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Summary

  1. David Cameron told the BBC he will not serve a third term as prime minister if the Conservatives remain in power after the general election.
  2. Afzal Amin resigned as Conservative election candidate for Dudley North after being accused of scheming with the English Defence League to win votes
  3. The UK will no longer tolerate Islamist extremists who "reject our values", Home Secretary Theresa May said
  4. George Osborne and Ed Balls appeared on #AskTheChancellor Q and A sessions on Sky News
  5. Ed Miliband accused Alex Salmond of "a combination of bluster and bluff" over his Budget claims
  6. UKIP said it was committed to spending 2% of the UK's GDP on defence
  7. A UKIP MEP and her chief of staff have been expelled from the party over allegations of cheating over expenses
  8. There are 45 days until the general election

Live Reporting

By Tim Fenton, Victoria Park and Angela Harrison

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Recap of the day

  • David Cameron told the BBC he would not seek a third term as prime minister if the Conservatives remain in power after the general election - and named three potential successors
  • Afzal Amin resigned as Conservative candidate for Dudley North after being accused of scheming with the English Defence League
  • UKIP expelled MEP Janice Atkinson and her chief of staff Christine Hewitt over expenses allegations. Ms Atkinson said she would appeal
  • Home Secretary Theresa May made a speech on Islamist extremists, saying the UK would no longer tolerate people who "reject our values"
  • Labour promised not to put up VAT if they win the election. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls will give more details in a speech in Birmingham tomorrow
  • Mr Balls and Chancellor George Osborne appeared in separate question and answer sessions on Sky News
  • UKIP set out how they would lower public spending and said defence spending would stay at 2% of GDP
  • MPs completed their debate on the budget
  • That's all from the Politics Live Page for tonight. Thanks for staying with us. We'll be back in the morning from 06:00 GMT. Goodnight.

Tuesday's FT

FT
FT

Cameron: odds move on potential successors

Mike Smithson, PoliticalBetting.com

Tuesday's Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Daily Mail

'SNP king-makers'

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

It will be Nicola Sturgeon who decides who to lend her [SNP] votes to, Fraser Nelson tells Newsnight. The editor of the Spectator says: "The SNP will be oddly, the king-makers. I don't know why we are voting in the election because it will be decided in SNP headquarters in Edinburgh."

Vince dance

Buzzfeed

Business Secretary and Lib Dem Vince Cable is pictured dancing - a hobby of his - alongside an interview he has given to

Buzzfeed. He says: "It's very good for fitness, it may not look tiring but it is extremely tiring. And it keeps you mentally fit because you have to concentrate on that and nothing else and not some political worries - you can totally switch off, which is a good thing."

Matthew d'Ancona, Guardian columnist

@MatthewdAncona

tweets: Cameron confronts his shelf-life: my reaction in @guardian

Tomorrow's Times

The Times front page
The Times

Budget debate: votes

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour lost a series of votes, including efforts to oppose income and corporation tax rates, by straightforward Government majorities. The rest of the budget proposals were then agreed en bloc. Tomorrow, the Chancellor faces questions on the budget from the Treasury Committee.

Tuesday's Independent

Independent front page
Inpho

Budget debate: Government

House of Commons

Parliament

Concluding the debate, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander again says that the Liberal Democrats would like to see a different approach to fiscal policy but tells MPs that this budget has the blessing of both coalition parties. The budget, he says, "reflects the hard work the coalition has carried out over the last five year to turn around the mess we inherited from the previous Labour administration."

'Potential disaster'

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

Tony Blair's former media adviser Alastair Campbell said David Cameron's comments were a "potential disaster" for the Tories.

"He has created a massive distraction...a soap opera," when he should be concentrating on the election campaign, he said.

Conservative chief whip Michael Gove told Newsnight he was "not surprised" by the comments, which he said were an "honest reply" to a question.

UKIP MEP statement

The MEP who has been

expelled by UKIP, Janice Atkinson, has said she is "deeply disappointed" by today's decision and intends to appeal.

"I was elected to represent the constituents of the south-east of England and I will continue to work tirelessly on their behalf and for the best interests of our country," she said.

She and her chief of staff Christine Hewitt were thrown out of the party this evening over claims they took an inflated restaurant receipt to claim on expenses.

VAT: Conservative response

Responding to Labour's pledge not to raise VAT if elected on 7 May, a Conservative Party spokesman said: "Ed Miliband and Ed Balls have repeatedly said they will raise taxes. It is time that they came clean with the British public about which taxes they will raise - income tax or national insurance?"

Budget debate: Labour

House of Commons

Parliament

Referring to Danny Alexander's alternative Liberal Democrat budget, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Chris Leslie, said: "We've had one and half budgets in two days from two parties that have nothing to offer the majority of people in this country."

Both budgets, he said, were based on "party political interests and their perceived electoral advantage."

UKIP expulsions

Janice Atkinson
PA

A UKIP spokesman says the decision to expel MEP Janice Atkinson from the party means she no longer represents UKIP in the European Parliament.

Ms Atkinson and her chief of staff, Christine Hewitt, were thrown out of the party for bringing it in to disrepute after Ms Hewitt was secretly filmed allegedly getting an inflated receipt in a restaurant.

The women have 14 days to appeal. The spokesman declined to say how or when a new candidate would be chosen.

Tomorrow's Guardian

The Guardian
The Guardian

UKIP MEP expelled from party

MEP Janice Atkinson - and her chief of staff Christine Hewitt - have been expelled by UKIP for bringing the party into disrepute over claims about inflated expenses, a party spokesman said

No VAT rise from us - Labour

Labour has promised not to raise VAT if elected on 7 May.

In a speech in Birmingham tomorrow, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls will say: "VAT is the tax that hits everyone - with the same rate paid by the pensioner as the millionaire...The Tories and Lib Dems raised it within weeks of the last general election - despite David Cameron telling the British people a few days before the election that he had 'no plans' to do so and despite the promises of Nick Clegg...We will not put up VAT. And we will not extend it to food, children's clothes, books, newspapers and public transport fares. We will not raise VAT because it's the tax that hits everyone."

Tuesday's Telegraph

Telegraph
Telegraph

Isabel Oakeshott, Political Journalist & Commentator

@IsabelOakeshott

tweets: Think PM did well in the Landale i/v . Not remotely surprised he confirmed no 3rd term. He cd not not poss have said he would go on and on

PM calls Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
BBC

Number 10 says the Prime Minister has spoken to the newly re-elected Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

A spokesman said: "He congratulated him on winning the recent Israeli elections, and looked forward to working with the new government when it was formed.

"The PM reiterated that as a firm friend of Israel, the UK continued to believe that a two-state solution was the best way to achieve a lasting peace and to secure Israel's long-term security and prosperity.

"The two Prime Ministers also discussed the negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme, agreeing that it was essential to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."

Susan Hulme, BBC Parliamentary Correspondent

@Susanh12

tweets: Who's more like #TomCruise - Ed Miliband or David Cameron? You decide on #TodayInParliament 1130pm @BBCRadio4 Plus fruity language in Lords

Laura Kuenssberg, Newsnight chief correspondent

@bbclaurak

tweets: No 10 insist no motivation behind Cameron's comments - and as with debate saga, they say only the Westminster village will really care.....

Get involved

Text 61124

BBC News website reader: It is of no interest to me what David Cameron may or may not do in 5 years' time. I agree with Boris, it is a fuss about nothing.

Tory backbench view

The Conservative backbencher, Peter Bone, says it's "quite sensible" for the Prime Minister to "stop the speculation about when he might be gone".

He does not feel Mr Cameron's remarks will overshadow the party's campaign messages: "Just the reverse - it stops you guys saying 'When are you going to quit' every time you interview him."

Another backbencher, Jacob Rees-Mogg, says Mr Cameron's remarks are "quite refreshing" and that it is "noble that a leader is willing to give up power".

Get involved

Text 61124

Gill C: Cameron our part time Prime Minister and universal family man! Why is he so unwilling to face the country and defend his Government's record. A clever ploy to divert attention from the true effect of Tory policies. We lost Superdrug from our High St on Saturday, it was M & S last September. I've never seen the town centre look so sad. Step down now Cameron, stop wasting our time.

David Aaronovitch, Times columnist

@DAaronovitch

tweets: David Cameron could not have contrived a comment that would have delighted and inflamed my political correspondent colleagues more.

Budget debate: SNP view

House of Commons

Parliament

SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford welcomes "the fact that the economy is recovering" but argues that the government's economic decisions led to the "slowest recovery in history".

The "austerity programme simply hasn't worked the way he led us to expect" she tells MPs, adding "if it's failed in economic terms its been a disaster for people. Specifically people at the bottom half of the income spectrum."

Andrew Murrison, Conservative MP for South West Wiltshire

@murrisonMP

tweets: "@bbclaurak: Boris says Cameron's comments are 'fuss about nothing'" ...and he's right. PM has simply confirmed he'll do a full term.

Tomorrow's Daily Express

Daily Express front page
Express

Get involved

haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

Nathan Williams, Newport: Glad to hear his comments on a third term. America doesn't allow it and one only has to look at Thatcher and Blair to see how it can go wrong and not serve the country. Absolute power corrupts as can be seen with Putin, not that I think we would ever get that far!

Alex Salmond

Nick Eardley

BBC News

The SNP's Alex Salmond has said he doesn't think David Cameron will win a majority at the election in May. Speaking at an event in London, Mr Salmond argued a balanced Parliament was "likely" and that he was "hopeful" his party would play a "very substantial part" in it.

He also criticised Conservative posters showing him playing an instrument while Ed Miliband dances a jig, describing them as "pretty ridiculous". He said they wouldn't be effective.

Echoing his successor as Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, he urged people in England and Wales to vote for the Greens and Plaid Cymru respectively.

Nick Eardley, BBC News

@nickeardley

piper
BBC

tweets: There's a lone piper outside the Salmond book talk. He's playing Star Wars

Anne McElvoy, The Economist and Evening Standard

BBC News Channel

Journalist Anne McElvoy told the BBC she thought David Cameron had probably "said a bit more than he intended to say" by ruling out a third term as prime minister if the Conservatives retain power. She said the Conservative media team would probably have preferred it if people were talking about Chancellor George Osborne's budget. He and the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls appeared in separate question and answer sessions arranged by Sky News this afternoon.

Get involved

haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

Matt Marsh, Dudley: If Theresa May becomes the leader of the Conservatives with the potential of being the PM, I will definitely switch from voting Labour to Tory. The male leaders of this nation have had long enough. Time for another lady PM.

Boris Johnson on Cameron

Boris Johnson says the Prime Minister's remarks on the future of his leadership have prompted people to "make a fuss about nothing". David Cameron has told the BBC he will serve a full term if re-elected as Prime Minister but would not seek a third. He suggested Theresa May, George Osborne and Mr Johnson as possible successors.

Asked about the comments, Mr Johnson said: "Frankly it really is people making a fuss about nothing.

"What the Prime Minister is saying is that he is going to serve on as prime minister and leader of this country until 2020, which is by the way exactly what we need to entrench the great economic recovery that we're seeing and ensure the future of this city of which I'm Mayor of and of the whole of the UK.

"Five years is a very long time and I'm sure he'll do a fantastic job in that period."

Mr Johnson added: "The next leader of the Tory party is probably a babe unborn."

Steve Richards, The Independent

@steverichards14

tweets: Cam's statement: a)Not true-he won't and can't serve a full term b)Breaks the spell of leadership c) Will trigger more leadership talk.

Dispatches

Channel 4

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