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Summary

  1. Catch up on all the political interviews from The Andrew Marr Show, Pienaar's Politics and Sunday Politics
  2. There are 67 days until the general election
  3. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are at odds over how to deal with university 'hate preachers'
  4. Labour's Yvette Cooper said the security services have had their 'hands tied' by the coalition
  5. General Sir Peter Wall, the former head of the army, called for manifesto commitments from parties to spend 2% of GDP on defence

Live Reporting

By Sam Francis and Adam Donald

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Sunday recap

It's been far from a lazy Sunday for some of our biggest political hitters, with UKIP leader Nigel Farage defending his party's attitude to gay people; Conservative former defence secretary Liam Fox hinting at a potential Tory rebellion if defence spending targets are not met; Labour's Yvette Cooper saying the security services had their "hands tied" by coalition policy; and the two governing parties at odds over the limits of free speech on university campuses.

This is the end of our live updates - we'll be back at 06:00 GMT on Monday for the start of another week of electioneering.

Cameron's last stand?

The Daily Mail

In his

column in the Mail on Sunday, James Forsyth suggests this is "almost certainly [David] Cameron's last General Election battle." But he argues that the Conservatives won't "win without taking some risks" and that some Tories are pushing for the right to buy - "the great, iconic Thatcherite policy" - to be extended to two and a half million housing association properties.

Pink bus - in the driving seat

The Independent

Pink Bus
Lynne Cameron

Jane Merrick, political editor of the Independent on Sunday, says that despite the controversy around

Labour's "pink bus", women in the Labour Party have never been so powerful. Ms Merrick argues that the future of the party lies in the hands of "the group of talented female MPs from [the 2010] cohort - Liz Kendall, Rachel Reeves, Stella Creasy, Gloria De Piero, Emma Reynolds and Luciana Berger."

Threat evaluation

Sunday Times

Militant waving an IS flag
Reuters

A

YouGov/Sunday Times poll (pdf) finds that 66% of people think ISIS are the biggest threat facing the UK, as opposed to 20% who see Russia in that position. 4% of respondents - who, depending on your opinion, could be wise, foolish, perceptive, or ignorant - say that neither is a threat to the UK.

Another Tory defection?

The Daily Telegraph

Nigel Farage
BBC

There is still a chance that another Conservative MP could defect to UKIP before the general election, Nigel Farage has suggested in an

interview with the Sunday Telegraph. The UKIP leader said there was still "one conversation" going on with a Conservative about switching sides to join Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless, who defected to UKIP late last year - triggering by-elections which they won in Claction and Rochester and Strood respectively.

Independence after all?

The Spectator

SNP election campaign launch
Press Association

At The Spectator,

Alex Massie says an SNP landslide in Scotland in May could spell the end of the Union - but parties in the rest of the UK don't appear to understand this. With the SNP "stronger than ever" after the independence referendum, "David Cameron would be wrong to think that his mission in May is to sneak over the finish line: his fight will have just begun. So unionists are entitled to feel a deep and heavy sense of foreboding. This election is going to be a disaster."

Sophy Ridge, Sky News political correspondent

@SophyRidgeSky

tweets: No 10 aide to @adamboultonSKY "There's a general election on.You wouldn't expect the PM to spend much time on foreign policy" (Sunday Times)

Labour fees cut is 'terrible policy'

New Statesman

Ed Balls and Ed Miliband
AFP/Getty Images

At the New Statesman,

Emran Mian writes, the senior civil servant to work on the Browne Review of Higher Education which "paved the way" to the introduction of £9,000 fees, writes that Labour's tuition fee announcement was "better than expected" - but still "terrible policy". He complains that the change is "simply unnecessary". "University applications are rising, despite the higher fee levels, and the gap between the participation rate of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and others has continued to reduce", he says.

Follow the polls

Follow the parties' fortunes with

the BBC's interactive poll tracker, bringing you the latest poll results from different organisations, as well as a guide to how the parties have fared with the public at key moments in the last five years.

Election 2015 A-Z

The Guardian

The Observer

has an A-Z guide to the 2015 general election, which'll get you up to speed on some of the serious and not-so-serious factors set to make this election the most exciting and unpredictable in a long time.

SNP: Plaques are a 'silly gimmick'

Plaques
Other

The SNP has criticised plans to place plaques featuring the Union flag and the line "funded by the UK government" on publically-funded projects in Britain as a "silly gimmick." The SNP's deputy leader and Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie said the project "can't cover over the fact that his government at Westminster has slashed infrastructure spending - destroying jobs and delaying economic recovery - including cutting Scotland's capital budget by a quarter."

The party of the 1%?

The Daily Telegraph

David Cameron in white tie
Getty Images

At the Telegraph,

Janet Daley writes that the Conservatives have failed to properly neutralise the allegation that they are the party merely of the wealthiest in society: "The Tories are trusted on the economy, but they could fail to turn that into an election victory, thanks to a feeling that they are too closely allied to the 1%."

Labour's Cardiff 'carnage'

Jenny Willot
BBC

Liberal Democrat MP Jenny Willott has accused Labour of wreaking "political carnage" on Cardiff in the way it is running the local council. The Cardiff Central MP claimed there was "open warfare" between Labour cabinet members, MPs and AMs. Ms Willot told her party's Welsh conference in Cardiff that services like

rubbish collection suffered while
Labour members argued over budget cuts.

In case you missed it...

Ed Balls and Ed Miliband
AFP/Getty Images

We know following the Politics Live page on a daily basis can be engrossing enough, so you might have missed some of the best longer-form content from the BBC's journalists during the week. Our economics editor Robert Peston

took a look at Labour's pledge to reduce tuition fees; political reporter Brian Wheeler
explained why the latest immigration statistics were potentially embarrassing for the Conservatives - before our assistant political editor Norman Smith
asked why there wasn't more "weeping and wailing inside Number 10" in response to the figures. Finally, the website's own
Tom Moseley outlined just a few of the jobs MPs do when they're not being MPs.

Hunt: Give girls career advice from primary school

The Independent

Tristram Hunt
Press Association

The Independent on Sunday reports that Labour's shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt is calling for girls to start careers lessons from the age of seven to encourage them to become more ambitious. He told a Labour conference in London that his party would want to encourage more employers to go into schools to talk about careers. "I want them to go into primary schools to talk to pupils - particularly girls in primary schools - so that they broaden their horizons," he said.

Politicians 'should be tougher' on dangerous driving

Suzette Davenport
BBC

Gloucestershire Chief Constable Suzette Davenport has

accused politicians of failing to get tough on drivers who use mobile phones at the wheel, out of fear of upsetting voters. Chief Constable Davenport, who is the lead for roads policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers, told the BBC Radio 5 Live breakfast show: ''My view is that if someone is caught twice using a mobile phone within a period of time we should be considering things like disqualifications for short periods of time."

Clarity on second jobs needed

The Guardian

Houses of Parliament
PA

All would-be MPs should be forced to tell voters what paid jobs they have and whether they would keep them if elected, ethics chief Lord Bew has said. Lord Bew, who chairs the Committee on Standards in Public Life, told

the Observer politicians were "really riding for a fall" if they failed to address the issue of outside earnings. His comments come after two former foreign secretaries, Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw, were suspended from their parties after allegedly offering their services to a private firm for money.

UKIP investigating candidate over tweet

Alex Forsyth

Political correspondent, BBC News

Richard Hilton twitter
Twitter

UKIP has

referred a parliamentary candidate to its national executive committee after he suggested "Jihadi John" should have committed suicide. Richard Hilton, PPC for Mitcham and Morden, wrote on Twitter: "Jihadi John 'contemplated suicide'. It's a shame he didn't. Don't understand media attempts to blame MI5 for his evil." UKIP says neither the party nor Mr Hilton encourages suicide, and as soon as Mr Hilton realised his Tweet might be misconstrued he took it down.

Say what?

Nigel Farage
BEN STANSALL

Politics Home have found an extract from UKIP's 2001 Manifesto which seems to counter Nigel Farage's claims that "prior to 2004 UKIP as a party didn't even talk about immigration as an issue because in fact we've got on for a long time with a net inflow to this country of about 30,000 people a year" made on
today's Sunday Politics.

The 2001 manifesto stated: "The current problems of immigration and asylum result from inadequate enforcement of our laws, with migrants allowed by other EU countries to 'escape' into Britain. Our own government must re-establish proper border controls and apply our immigration laws humanely but firmly."

Harriet Harman, Labour deputy leader

@HarrietHarmen

tweets: Observer "gen elec A-Z." Guess what P is for! #pinkbus

Mark Mardell, Radio 4 World This Weekend presenter

@BBCMarkMardell

tweets: The former head of the British Army Sir Peter Wall tells us parties should make election promise to spend 2% gdp on defence #tw2 @1 r4

The World This Weekend

BBC Radio 4

Gerald Howarth
Photoshot

Gerald Howarth, a Conservative MP and former defence minister, tells Radio 4's The World This Weekend that with Russia making aggressive movements in Ukraine, and with continuing turmoil in the Middle East, this is "no time to be cutting our defence - and the prime minister at the NATO summit last September castigated other countries for their failure" to meet the NATO target of spending 2% of GDP on defence. Mr Howarth says falling short of this target would be "damaging" to the UK and would diminish this country in the eyes of the U.S., our "closest ally". He adds that "Conservatives believe the defence of the realm is the first duty of government", and it must be a commitment in the Conservative manifesto to meet NATO's defence spending targets. Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox has been made a similar argument on Sky News earlier.

Union flagging?

The Daily Mail

union flag
Reuters

Mail Online political editor Matt Chorley

reports that "the Union Flag is to be plastered across big money projects [in Scotland] paid for by the UK taxpayer in a bid to counter Scottish independence. Ministers will announce tomorrow the plan to brand roads, flood defences and broadband hubs with the message 'Funded by the UK Government' to hammer home the benefits of the 300-year-old union."

Could Labour be 'Lamonted'?

The Independent

Norman Lamont and red box
PA

The Independent on Sunday's

John Rentoul says Chancellor George Osborne has an extra £5bn "to play with" in the final few months before the general election - with the Budget outlined on 18 March. He says Mr Osborne could do worse than to emulate then-Chancellor Norman Lamont in 1992, who promised a tax-cut for the low paid ahead of polls opening.

Lib Dems announce renewable energy plans

Nick Clegg
BBC

The Liberal Democrats have set out their plan to double the UK's production of renewable energy by 2020 and introduce a Zero Carbon Bill in the next parliament. In a

blog post, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "Our plans are a bold ambition to end Britain's adverse impact on climate change completely, but I believe it can be done within my lifetime." Earlier on Sunday, Ed Davey told the BBC's John Pienaar on 5 Live that he wanted to make the next parliament provide the "greenest government ever".

'Cash-and-carry politics'

The Guardian

In the Observer,

Andrew Rawnsley writes that decisions to offer "sweeteners" to select groups such as pensioners or students "debases the parties and alienates those left out".

View from abroad

Nigel Farage
Getty Images

Here at Politics Live we assume all our readers are political junkies, so are up to speed with Nigel Farage's speech in front of a rather threadbare audience last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference in the U.S. state of Maryland. But what did the American media make of the UKIP leader? Politico's Adam B. Lerner

has a go at explaining Mr Farage's appeal - or lack thereof - to American conservatives.

Cameron 'toast' if Tories lose

Sunday Politics

Isabella Oakshott
BBC

Discussing the so-called "

Save Dave" plans reported in today's Sunday Times, Isabel Oakeshott says that David Cameron will be "toast politically" if the Conservatives don't win a majority and return him to Downing Street. "I'm sure he accepts that and would not particularly want to cling on", she says.

Two 'hideous' post-election scenarios

Sunday Politics

Financial Times columnist Janan Ganesh says there are two "hideous" scenarios for a post-election hung parliament. One is that a minority government is formed that is too weak to function properly, but isn't willing to join with opponents to muster the 66% majority required to repeal the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, and so stumbles on for five years. The other is that a second election is called later in the year that is also inconclusive, potentially leading to a major constitutional crisis.

Bad interviews 'unrecoverable'

Sunday Politics

Janan Ganesh
BBC

Discussing Green Party leader Natalie Bennett's awkward

interview on LBC, Financial Times journalist Janan Ganesh warns that a bad interview can be "unrecoverable" for a mainstream politician. Helping David Cameron maintain stature as prime minister is the fact that he "never completely screws up an interview". His fellow panel member - and David Cameron biographer - Isabel Oakeshott corrects him, pointing out that Mr Cameron did have a "car crash interview with the Gay Times while he was in opposition".

Peter Henley, BBC South political editor

@BBCPeterH

tweets: Conservative candidate for North West Hampshire Kit Malthouse says he will continue 2nd job if elected: "keeps a foot in the real world"

Vote Green, go blue?

Sunday Politics

Stephen Timms
BBC

Stephen Timms says the there is a real danger if people vote Green they will let in the Conservatives, and says the Labour Party is looking forward to exposing how the Green Party's "numbers don't add up" in the next few months.

Peter Walsh, chief executive of Action against Medical Accidents

@PeterWalshAvMA

tweets: Utterly disgusting that PR machine behind #SaatchiBill is seeking to make political capital by lying & exploiting fears of cancer patients

Bennett on immigration

Sunday Politics

Natalie Bennett
BBC

Natalie Bennett says the Greens do not have an open-borders policy, but they celebrate free movement of people within the EU. She says the Greens' focus is on the rights of people who "should be able to be here", such as British people with non-EU spouses, refugees, and international students.

Isabel Oakeshott, political journalist and commentator.

@IsabelOakeshott

tweets: Liam Fox will not be enjoying having to defend the PM on #bbcsp . No love lost, to put it mildly

Lib Dems kill off Saatchi Bill

The Daily Telegraph

Lord Saatchi
BBC

The Telegraph is

reporting that Liberal Democrats have killed off a new law to allow doctors to test new drugs on seriously ill patients without the fear of being sued, despite it passing through the House of Lords. The Medical Innovation Bill, promoted by Lord Saatchi after his wife Josephine Hart died from ovarian cancer, would have allowed doctors to test cutting edge new treatments on patients to help find cures for cancer and other serious illnesses. But Norman Lamb, a Liberal Democrat health minister, has told Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt that his party will not support the bill, effectively vetoing the proposals.

Andy McSmith, writer for The Independent

@andymcsmith

tweets: "You said you were as fit as a flea: in my experience, fleas aren't very fit" @afneil tells Nigel Farage. What experience, I wonder?

Carswell: I don't want to lead UKIP

Sky News

Douglas carswell
Press Association

UKIP MP Douglas Carswell - speaking on Sky News - has emphatically ruled our running for the leadership of the party. He was asked if he would stand to take over if he won his seat at the election but Nigel Farage lost in South Thanet. Mr Carswell said: "I will never, ever lead a political party. It would be bad for me and bad for the party." During the same interview he affirmed that "UKIP is absolutely not a racist party" despite a recent poll which found about 44% of the electorate regard UKIP as a racist party.

Fox: maintain NATO spending target

Sunday Politics

Liam Fox
BBC

Former Conservative Defence Secretary Liam Fox says the UK should commit to maintaining a defence budget of a minimum 2% of GDP - the NATO benchmark. He adds that a lot of Conservatives would find it difficult to swallow falling short of this target at a time when the 0.7% of GDP foreign aid budget has been ring-fenced. He says the UK reputation as a military ally to the U.S. "took a knock" when parliament in 2013 refused to authorise military action in Syria after the use of chemical weapons there. Not following through on promises "only gives comfort to your enemies" he adds.