members over her performance on LBC Radio yesterday. She writes: "Yesterday morning reminded me that life is a learning process and that I have much still to learn. Unlike many other party leaders I haven't been a politician for all that long." Ms Bennett admits she is upset at her performance, but adds that she is "more determined than ever" to make sure the Greens get "a fair hearing" at the election. You can read the full piece


Daniel Hannan, Conservative MEP


tweets: I propose a strong external regulator for MPs, with the power to dismiss them altogether. We could call it "the electorate".

Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary


tweets: Net migration stats out tomorrow - final test of whether Tories have met their "no ifs, no buts" target to get down to tens of thousands

Labour bust-up on tuition fees?

Ed Balls
Getty Images

Not so, says shadow chancellor Ed Balls. He has denied a rift with Labour leader Ed Miliband, saying they both agree on the need for a "fairer system" of student finance such as a graduate tax in the long-term. Mr Balls told LBC Radio: "We haven't made any announcement on anything about fee cuts. We will make our announcement in the next few days. My job is to make sure, not only that the policy is fair and long-term is going to work, but also that the sums add up. I've been really clear that anything we announce in any policy area has got to be costed and paid for and the sums have got to add up, and that is true in this policy area as in every other one." He rejected a report that a meeting to work out the details of the policy last week had "ended badly", stating "it's not only untrue, it's a lie".

The day so far

A quick look back at the main stories so far:

  • Following on from the "cash-for-access" row, second jobs for MPs has been the main issue of the day
  • At Prime Minister's Questions, Ed Milliband challenged David Cameron to ban MPs from holding paid directorships, consultancies or trade union roles
  • Mr Cameron said Parliament should be a place where people could come and share experience
  • The most important thing, he said, was to make sure the existing rules were applied
  • Labour later mounted a
    debate on the issue. Their motion was defeated but they promised to apply the tougher rules to Labour MPs regardless
  • In the Lords, the government was defeated during a debate on the Modern Slavery Bill. Peers supported an amendment that would give greater rights to overseas domestic workers
  • Discussions started in Greater Manchester with a view to
    integrating NHS and council-run care
  • HSBC bosses were questioned by MPs about tax avoidance and evasion at a Swiss subsidiary

But we're not done yet. Stay with us through 'til midnight for more news and analysis plus tomorrow's papers.

Second jobs - what do MPs do?

Tristram Hunt

We've heard a lot over the last few days about the second jobs of MPs. But what do our members of parliament do for work outside the House of Commons? Tristram Hunt, above, is a history lecturer. But there are plenty more side careers. Tom Moseley

has been looking at what they are.

UK Prime Minister


tweets: The UK music industry supports vital jobs in the UK and contributes billions to our economy #CreateUK #BRITs2015

David Cameron tweet pic

BBC This Week


tweets: We're about to start a run of #bbctw covering #GE2015 campaign, with no Easter break this year.

We're on-air EVERY Thursday until April 30

William Hague, Leader of the House of Commons


tweets: #DRC taking impressive strides to address #sexualviolence, proud UK can be a partner in this effort @JeanineMabunda

William Hague tweet

'Real zero-hour contracts scandal'

The Spectator

Also on zero-hour contracts, Ross Clark takes a different view.

He writes for The Spectator that the taxman is the one guilty of exploitation. He adds: "The real scandal is not that employers are hiring workers in a flexible way but that HMRC is determined to label such workers as employees, so that they can squeeze more tax out of them." More

How permanent are zero-hours contracts?

New Statesman

During today's debate on MPs' second jobs, zero-hour contracts was mentioned by some Labour MPs. How could they justify some MPs saying they cannot live on £67,000 when constituents were not guaranteed any work, they asked. On the New Statesman website, Conor D'arcy looks at whether such contracts are a short-term phenomenon or now a permanent fixture in the UK job market. He writes: "New figures released by the ONS today suggest the evidence for the latter just got stronger". More


Departments 'failing on FoI'

Some of the most important departments of government are failing to fulfil their obligations under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, Newsnight has found. Policy editor Chris Cook conducted a "mystery shopper" exercise, asking for information from almost every central government department, posing as an ordinary member of the public. Find out what he found


Government defeat in the Lords

Sean Curran

Parliamentary correspondent, BBC News

The government has suffered a narrow defeat in the House of Lords during a debate on the Modern Slavery Bill. Peers supported an amendment proposed by a crossbench - or independent member - Lord Hylton and backed by the Bishop of Carlisle designed to give greater protection to overseas domestic workers.

The amendment would give all such workers, including those employed by foreign diplomats, the right to change their employer while in the UK. This would end the current system of tied visas. The proposal would also give the workers the right to a three month temporary visa allowing them to live in the UK and look for work, as an overseas domestic worker, where there was evidence that the person had been a victim of modern slavery. The government was defeated by 183 votes to 176, a majority of 7 votes.

Labour tuition fees policy

The Daily Telegraph

Away from the Commons, Nick Hillman has written for The Telegraph about Labour's policy on tuition fees. He argues waiting for the party to announce its policy "has been like waiting for a polar bear in the desert". He says each of the potential answers has problems. More


Labour motion defeated

House of Commons


The Labour motion to ban MPs holding paid directorships and consultancies defeated by a majority of 68. The government amendment is passed.

MPs vote

House of Commons


MPs are now voting on the Labour motion on MPs' second jobs

Tom Brake on second jobs

House of Commons


Tom Brake MP

Labour has leapt on a bandwagon over second jobs, deputy leader of the house Tom Brake says. If this was a genuine attempt to address concerns, more needed to be done to engage with other parties, he adds, questioning how many Labour MPs are in the "pocket" of unions. If parties are serious about ending "cash-for-access" cases, they should work together towards consensus, he argues. If there is a problem to be solved, the Labour motion is not the solution, says Mr Brake.

Labour to adopt rules regardless

House of Commons


John Trickett says MPs are elected to serve their constituents. An MP who is a remunerated director, he says, will have dual loyalties to the corporation and the country. Mr Trickett argues many electors will come to the conclusion "money talks". If the motion is rejected, a new standing order to ensure Labour MPs abide by the proposals will still be introduced, he says.

John Trickett on second jobs

House of Commons


Jon Trickett MP

Shadow minister without portfolio John Trickett tells MPs some members earn "staggering" amounts of money. He says the central issue is the "crisis of legitimacy" the "governing elite" in Britain faces. If we don't respond to the mood, we are lost as a House of Commons, he adds. The public will judge MPs on how they react to mistakes, he says, arguing it would be wrong to continue with rules designed for another era.

Dominic Raab on second jobs

House of Commons


Dominic Raab MP

Conservative Dominic Raab is the latest MP to suggest the Labour motion is more about point-scoring than solving the problem. He wants the "brightest and the best" people attracted to Parliament. He says he would not accept a pay-rise at the moment, but argues there needs to be a "resetting" of MPs' pay.

Martin Horwood on second jobs

House of Commons


Martin Horwood, the Lib Dem MP, says the Labour motion is too simplistic. He says it looks to be well-intentioned, but also appears to have been written in a hurry.

Grahame Morris on second jobs

House of Commons


Grahame Morris MP

Parliament has been brought into disrepute by the actions of two former foreign secretaries, Labour MP Grahame Morris says. He argues there is a world of difference between a "narrow, financial interest" supporting a private company and someone representing the collective interest of "millions of workers" - a reference to trade union involvement.

John Hemming on second jobs

House of Commons


John Hemming MP

I would claim to be as busy as any other MPs despite having a second job, Liberal Democrat John Hemming tells Parliament. He says he spends around 4 hours a month on a company that he founded, which employs more than 200 people. "I am a full-time MP", he says.

Phillip Lee on second jobs

House of Commons


Phillip Lee MP

Practising doctor and Conservative MP Phillip Lee tells the debate some of the best contributions he has seen in the Commons have been from people who do things outside Parliament. A lot of contributions are "sub-standard" because they are scripted - either by lobby groups or whips - he argues.