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  1. David Cameron hit back at claims he made a strategic blunder by telling the BBC he would not serve a third term as prime minister if he is re-elected on 7 May
  2. The Tory leader said he gave a "straight answer to a straight question"
  3. Alex Salmond said the SNP would block a minority Conservative government by voting down its Queen's Speech if it holds the post-election balance of power
  4. Ed Balls announced Labour will not raise VAT if in government after the election
  5. UKIP selected Harriet Yeo, former chairwoman of Labour's national executive committee, as a replacement election candidate
  6. There are 44 days until the general election

Live Reporting

By Nick Eardley and Tom Moseley

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Tuesday recap

That's it from Politics Live for tonight. We'll be back at 06:00 GMT with all Wednesday's political news - including the final Prime Minister's Questions before the election.

Public on Cameron

What do voters think of David Cameron's decision to rule out a third term in Downing Street? Our correspondent Vicki Young was in Hove earlier to find out. You can watch her package


Tomorrow's Herald front page

Herald front page

Tomorrow's Sun front page

The Sun's front page
The Sun

Dancing to Salmond's tune

James Cook

Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

If the Conservatives attempt to form a minority government and enough MPs vote against their Queen's Speech the administration would fall at the first hurdle and the leader of the opposition would have a shot at forming a government.

That's how parliamentary democracy works in the event of a hung Parliament.

And yet the Conservatives are saying that by planning to vote against a government he opposes Alex Salmond has "confirmed he would sabotage the democratic will of the British people in order to make Ed Miliband prime minister".

It is part of their continuing attempt to portray Mr Miliband as a weak leader whose strings are being pulled by Mr Salmond.

This kind of language causes despair among Tories north of the border who fear that the party in London is waltzing into an SNP trap.

They know that many voters in Scotland will read the phrase "democratic will of the British people" and hear "democratic will of the English people".

Because, if it is illegitimate for Scottish MPs, from whatever party, to vote against one government and support another in the British parliament, then what, voters may ask, is the point of the union?

Who is dancing to Mr Salmond's tune now?

Salmond comments


our story on Alex Salmond's comments to the New Statesman about a future Conservative minority government. He told the magazine the SNP would block such a government by voting down its Queen's Speech. The Conservatives say the former SNP leader "has confirmed he would sabotage the democratic will of the British people".

Falklands conversation

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

If Argentina "got the Falklands", could Britain get it back? Lord West, who was First Sea Lord between 2002 and 2006, says Argentina isn't capable of taking the Falklands at the moment, but British forces wouldn't be able to take it back if they did because they don't have aircraft carriers.

Simon Jenkins, from the Guardian, says it's "ridiculous" to "pretend" the UK can defend the Falklands indefinitely. The UK will have to do a deal with Argentina eventually, he says.

Cameron's successor

BBC Newsnight

Newsnight is taking a look at the possible candidates in a future Conservative leadership race. You can watch it on the live coverage tab above.

Guardian front page


Sturgeon on Tory deal - last year

A bit of background to Alex Salmond's

comment today on the SNP voting against a minority Conservative government's Queen's Speech. Back in November, when she took over the SNP leadership, Nicola Sturgeon hinted at something similar: she said her party would "never, ever put the Tories into government." The Telegraph
covered the story at the time.

Sun Politics


tweets: YouGov/Sun poll tonight - Labour and Tories still tied: CON 35%, LAB 35%, LD 8%, UKIP 12%, GRN 6%

The Times front page

The Times
The Times

Hammond on Germanwings crash

More from Philip Hammond on the Germanwings crash in the French Alps earlier. The foreign secretary said: "This is a tragic incident for those involved and their families, I send my deepest condolences to those who have lost family or friends.

"I don't want to speculate on numbers of British nationals involved until we have completed our checks on all the passenger information.

"However, based on the information available to us, it is sadly likely that there were some British nationals on board the flight. We are providing consular assistance and will give further help as more information becomes available. We are working closely with the French, German and Spanish authorities, and the airline, to establish the facts."

BreakingBreaking News

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says "it is likely there were some British nationals" on board the Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps today.



tweets: Green Party leader Natalie Bennett says her last appearance on LBC was 'absolutely devastating' but it demonstrates she's 'a human being'

Tomorrow's Telegraph front page

Telegraph front page

UKIP candidate quits

Tim Wilson

Here's our story on Tim Wilson, above, standing down as a UKIP candidate over comments made by the party's Scottish MEP about a Scottish government minister. Mr Wilson said Mr Coburn had produced "what I can only describe as an Islamaphobic insult, and that's simply not acceptable".

When will Cameron go?

BBC Radio 4

David Cameron has, as you've probably noticed, said he won't stand for a third term as prime minister. But he pledged he would serve a full second term. So when would a Tory leadership take place? Could David Cameron stand down as leader of the Conservatives but remain as prime minster? James Landale

has been looking at the possibility.

Salmond plan 'scares many Scots'

The Conservatives' leader in Scotland, Ruth Davidson, says Alex Salmond's plan to wield influence over Labour in a hung parliament "scares many, many Scots".

Mr Salmond told the Marr Programme on Sunday that an SNP bloc at Westminster after the election would "hold the power" and move the Labour party in a "more progressive" direction.

Writing in the Evening Standard, Ms Davidson says Mr Salmond does not speak for most Scottish people.

"When Salmond talks of planning to hold a weak Miliband government to ransom, that doesn't just scare people south of the border, it scares many, many Scots too," she wrote. "He is simply doing what nationalists do: trying to conflate the national interest with his own narrow, ideological one and paint anyone who disagrees as unpatriotic.

She adds: "It's cheap, dirty politics designed to send out the message that everyone north of the border is equally Scottish but some are more Scottish than others. The majority of people in Scotland want no truck with this version of divide-and-rule."

Free speech

And that's all from Free Speech tonight. Were you watching? What did you think? Email us or tweet

@bbcpolitics to let us know.

Panel divided

Was David Cameron right to say he won't seek a third term as prime minister? The panel is split. Toby Young says it was a "gaffe", but Ian Birrell says it was "honest" and there should be more honesty in politics.

Sam Gyimah says the PM isn't obsessed with power - that's what came out in the answer he gave. And there is a lot of "strength and depth" in the party to beat Labour, he adds.

Free Speech on feminism

Free speech

Do the Tories support women's rights? Luisa Zissman says she wouldn't consider herself a feminist - there's too much "extreme feminism", she says, but she does support women's rights. Her answer attracts a few boos and some heckling from the audience. Toby Young highlights that the Tories gave women the vote and the first female prime minister was a Conservative.

Sam Gyimah says the gender pay gap is at the narrowest point it's been for a long time. Delivering on that is better than a pink bus, he adds in a dig at Harriet Harman's campaign vehicle.

'You can't tax the rich too much'

"If you tax the rich too much, the rich are going to go," says Luisa Zissman on Free Speech. "And then you're going to have no one to tax... then where are you going to get the money for your housing?" The young audience aren't impressed with that answer - one calls for loopholes to be closed so people don't keep money offshore. The government should spend less time demonising people on benefits and more on that, the audience member says.

Tories and young people

Why isn't David Cameron at this debate? Sam Gyimah says he speaks on behalf of the PM, who asked him personally to attend. The PM "does value what we're discussing". A number of members of the audience don't seem happy.

'Untold success story'

The rising number of apprenticeships is one of the "untold success stories" of the government, says Conservative MP Sam Gyimah. There have been 2 million so far and that number will rise to 3 million in the next parliament, he adds.

UKP vote share

Journalist Toby Young, on the BBC's Free Speech show, says he wouldn't be surprised if UKIP support falls to the single digits. The only way to get a referendum on Europe is to vote Conservative, he says.

Young v old?

Sam Gyimah

Are the Tories prioritising policies for old people over those for youngsters? Sam Gyimah says the government isn't against young people - the biggest thing it can do is make sure jobs are available.

'Flat out wrong'

It's "flat out wrong" to say the government has done nothing for young people, says Toby Young. Many jobs have been created, he says, most of which are full-time and well-paid. But an audience member isn't convinced - she suggests it might be about stats rather than creating proper, well-paid jobs.

Free Speech debate

Cutting the top rate of income tax and introducing the so-called bedroom tax are two mistakes made by the current government, says journalist Ian Birrell.

VAT rise?

Will the Conservatives increase VAT? Sam Gyimah says Labour is "scaremongering" on the issue and the Conservatives have "no plans" to do so.

SNP 'real threat'

Sam Gyimah tells the Free Speech audience we are all part of families - that's why his party talks about "hard working families". He says the "real threat" on 7 May is "a party that wants to break up our country" - the SNP.

Too right-wing?


Has David Cameron tried too hard to attract right-wing voters, the panel is asked. Ian Birrell says yes and the party should be looking to the future, not the past. But Tory MP Sam Gyimah says the party is the future and lists a number of the things it has done in government. He says the Conservatives are planning for a majority, but won't explicitly rule out a coalition with UKIP.

Free Speech

David Cameron turned down an invitation to appear on Free Speech tonight, says presenter Rick Edwards. But we've got Sam Gyimah, Toby Young, Ian Birrell and Luisa Zissman on the panel.

Free Speech

At 20:00 GMT, BBC Three will be showing the latest instalment of the Free Speech discussions, tonight focussing on Conservative policy. We'll bring you updates and you can watch on the Live Coverage tab above. The audience is seated and ready to go.


Counter-terrorism powers

House of Commons


MPs have tonight agreed further regulations to toughen up counter-terrorism powers. Security Minister James Brokenshire won support for the statutory instruments which bring into force powers contained in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015. The bill became law last month.

The new powers make clear the Prevent duty - which obligates staff in public institutions such as universities or prisons to report extremist behaviour - applies in Scotland in the same way as across the rest of the country. Further regulations provide court rules for temporary exclusion orders (TEO) which can be imposed on Britons who leave the country to fight in foreign conflicts. The orders restrict the conditions of their return home.

BBC Scotland debates

Scottish readers who want to be in the audience for BBC Scotland's pre-election debates can apply


Times Red Box


tweets: "People have forgotten what politics is. We need to put people back into it."- @caitlinmoran #redboxdebate

Instagram profiles

In the run up to the election, BBC News has produced short Instagram videos profiling the party leaders.

You can watch David Cameron's profile

here and Ed Miliband's

Pandora's box

London Evening Standard


The Standard's political editor Joe Murphy thinks David Cameron has opened a "Pandora's box" by saying he will not seek a third term as prime minister.

He writes: "In the Westminster bubble, there is a remorseless logic that forbids a leader from naming a retirement date. By ruling out a third term, Cameron has opened a question of who will take over. Since voters in 2020 will not elect a party whose leadership is unresolved, the power struggle must take place during the 2015 to 2020 parliament. The next leader will expect to write his or her manifesto, so the sitting PM will have less say in the country's long-term future."

UKIP candidate quits

David Coburn

A UKIP election candidate has quit the party in a row over comments made by Scotland's UKIP MEP. Tim Wilson will not stand for the party in South Northamptonshire in the aftermath of the comments made by David Coburn about Scottish Government minister Humza Yousaf. In a newspaper interview Mr Coburn said: "Humza Yousaf, or as I call him, Abu Hamza". He has since apologised.

But Mr Wilson told the BBC: "If Mr Farage cannot realise that what he has said is wrong, and what was said is wrong, and that it is is not a joke - if he can't take this seriously, Mr Farage too needs to consider his position and go."