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Summary

  1. Ed Miliband said a Labour government would press ahead with its planned energy price freeze with new legislation within months of taking office
  2. Politicians attended service to mark the end of British involvement in the war in Afghanistan
  3. The Lib Dems unveiled a new "rent-to-own" housing plan as their spring conference gets under way in Liverpool
  4. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling ordered the purchase of a new generation of drugs scanners for prisons in England and Wales
  5. Rolling political coverage, from Breakfast news and Today through to Newsnight
  6. There are 55 days until the general election

Live Reporting

By Dominic Howell and Matthew West

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Recap

Here's a recap of some of the main political stories of the day:

That's it for tonight folks, we'll be back at 08:00 GMT on Sunday with all the news, reaction and analysis to big political stories of the day.

Scottish Daily Mail

#tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Scottish Daily Mail
Scottish Daily Mail

The Sun's front page

#tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

The Sun
The Sun

Farage on NHS

Nigel Farage
PA

Nigel Farage has rounded on the NHS claiming it almost killed him and accusing medics of "incompetence and negligence". The UKIP leader claimed he was "fobbed off by one NHS doctor to the next" who failed to diagnose his cancer and said "without private health care I would probably be dead". In highly personal memoirs, which are being serialised in The Daily Telegraph, he recounts details of his cancer diagnosis and the accidents that left him fearing for his life, revealing he could chose to be registered disabled because his body is badly damaged.

@BBCNewsnight

Tweets: The Spectator's @IsabelHardman "no one ever has a calm as morning as the politicians pretend there's always an escaped pet"

Newsnight

@BBCNewsnight

Tweets: Matthew Taylor: "We have group of politicians who at the moment are not at ease with themselves or their message"

Chris Mason, BBC political reporter

@ChrisMasonBBC

tweets: Right, bedtime in Brum. Up at half five for
@BBCBreakfast live reports on Ed Miliband's speech here tomorrow.

Two kitchens revisited

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

On the "two kitchens" issue of David Cameron and Ed Miliband, Isabel Hardman from The Spectator tells the programme the problem is "politicians are trying to be something they're not". She adds that she knows of no one that has such a calm experience in their kitchen as the Milibands seem to. Tim Stanley leader writer for the Daily Telegraph quips that it won't be too long before he sees a politician on the toilet. "That's the way we are going," he adds.

Tomorrow's Guardian front page

#tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Guardian front page
Guardian

Tweets:

Newsnight

@BBCNewsnight

Tweets: Find out why this man is so happy - on #newsnight tonight. @jamesclayton5 will reveal all

Newsnight
Newsnight

'What would they do with it?'

The Daily Telegraph

Mark Littlewood on the Daily Telegraph asks what do the Lib Dems even stand for anymore? He

writes: "If they do find themselves in power after polling day, it is hard to be at all sure what on earth they would do with it."

Tomorrow's Morning Star

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Morning Star
Morning Star

Daily Telegraph front page

#tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Daily Telepgraph
Telegraph

Victoria Borwick - New Conservative Kensington candidate

@backborwick

Tweets: #kensingtonselection It is with great honour that I look forward to representing Kensington in this General Election.

Tomorrow's Daily Mirror front page

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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror

The Times front page

#tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

The Times
The Times

Nigel Farage

@Nigel_Farage

Nigel Farage
Twitter

tweets: Now THIS is a cool car (no, I'm not auditioning for Top Gear host)

Tomorrow's FT front page

#tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

FT front
FT

'A bewildering age" - Ashdown

Paddy Ashdown
PA

Lord Ashdown addressed the Lib Dem party conference earlier. Here's a bit more of what he said: "We all know this is a survival election, but not just to maintain a powerful Liberal Democrat force in Parliament, also for something which is perhaps even more important."

He continued: "The decent, tolerant liberal Britain that is at once the quintessence of our national character and the very bedrock of our civilised society is now under threat as never before. Where there was a belief that we were better together, we now face ever more powerful voices which would break us apart - divide our society, break up our countries, smash our links with Europe, move us towards a broken nation which turns in to find enemies amongst ourselves - foreigners, immigrants, welfare scroungers, those with a different religion, fellow citizens we can use as scapegoats to blame for the challenges of a bewildering age."

Ealing Conservatives

@ECATories

Ed Vaizey
Twitter

tweets:
@edvaizey gives inspiring speech to @ECATories supporting @AngieBray2015 & a @Conservatives majority. Great turnout!

Jane Merrick, political editor, Independent on Sunday

@janemerrick23

tweets: Interesting that Victoria Borwick won on first round #kensington

Kensington's new MP?

In case you're wondering what on earth Joe Murphy is going on about, Lady Victoria Borwick, is a deputy mayor of London, a local councillor for Kensington and Chelsea and has just been selected to replace Sir Malcolm Rifkind as the Conservative party candidate for the parliamentary constituency of Kensington.

Joe Murphy, political editor, Evening Standard

@JoeMurphyLondon

tweets: Victoria Borwick wins Kensington

Lib Dem pact with SNP 'inconceivable'

Business Secretary Vince Cable has been

talking extensively to the Guardian.

He's stated it would be "inconceivable" for the Liberal Democrats to agree to any post-election deal involving the Scottish National Party after the general election - which would also rule out any potential coalition with Labour given that the electoral maths suggest a coalition with the SNP is the most likely way Labour can form a government.

Mr Cable says it would be wrong to "get into tie-ups" with a party committed to the breakup of the UK.

Does Mr Cable harbour leadership ambitions? He tells the newspaper he still expects to play a major role in the next parliament, either in a future Lib Dem coalition or outside government.

And that's it for Any Questions for the evening.

Right to die

Next up. Following the death of Sir Terry Pratchett on Thursday how do the panel feel about giving individual's the right to die? Suzanne Evans says she doesn't feel they should. Her biggest concern is that there could be abuses of the system and that some people could look for financial gain. Tim Farron says it's "an enormously tricky issue" but that the "bit foggy" law that currently exists is "probably the least worst option".

Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson
Getty Images

Ken Clark says those who thought that Jeremy Clarkson was "a quiet polite well-ordered chap must have had an awful fright".

Jeremy Clarkson

Next question: Is Jeremy Clarkson an asset or liability? Phil Redmond says there used to be a saying that "what happens on location stays on location". He says he's had to stop "two stars rolling around on the floor" in the past. He says he has dealt with all sorts of incidents as a producer. "For Jeremy Clarkson to turn up two hours late by helicopter... something has already gone wrong," he says.

Mr Redmond points out that making sure the catering is done is one of the most important elements of location shoots especially when your stars "are tired and grumpy". He suggests BBC director general Lord Hall "will sort things out."

Help for the dispossessed

Suzanne Evans says the last prime minister we had that came from a grammar school was John Major, She says more and more politicians come from privileged backgrounds. She says the lack of diversity in parliament is part of the problem with politics today. She adds most politicians have "done a PPE".

Help for the dispossessed

Next question: Is the government made up of warriors of the dispossessed or the opposite? Ken Clarke says if you're a one nation Tory like him then you believe in free market economics but want to spread the benefits of the wealth that is created by that.

He says former education secretary Michael Gove's reforms of the school system have been hugely beneficial to the dispossessed - a remark that draws boos from the crowd.

Tim Farron says such reforms have set education back and that his colleague David Laws "has been like a centre back man-marking Michael Gove".

Discrimination laws

Mr Clarke says most modern democracies have parties that engage in dog whistle politics. "In the US it's the Tea Party, In Greece its Syriza, in the UK we have UKIP," he says. He says such parties want to "stop the world and get off", they come up with simple solutions to complex problems, he adds. And the only good thing to say about UKIP is that they have helped rid the UK of "some of the nastier elements" such as the BNP.

Discrimination laws

Ken Clarke says the UK still needs equality laws because a "small minority of people" in the UK are bigoted, but at the same time the country needs sensible immigration laws. Mr Clarke says Mr Farage has no particular policies on most things. "He never expected to be in the public eye like this," Mr Clark says. Mr Farage is "talking off the top of his head most of the time", Mr Clarke adds. He also claims the majority of UKIP's support comes from former BNP supporters.

Discrimination laws

So for the first question. Are anti-discrimination laws no longer necessary? Tim Farron accuses UKIP leader Nigel Farage not of dog whistle politics but "fog horn politics". He says Mr Farage's views show that UKIP doesn't back an ethnically diverse society. UKIP's Ms Evans responds that when Mr Farage said "British" the media heard "white British" which was not the case. She points out his comments were from an interview where he was asked what "UKIP land" would look like.

Any Questions

Just a reminder that Any Questions is coming up in a few moments from the Wirral. We'll be bringing you the highlights as they happen. Former Lib Dem president Tim Farron, the creator of Grange Hill and Brookside, Phil Redmond, former Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke and Suzanne Evans, deputy chairman of UKIP, make up the panel tonight.

Paddy's parrot

Here's a snippet more from the opening rally of the Lib Dem spring conference... Paddy Ashdown insisted the party prospects were better than people imagined. At one stage he picked up a toy parrot and said: "This parrot is very much alive, and fighting." He said the parrot he was holding would be auctioned to raise funds at the end of conference.

Ross Hawkins - BBC political correspondent

@rosschawkins

Tweets: Some will win, some will lose, some will sing the blues - sings ominous choir at Lib Dem rally

More from Ashdown

Mr Ashdown continues by talking to party members about an "opportunity society" which is "free of class and free of discrimination... where every person has the chance to fulfil their potential".

He adds: "This is no longer just a dream, this is not a never-never land, for now we know how to get there. The Lib Dems are on track for success but we are not there yet."

He says the party's aim is to "mend the economy without breaking our society".

'Don't we know it'

Former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown begins his speech at the conference by making reference to T.S Eliot's poem The Waste Land and its first line: "April is the cruellest month.."

"And don't we Lib Dems know it," he quips.

Ross Hawkins - BBC political correspondent

@rosschawkins

Tweets: On sale beside the queue to hear Clegg speak at Lib Dem conference. Hello...

Ross Hawkins
Ross Hawkins