Merkel's UK speech: The exclusive club she is joining

Westminster Hall

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has addressed both Houses of Parliament, becoming the latest in a long line of dignitaries to do so since the first in 1939.

line break
23 March 1939: President of France Albert Lebrun
French President Albert Lebrun on state visit to UK
line break
21 October 1942: Prime Minister of South Africa Field Marshal Jan Christiaan Smuts
Jan Smuts

South Africa's PM, who had served in Lloyd George's war cabinet during World War I, found his military expertise was again in demand in Churchill's war cabinet.

The future co-author of the preamble to the UN charter was invited to share his thoughts on war and peace with MPs and peers in Parliament's royal gallery, although the Commons library reports that it was not a "formal presentation".

Parliament itself had sustained severe damage by this period in the Second World War, and Smuts noted: "Irreplaceable treasures of a thousand years of almost uninterrupted progress and culture and peaceful civilisation have disappeared forever.

"But one thing is not lost; one thing, the most precious of all, remains, and has rather increased," he continued. "The soul remains."

He paid tribute to Sir Winston as "the embodiment of the spirit of eternal youth and resilience, the spirit of a great, undying nation in one of the greatest moments of history".

"The stage is set," he declared of the war, "for the last, the offensive phase".

line break
11 May 1944: Prime Minister of Canada Mackenzie King
line break
17 May 1945: King George VI
King George VI King George VI had visited arms factories during the war

The King celebrated victory in Europe with a trip to Parliament, telling MPs and peers of his gratitude to all of them and his subjects for their wartime service.

"There was visibly present in the royal gallery something immensely venerable and at the same time very much alive," reported the Times.

"The King in his Councils in his Parliaments, the organ that through the centuries has been the very heart of England, ceaselessly driving the life's blood of liberty through the veins and arteries of the nation."

line break
21 August 1945: King George VI

The King returned to Parliament to mark overall victory in World War II.

line break
9 March 1950: French president Vincent Auriol
line break
26 October 1950: King George VI

Opening the new House of Commons chamber, which had been destroyed in World War II, the King delivered a speech to MPs and peers.

line break
22 October 1954: Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie
Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, making a radio broadcast in 1954
line break
24 April 1956: Soviet PM Nikolai Bulganin and first secretary of the Communist Party Nikita Khrushchev
line break
7 April 1960: French president General Charles de Gaulle
General Charles de Gaulle and his wife Yvonne

In his Westminster Hall speech, President de Gaulle recalled how the UK, "heroic and alone, took upon herself the liberty of the world".

He expressed sympathy for the "wounds" of the German people, who he said were "yesterday our enemies but who are today a vital part of the West and our common ally".

But the focus of his speech was on disarmament, and he looked forward hopefully to a summit at which PM Harold Macmillan, President Eisenhower, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and he were to discuss the possibility of detente.

France "wishes, above all, stocks of nuclear weapons to be destroyed", he told MPs and peers.

It wasn't to be: the summit was cancelled after a US spy plane was shot down over Russia.

line break
22 June 1965: The Queen
The Queen

Queen Elizabeth II's first speech to both Houses of Parliament - besides those at the annual state opening of Parliament ceremony - marked the 700th Anniversary of the Parliament of Simon de Montfort.

line break
28 April 1966: U Thant, secretary general of the UN
line break
9 February 1967: Soviet PM Alexei Kosygin
line break
28 April 1969: Italian President Giuseppe Saragat
line break
3 March 1970: Chancellor of West Germany Willy Brandt
Willy Brandt

Chancellor Brandt assured MPs and peers in the royal gallery of his support for the UK's application to join the European Economic Community, which he predicted would be enriched by British traditions.

French president de Gaulle had thwarted an earlier UK bid to join.

line break
23 June 1976: French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing
line break
4 May 1977: The Queen

The Queen marked her Silver Jubilee with an address to Parliament.

line break
8 June 1982: US President Ronald Reagan
The Queen, US President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

President Reagan rallied Parliament's support for a crusade towards global freedom and democracy that "would leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history".

But the Cold War was not the only conflict coinciding with his visit: UK troops were closing in on victory in the Falklands.

"Those young men are not fighting for mere real estate," the president reminded MPs and peers in the royal gallery.

"They fight for a cause, for the belief that armed aggression must not be allowed to succeed, and that people must participate in the decisions of government under the rule of law."

line break
24 October 1984: French President Francois Mitterrand
line break
18 December 1984: Future General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher

After meeting communist chief Mikhail Gorbachev at Chequers, then Conservative PM Margaret Thatcher declared: "I like Mr Gorbachev. We can do business together."

The future Soviet leader went on to address an informal meeting of MPs and peers, declaring: "For all that separates us, we have one planet and Europe is our common home, not a theatre of operations."

But his remarks became less diplomatic after Conservative former minister Norman St John-Stevas asked him about Soviet oppression of religion.

"I could quote a few facts about human rights in the UK," he said. "You persecute entire communities and nationalities. You have got 2.3 million unemployed."

The Times reported that one MP later joked he wished unemployment was as low as that.

line break
23 January 1986: Prime Minister of Israel Shimon Peres
line break
28 April 1986: King of Spain Juan Carlos
Juan Carlos, King of Spain
line break
2 July 1986: President of West Germany Richard Von Weizsäcker
line break
20 July 1988: The Queen

The Queen marked the tercentenary of the Revolution of 1688-89 and the Bill of Rights with another speech to MPs and peers.

line break
08 May 1989: President of Nicaragua Daniel Ortega
line break
24 October 1990: Italian President Francesco Cossiga
Francesco Cossiga

The Christian Democratic party's Francesco Cossiga used his address to MPs and peers in the royal gallery to "take Margaret Thatcher to task", according to the Times.

She was due to attend a European summit in Rome four days later, and President Cossiga urged her to adopt a "more idealistic approach" to the European Community, the paper added.

His advocacy was apparently unpersuasive. After the Rome summit, PM Thatcher reported back to MPs that she had not taken kindly to federalist Commission President Jacques Delors' aim to make the European Parliament the most powerful democratic institution in Europe, with the Commission working as the executive and the Council of Ministers acting as the senate.

"No! No! No!" she declared.

line break
10 November 1992: President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin
Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin
line break
28 April 1993: President of Portugal Mario Soares
line break
5 May 1993: Nelson Mandela
line break
7 December 1993: Mikhail Gorbachev
line break
6 May 1995: The Queen

The Queen marked the 50th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day with a speech to MPs and peers.

line break
29 November 1995: US President Bill Clinton
John Major and Bill Clinton

PM Sir John Major "appeared overcome with emotion" as President Clinton paid tribute to the Conservative's "peacemaking role and spoke of a Northern Ireland where 'the guns are quiet and the children play without fear'," according to the Daily Mail's coverage of his speech to MPs and peers.

"I applaud the prime minister for taking this risk for peace," he had said.

"It is always a hard choice, the choice for peace, for success is far from guaranteed, and even if you fail, there will be those who resent you for trying. But it is the right thing to do. And in the end, the right will win."

The Scotsman tried valiantly to resist the famously charismatic Clinton, describing him as a "purveyor of folksy pieces of meaningless wisdom".

"Mr Clinton said: 'The only way to abolish war is to make peace heroic.' True, but what does it mean?" the paper commented, before succumbing.

"In spite of the simplicity and embarrassingly cliched nature of most of it, it was a good speech," it reported.

"It was refreshing to hear someone speak of high principles... Mr Clinton got away with it, not only because it was novel but because his delivery was superb."

line break
15 May 1996: French President Jacques Chirac
line break
11 July 1996: President of South Africa Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela's speech in full

In his second speech to MPs and peers, President Mandela paid tribute to anti-apartheid British politicians.

Labour peer Lord Brockway "was as concerned about our liberty as he was about the independence of India", he said.

He also recalled ex-Conservative PM Harold Macmillan's historic visit to Cape Town in 1960 and his historic speech declaring: "The wind of change is blowing through this country."

"Let our peoples," the president concluded, "join hands to build on what we have achieved together and help construct a humane African world, whose emergence will say a new universal order is born in which we are each our brother's keeper."

line break
16 July 1996: The Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama

In an informal meeting of the all-party parliamentary group on Tibet, the Dalai Lama urged the UK to exert influence on China.

"The reality today is that Tibet is an occupied country under colonial rule. This is the essential issue which must be addressed and resolved through negotiations," he told MPs and peers.

"Tibet - an ancient nation with a unique culture and civilisation - is disappearing fast. In endeavouring to protect my nation from this catastrophe, I have always sought to be guided by realism, moderation and patience.

"However, it has now become clear that our efforts alone are not sufficient to bring the Chinese government to the negotiating table."

According to the Independent, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman responded: "By inviting the Dalai Lama to visit Britain and offering him a forum, the Tibetan group of the British House of Commons abets the Dalai's action to split the motherland. It will bring about adverse effects to the Sino-British relations."

line break
29 October 1998: Argentine President Carlos Menem
line break
6 July 2000: Prime Minister of Australia John Howard
John Howard

Marking the 100th anniversary of the Australian federation, PM John Howard addressed MPs and peers in the royal gallery with "a graceful speech saying what a great place Australia was", according to the Guardian's Simon Hoggart.

line break
30 April 2002: The Queen
line break
8 May 2007: Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan
line break
15 May 2007: Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair

"Let us consign arguments over the past to the annals of the past, as we make history instead of being doomed to repeat it," said Bertie Ahern, the first Irish Taoiseach to address both Houses of Parliament.

Mr Ahern may have been "lacking in suave elegance," reported the Independent, "but as usual that was more than made up for by his evident abilities and all-round political competence."

Labour PM Tony Blair described him as "a true friend of the British people, a man who is changing the history of his own country and of these islands".

line break
26 March 2008: French President Nicolas Sarkozy
line break
19 November 2008: Israeli President Shimon Peres
line break
1 April 2009: President of Mexico Felipe Calderon Hinojosa
line break
17 September 2010: Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI en route to Parliament

The Pope warned MPs and peers in Westminster Hall that religion - and Christianity in particular - was "being marginalised" around the world.

"There are those who would advocate that the voice of religion be silenced, or at least relegated to the purely private sphere," he said.

"There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged, in the questionable belief that it might somehow offend those of other religions or none."

BBC correspondent Peter Hunt described the speech at Westminster Hall as "a rallying call, and a plea - for religion not to be squeezed out by secular society".

Two and a half years later, Benedict XVI became the first pope in centuries to resign.

line break
25 May 2011: US President Barack Obama

President Obama's speech in full

The UK and US were at a "pivotal moment" in their relationship and "profound challenges" lay ahead, US President Barack Obama told MPs and peers in his Westminster Hall speech.

He praised the role of the UK in spreading the ideals of democracy around the world, quoting Sir Winston Churchill, who said the Magna Carta, Bill of Rights, habeas corpus, trial by jury and common law "find their most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence".

line break
20 March 2012: The Queen

Highlights of the Queen's visit to Parliament

The Queen said she would rededicate herself to the service of the UK and its people as she celebrated her Diamond Jubilee.

She told MPs and peers in Westminster Hall that the commemoration of her 60 years on the throne was a chance "to come together in a spirit of neighbourliness and celebration".

The Queen also praised Prince Philip for being "a constant strength and guide" over the decades.

line break
21 June 2012: Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi's speech in full

Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged the UK to support the shift towards democracy in Burma in her historic address to both Houses of Parliament.

"My country today stands at the start of a journey towards, I hope, a better future. So many hills remain to be climbed, chasms to be bridged, obstacles to be breached," she said.

"Our own determination can get us so far. The support of the people of Britain and of peoples around the world can get us so much further."

line break
20 March 2013: President of Malawi Joyce Banda
Malawi President Joyce Banda
line break
13 June 2013: Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper
line break
5 November 2013: South Korean President Park Geun-hye

More on This Story

Related Stories

More UK Politics stories

RSS

Politics Live

  1.  
    18:25: Remembering Churchill
    Winston Churchill statue outside parliament

    Downing Street has released the text of the message on the wreath David Cameron will lay at the statue of Winston Churchill, which stands just outside the Commons chamber, tomorrow morning. Marking the 50th anniversary of the war leader's death, the PM has written: "Britain was so incredibly fortunate that in our hour of greatest need there came forward one of our greatest ever statesmen. 50 years on the light has not dimmed. David Cameron."

     
  2.  
    18:18: Child abuse inquiry Tom Symonds Home Affairs correspondent
    Keith Vaz

    In a statement, Keith Vaz MP, the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: "Last week, some material from the independent panel inquiry into child sexual abuse came into the committee's possession in the course of our inquiry. The material included directions to panel members about how they should answer questions from the committee, as well as e-mail exchanges between panel members about the panel's external communications strategy."

    "These emails included the names of third parties. At the request of the individuals concerned, the material has been redacted to remove references to these individuals. The names of all these individuals were already in the public domain."

     
  3.  
    18:17: Child abuse inquiry Tom Symonds Home Affairs correspondent

    Survivors of child abuse are accusing the Home Affairs Select Committee of breaching the Data Protection Act by releasing correspondence last week which included the names of some who have been abused.

    The committee posted letters and emails on its website while taking evidence from the inquiry's Counsel, Ben Emmerson QC, about a disagreement within the inquiry's expert panel. The names of at least four victims of child abuse, and the pseudonym of a fifth, were included in the documents. The following day the letters were reposted on the website having been redacted.

    Although several of those named are active on social media, one, who isn't, said she had received emails containing death threats, and cyber attacks. The committee said the names were already in the public domain.

    In a letter to the home secretary, the Survivor's Alliance said: "The release of emails and correspondence constitutes a breach of Data Protection and also a breach of trust." The group said it had been contacted by lawyers.

     
  4.  
    18:13: Missing data Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    The BBC's Home Affairs Correspondent Dominic Casciani says the mother of Azelle Rodney, whose shooting by police in London is the subject of a semi-secret inquiry, has said the loss of data relating to the inquiry is "shocking and very disappointing". She has been in touch with the Ministry of Justice about the loss.

     
  5.  
    18:10: Sajid Javid profile Buzzfeed
    Sajid Javid

    Over at Buzzfeed, Emily Ashton has a profile of culture secretary Sajid Javid - including details of how he called up the BBC's Question Time for feedback after his first appearance on the show.

     
  6.  
    @rosschawkins Ross Hawkins, BBC political correspondent

    tweets: Now with added leaked press release - ministers and marginals: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-31044694 …

     
  7.  
    17:41: SNP versus...the poll tax
    Protester against the poll tax

    The SNP is introducing legislation to the Scottish Parliament that will write off any remaining debts from Margaret Thatcher's community charge. "This bill is one step the Scottish government is undertaking to make local taxation fairer," deputy first minister John Swinney said. Scottish Labour has made clear it also supports the bill.

     
  8.  
    @bbcthisweek 17:38: This Week, BBC One, 23:35
    Esther Rantzen

    In the week marking 70 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz camp, Esther Rantzen joins Andrew Neil, Alan Johnson and Michael Portillo live on BBC One's This Week from 23:35pm (or 00:15 in Northern Ireland) to examine what it means to be Jewish in Britain today.

     
  9.  
    17:19: The Tories' post-election negotiations Conservative Home
    Graham Brady Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee

    ConservativeHome picks up on yesterday's Newsnight's report claiming Tory backbenchers want a role in any post-election coalition talks. According to the grassroots Tory website, backbenchers want Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, to have a major say in establishing the red lines deemed essential by rank and file MPs and in liaising with the negotiators throughout the talks. But they do not believe he needs to be in the negotiating room, the website says.

     
  10.  
    @bbcthisweek 17:05: Greek comedian on BBC One's This Week
    George Zach

    Greek comedian George Zach will be looking at why young people in his native country turned to Syriza at last weekend's general election. He will present a film and debate with host Andrew Neil, along with Alan Johnson, Michael Portillo and economist Vicky Pryce, live on BBC One from 23:35 (or 00:15 in Northern Ireland).

     
  11.  
    @rosschawkins Ross Hawkins, BBC political correspondent

    tweets: One billion pounds, 21 ministers & some v marginal constituencies - a day of visits mapped: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-31044694 …

     
  12.  
    @robindbrant 16:45: Robin Brant, BBC political correspondent

    tweets: v critical comment about @Conservatives ability to spread the word from one of their own. @ben4bath words at the end http://may2015.com/featured/spa-wars-soaking-up-the-battle-for-bath/ …

     
  13.  
    16:41: Gordon Brown's last Commons debate?
    Gordon Brown speaking during a press conference to announce he is standing down as an MP, at The Kirkcaldy Old Kirk Trust

    Gordon Brown will return to the floor of the Commons next Wednesday evening for what some speculate could be his last appearance in the chamber. The ex-PM has secured a brief debate on 'Scottish representation in the Union' - the subject which has galvanised the final 12 months of his parliamentary career. "Gordon Brown's last stand in the Commons," as Scotsman journalist David Maddox puts it on Twitter.

     
  14.  
    16:40: Iraq Inquiry motion agreed House of Commons Parliament

    MPs have agreed a motion asking the Iraq Inquiry to publish a timetable for publication and an explanation of the causes of the delay by 12 February 2015.

     
  15.  
    @patrickwintour Patrick Wintour, political editor of The Guardian

    tweets: Unite on its £1.5m donation to Labour. "The Government should not be allowed to float to re-election on a tide of big business cash" .

     
  16.  
    @simonwjones01 Simon Jones, BBC parliamentary reporter

    tweets: Anger at #Chilcot delays, extremism worries in #schools & the #Beano. @cripeswatson with the best of #TodayinParliament @BBCRadio4 2330.

     
  17.  
    16:27: ScotCen poll predicts Labour down to nine seats in Scotland

    ScotCen - part of the UK-wide social research institute NatCen - has published its first poll of polls. Its headline voting intention, based on the last four published voter surveys, highlights the challenge for Labour in Scotland. This is their projected result for Scotland's 59 parliamentary seats at the general election.

    • SNP: 49
    • Labour: 9
    • Liberal Democrats: 1
    • Conservatives: 0
     
  18.  
    16:21: Labour: Data loss an 'appalling lapse'

    Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan has criticised the Ministry of Justice's loss of data from three inquiries as an "appalling lapse in security".

    "It would be disastrous if this data got into the wrong hands. The justice secretary needs to get an urgent grip on this situation and set out what the government is doing to find this data and reassure the public that measures are in place to prevent it happening again," Mr Khan said.

     
  19.  
    @bbcquestiontime 16:03: Question Time preview
    Question Time panel

    On BBC Two at 22:45, David Dimbleby presents topical debate from Wrexham in Wales. The panel includes Conservative Culture Secretary Sajid Javid MP, former Labour secretary of state for Wales, Peter Hain MP, Plaid Cymru's economy spokesman Rhun ap Iorwerth AM, author and critic Germaine Greer and Telegraph blogger Kate Maltby.

     
  20.  
    16:00: Miliband in Glasgow
    Ed Miliband and Jim Murphy

    Ed Miliband has been in Glasgow alongside recently-appointed Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy. "We're not planning for that," he said when pressed on whether Labour could form a post-election coalition with the Scottish National Party.

     
  21.  
    16:00: What about Sinn Fein?
    Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams

    Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers has intervened in the debate over the election TV debates. She says it's "bizarre" that the broadcasters aren't intending to include parties from Northern Ireland when the plans do include those from Scotland and Wales. In her view, the broadcasters now have a "real problem" on their hands.

     
  22.  
    15:52: Norman Smith BBC Assistant Political Editor

    BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith says that after announcing it would donate £1.5 million to the Labour Party's campaign funds, the union Unite says it "may consider further support in due course" to the party's general election campaign.

     
  23.  
    Norman Smith, BBC News Assistant Political Editor

    tweets: Total campaign dontions from @unitetheunion to Labour so far = £2.5 million

     
  24.  
    @BBCGen2015 15:50: Are you a young voter?
    BBC Generation 2015 logo

    If you are aged between 18 and 24, and eligible to vote in May's General Election, the BBC wants to hear from you.

    We are building Generation 2015, a UK-wide group of young voters who will take part in local and national BBC programmes in the run up to the general election in May.

    You could find yourself on the One Show, Radio 1 Newsbeat, or Newsnight - in fact, anywhere across BBC output where the election is being discussed.

    You can find out more, and apply (deadline is midnight on Monday) here.

     
  25.  
    Missing data

    Data relating to three inquiries, including two fatal police shootings, have gone missing in the post, the Ministry of Justice says. A spokeswoman for the Information Commissioner's Office tells the BBC: "We have recently been made aware of a possible data breach involving the Ministry of Justice. We will be making enquiries into the circumstances of the alleged breach before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken."

     
  26.  
    @michaelsavage Michael Savage, chief political correspondent for The Times

    tweets: The executive council of the Unite union has agreed today to donate £1.5 million to the Labour Party's campaign funds.

     
  27.  
    Papers for parties? London Evening Standard Newspaper
    Newspapers

    Writing in the Evening Standard, Roy Greenslade, a media commentator and Professor of Journalism at City University, London, says: "The national press has become more genuinely independent of party than at any time since World War Two. The formal links have been broken, and their allegiance is no longer assured."

    He adds: "Newspapers have turned on politicians as a breed, encouraging public cynicism towards politics itself."

     
  28.  
    Cameron in Exeter

    The party leaders are out and about today, with David Cameron visiting Exeter Science Park.

    In a press release issued by the science park, the prime minister spoke of the importance of "giving local communities the power and the money to unlock growth and development and make the spending decisions that work for them".

    David Cameron in Exeter
     
  29.  
    @Kevin_Maguire Kevin Maguire, Daily Mirror associate editor

    tweets: Oooop...Sinn Fein's Pat Doherty says he was approached by Tory MP asking if the party would take its seats. Look forward to new Con poster

     
  30.  
    15:36: Labour "completely out-played" over NHS The Independent

    The Independent on Sunday's chief political commentator John Rentoul says: "If the NHS is Labour's strongest issue in the election campaign, the party will need to do better than this."

    Commenting on the ongoing row over whether or not Ed Miliband spoke of "weaponising" the NHS, Mr Rentoul says the Labour leader "has played politics with the NHS and Cameron has played politics with Miliband's playing politics, and the Labour leader has been completely out-played".

     
  31.  
    15:33: Boris on a 'Brexit'

    London Mayor Boris Johnson continues in his Time magazine article on a theoretical British exit from the European Union: "I must be clear. I think there would be a pretty testy, scratchy period... [but] it wouldn't be disastrous." Mr Johnson also fails to rule out running in a US election (he holds dual citizenship), but he rejects any comparisons with Winston Churchill outright. "My resemblance to Churchill is as great as my resemblance to a three-toed sloth," he says.

     
  32.  
    15:29: Boris on a 'Brexit'
    Boris Johnson at the Conservative party conference

    London Mayor Boris Johnson has given an interview to Time magazine in which he offers a fairly positive prediction on what would happen if Britain left the European Union. "I think Brexit is possible ... [Britain] would very rapidly come to an alternative arrangement that protected our basic trading interests," he says.

     
  33.  
    @daily_politics BBC Daily Politics
    Fracking protesters

    tweets: Shale gas and #fracking plan hold-ups across the UK, reports @EllieJPrice in #bbcdp film from #Lancashire http://bbc.in/1ty7agN

     
  34.  
    15:11: Missing data Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani reports that the government so far thinks there was no "malicious intent" relating to the missing data, but one member of staff has been suspended. Concurrent investigations are being conducted by the Ministry of Justice and the Information Commissioner.

     
  35.  
    15:06: Miliband responds to Milburn's NHS attack
    Ed Miliband

    Ed Miliband has responded to criticism earlier this week of the party's NHS plans by the former Labour health secretary, Alan Milburn. Mr Milburn warned it would be a "fatal mistake" not to promise reform as well as extra funding.

    Mr Miliband said: "We're putting a very clear offer to the people of Britain on the National Health Service. Labour is the only party with a funded and credible plan to raise extra resources for the NHS for more doctors, nurses, midwives and care workers. It's a plan to invest in the NHS and to reform it as well, linking it up from home to hospital."

     
  36.  
    15:01: Missing data Danny Shaw Home affairs correspondent, BBC News
    Ministry of justice

    As we've been reporting, discs containing information from three of the UK's most sensitive inquiries have gone missing after being put in the post. The material relates to inquiries into the role of the police in the deaths of three members of the public - including Mark Duggan and Azelle Rodney. The Metropolitan Police - whose officers were involved in those cases - says it is taking the data breach "very seriously".

    The Met says it has "risk assessed" the material and taken "appropriate" steps, as well as offering its support to the Ministry of Justice investigation. But it is not conducting its own investigation.

     
  37.  
    @BBCDomC Dominic Casciani, BBC Home Affairs Correspondent

    tweets: Missing data story: Ministry of Justice won't say what's missing, where it was sent from and who to. No evidence so far it was malicious

    and

    tweets: Major investigation involving security-vetted lawyers. Officials won't say if missing info includes personal details of protected witnesses

     
  38.  
    14:46: 'Come to terms with failure' in Iraq House of Commons Parliament
    Rory Stewart

    Conservative MP Rory Stewart says a major factor in the continuing debate on the Iraq war is an inability "to come to terms with failure, our inability to come to terms with what went wrong in Iraq".

    The chairman of the Defence Select Committee argues that the debate "can't just be reduced to legality and post-war planning" but is about the UK's role in the world and understanding "our limits".

    In 2003, Rory Stewart, a former army officer, was appointed as the Coalition Provisional Authority's deputy governor of a province in southern Iraq.

     
  39.  
    @GuidoFawkes Guido Fawkes

    tweets: Boris TIME "I think Brexit is possible... [Britain] would very rapidly come to an alternative arrangement that protected our basic interests

     
  40.  
    14:36: Post-election scenarios
    Nick Clegg and David Cameron

    For the New Statesman's May2015.com site, Philip Cowley highlights four issues he feels are being misunderstood - or outright missed - in all the post-election forecasting being done.

     
  41.  
    14:30: 'Demand that report' House of Commons Parliament

    Pete Wishart rises to make his own speech in the Iraq Inquiry debate.

    "If anyone needs to know why this House was duped it is us, the parliamentarians," he argues.

    He says the wording of the backbench motion for debate today "should have demanded that report".

    The SNP MP adds that his vote against the Iraq invasion in 2003 was "the proudest vote of my 14 years in this House".

    Pete Wishart
     
  42.  
    PoliticsHome blog

    tweets: SNP MP Pete Wishart on Iraq: "I do believe this is going to go all the way to The Hague. This was an illegal war."

     
  43.  
    @RebeccaKeating Rebecca Keating, BBC parliamentary reporter

    tweets: . @Ed_Miliband tells the BBC @David_Cameron needs to "man up" and agree to televised election debates #GE2015

     
  44.  
    Labour and immigration The Daily Telegraph
    Ed Miliband and Nigel Farage

    After Labour MP and mayoral hopeful David Lammy attacked his own party's campaign leaflets for trying to "out-UKIP UKIP" on immigration, Telegraph columnist Dan Hodges has joined the debate, describing the leaflets as "an aberration" and accusing Ed Miliband of hypocrisy over immigration.

     
  45.  
    14:20: Tough at the top London Evening Standard Newspaper
    Nick Clegg

    Joseph Watts at the Evening Standard reports that one (unnamed) senior figure in the Liberal Democrats has claimed today that the party must win at least 45 seats in the general election if Nick Clegg is to stay on as leader: "The respected figure argued that fewer would make it impossible to join a governing coalition, predicting that the Lib Dem leader would 'fall on his sword'."

     
  46.  
    14:08: Breaking News

    The Ministry of Justice confirms the missing material - which it says went missing after being sent in the post - relates to three investigations that examined the roles of police in the death of three members of the public. Two inquiries relate to fatal police shootings of crime suspects in London - Mark Duggan and Azelle Rodney. The third relates to the 1997 murder of Robert Hamill in Northern Ireland, which campaigners allege involved the collusion of police officers. In each inquiry there were witnesses, including police officers, who were given anonymity because of possible threats to their safety - but officials have refused to confirm whether any of the missing documents include personal information relating to these witnesses.

     
  47.  
    14:05: Breaking News

    The Ministry of Justice says data from three semi-secret inquiries has gone missing on discs lost in the post.

     
  48.  
    @DArcyTiP Mark D'Arcy, Today In Parliament correspondent

    tweets: Congrats to @Plaid_Cymru Westminster leader Elfyn Llwdd just promoted to the "Hon Member for Wales" in @HouseofCommons debate on #Chilcot

     
  49.  
    14:01: Blair-Bush Iraq notes to be revealed
    George Bush and Tony Blair

    As MPs debate the Iraq inquiry in the Commons, the chair of the inquiry Sir John Chilcot has said former prime minister Tony Blair's notes to former US president George W Bush will be published with only "a very small number of essential redactions". That's a big shift from last year, when only "quotes and gists" were set to be made public.

     
  50.  
    13:58: Migrant voters The Guardian

    Over at The Guardian, Robert Ford and Ruth Grove-White of migrant support group The Migrant's Network write that with immigration set to be a key debate in the election campaign, "remarkably little is known about the millions of migrant voters who will be eligible to cast a vote".

     
  51.  
    13:42: Miliband in Scotland

    Ed Miliband is in Scotland to make a promise: an incoming Labour government will bring forward a home rule bill within the first 100 days. Mr Miliband is campaigning in Glasgow with the Scottish Labour leader, Jim Murphy to win over wavering voters who may be attracted by the SNP. He announced plans to change the party's constitution in Scotland to allow Mr Murphy to make decisions on devolved issues. "It is absolutely for Jim to make those decisions," Mr Miliband said. His visit comes as bookmaker William Hill makes the SNP odds-on to win more seats in Scotland than the Lib Dems will across the whole of the UK.

     
  52.  
    13:35: Iraq inquiry debate House of Commons Parliament
    Elfyn Llwyd in the Commons

    Plaid Cymru MP Elfyn Llwyd says the big problem with the Iraq inquiry was the questioning. He would have liked a judge-led inquiry with a counsel doing the questioning, as was the case with the Leveson inquiry. "Something must be done urgently, otherwise this parliament will be the laughing stock of the world."

     
  53.  
    Leader effect? Democratic Audit

    tweets: What effect does a leader's visit have on a party's vote in a constituency?

     
  54.  
    13:31: Iraq inquiry debate House of Commons Parliament

    Former attorney-general Dominic Grieve says the delay to the report is "very regrettable" - and the most concerning bit is the delay since mid-2014. "I find it strange we should now be in February 2015, and it seems the Maxwellisation process [providing witnesses with an opportunity to the bits of the report in which they're mentioned] is going so very slowly." He thinks it should only have taken "a few months".

     
  55.  
    13:30: Iraq inquiry protest
    Stop the War protest

    As the debate on the Chilcot report rages inside parliament, Stop the War Coalition protesters are demonstrating outside.

     
  56.  
    Should Labour move Left? YouGov

    tweets: YouGov analysis of what it might mean for Labour to abandon the centre ground.

     
  57.  
    13:22: Iraq inquiry debate House of Commons Parliament
    George Galloway in the Commons

    George Galloway, in one of his rare Commons appearances, is speaking - well, actually shouting - in the Iraq inquiry debate. "The world is hurling to disaster," he tells MPs. "The decisions made in here [the Commons] on the basis of the arguments made by the government at the time has torn Iraq and and its region asunder. It has... incalculably inflated the dangers of extremism and fanaticism." He says the failure of Sir John Chilcot's inquiry to report is akin to "Pontius Pilate" because it is "washing our hands of something that is bleeding us at home and abroad".

     
  58.  
    Robin Brant Political Correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: both barrels from @georgegalloway in debate on #chilcot delay, ultimately blames 'this parliament' for failing to hold lab govt to account

     
  59.  
    Undecided? Vote Match

    Tweets: Launch nears for Vote Match online quiz to help you find the party that best matches your views.

     
  60.  
    @Number10gov Downing Street

    Tweets: PM: I've asked for update on our heavy snow contingency plans. Gritters are out & people should listen to warnings #WeatherAware @MetOffice

     
  61.  
    13:02: Iraq inquiry delay House of Commons Parliament
    David Davis in the Commons

    In the Commons, Conservative backbencher David Davis begins the debate on the Iraq inquiry. MPs are expected to express their frustration that Sir John Chilcot's report hasn't been published yet. Davis says: "No-one in this House knows why this delay has occurred, not even the minister. There's not enough information in the public domain." He doesn't believe the witnesses are foot-dragging, though - instead Davis suspects the clash between Chilcot and Whitehall is at the heart of the problem.

     
  62.  
    12:59: Energy price wars

    Labour, facing criticism from the Tories for sticking to their energy price freeze policy in the face of falling prices, has suggested the government is to blame because it refused to give the regulator the power to cut bills. "They now have nobody else to blame for the failure of the energy companies to pass on the full savings from wholesale cost falls to all consumers," shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint says.

     
  63.  
    12:55: Nigel Farage misses his pint Daily Politics Live on BBC Two
    Nigel Farage in the pub

    UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who has been steering clear of booze as part of 'Dry January', says his experiment in teetotalism hasn't been a success. "I don't feel any better at all," he declares on the Daily Politics. "I find getting to sleep harder, not easier. I have to say, on Sunday I shall be rejoining the drinking classes - with a pint of bitter."

     
  64.  
    12:49: Labour & the SNP

    Labour leader Ed Miliband has refused to rule out joining a coalition with the Scottish National Party after the general election. Pressed twice to say he would not share power with the nationalists, Mr Miliband said he would not "get into talk of coalitions and deals". Asked on Tuesday whether Labour would consider forming an administration with the SNP, shadow chancellor Ed Balls said: "No. And I don't think anybody is suggesting any suggestion of a deal with the SNP at all."

     
  65.  
    12:45: Nigel Farage on Greece Daily Politics Live on BBC Two
    Nigel Farage on the Daily Politics

    Nigel Farage, interviewed by Andrew Neil on the Daily Politics, predicts Greece will leave the euro by the end of the year. A new anti-austerity government was sworn into office in the country on Tuesday. But the UK Independence Party leader says agreement between EU leaders and new Greek PM Alexis Tspiras on how the country should pay its bills is unlikely. "I don't think he's the kind of guy that's frightened of anything. I don't see him backing down," Mr Farage says. And this poses a problem for the German chancellor, he adds. "How can [Angela] Merkel allow a huge level of debt relief without the same being extended to Spain and Italy?"

     
  66.  
    12:36: Britain & the EU Daily Politics Live on BBC Two
    Carl Bildt, former PM of Sweden

    Former Swedish PM, Carl Bildt, is pushing for Britain to remain part of the European Union. He tells the Daily Politics that the big-picture situation - especially the situation in Greece - is playing into David Cameron's hands, as Britain seeks a change in its relationship with the EU. "I think not only [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel but others want Britain in," Mr Bildt says. "If you look at some of the big issues in Europe at the moment, they're moving very much along UK lines." He singles out free trade, the single market and "anti-bureaucracy" as the top issues.

     
  67.  
    12:31: Joan Bakewell's verdict Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    The veteran broadcaster and Labour peer is on the Daily Politics giving her take on the very public battles between Labour's big beasts. "Their comments are" - she pauses - "intended to be helpful". But she doesn't think the comments from figures including former health secretary Alan Milburn and ex-minister Lord Hutton will really damage leader Ed Miliband's cause.

     
  68.  
    12:27: Now on BBC Two Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    The Daily Politics - just a smidgen delayed by Andy Murray's victory in Melbourne - is now under way on BBC Two. You can watch it live on the iPlayer.

     
  69.  
    12:22: PM on school league tables Carole Walker Political correspondent, BBC News

    Today's league tables showing that more state secondary schools in England are underperforming has prompted reaction from the PM. School heads say government changes to the league table system render this year's results a "nonsense". But according to the prime minister's official spokesman, David Cameron says the changes are part of the government's approach to raising standards, which includes changes to the curriculum, inspections and a toughening up of exam standards. Speaking for the PM, the spokesman adds that "there's no apology whatsoever for this policy on raising standards".

     
  70.  
    Claire Hayhurst, Press Association reporter
    Cameron

    tweets: Prime minister #DavidCameron at Exeter Science Park in #Devon

     
  71.  
    12:08: DNA debate
    Chromosomes

    MPs are set to debate a hugely controversial measure next week: government proposals to permit scientists to use three people's embryos to create a child. The move, which aims to cure diseases resulting from flaws in the power-producing mitochondria within embryos, is being criticised by pro-life campaigners. If MPs give the green light, they say, Britain will become the first country to legalise human genetic modification in the world.

     
  72.  
    12:06: New cash for Gurkha homes
    Gurkha protesters in 2007

    The Ministry of Defence won't have forgotten the anger of Gurkhas who protested against the way they were being treated in 2007, pictured here. Now it's been announced the government will spend nearly £1 million building 32 new homes for Gurkha veterans. The package of support comes after an inquiry into Gurkha welfare and also features a new fund to compensate Gurkhas who were discharged as a result of marrying a non-Nepali. Anna Soubry, the veterans minister, says the move shows "the government is willing to address previous injustices".

     
  73.  
    12:05: Tennis triumph
    Andy Murray

    Tennis fans can relax - the recorded coverage of Scottish First Minister's Questions on BBC Two will now be delayed until 12:15 GMT - when the tennis will switch to BBC One. Follow the match online with live video, radio and text commentary as Britain's Andy Murray takes on Tomas Berdych in the men's semi-final of the Australian Open.

     
  74.  
    Tim Reid, BBC Political Correspondent

    tweets: Did the Scottish party leaders do their prep for FMQs after all-or stick with the #MurrayBerdych game? live shortly bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-s…

     
  75.  
    Nigel Farage, UKIP leader

    tweets: I'll be on @daily_politics in a matter of minutes. Tune in now...

    (Editor's note: The programme is being slightly delayed by the Australian Open Tennis)

     
  76.  
    12:00: Churchill's funeral re-broadcast
    Richard Dimbleby Richard Dimbleby commentating on Sir Winston Churchill's state funeral for the BBC

    Fifty years to the day, BBC Parliament is re-broadcasting the state funeral of Sir Winston Churchill. Introduced by Sir Winston's grandson, Sir Nicholas Soames, the historic broadcast runs for a little over four hours. Fourteen reels of film, complete with impeccable commentary by Richard Dimbleby, have been restored, joined and re-mastered. The showing starts at 0915 on Friday 30 January.

     
  77.  
    11:54: Westminster 'trip' continued... Chris Mason Political correspondent, BBC News

    "We heard of a plan to knock over the [BBC] cameraman and cause the House to be suspended, and then they would blame it on us and suggest we shouldn't be there," the documentary's reporter said, adding that parliamentary staff had let them know about the plot and had managed to prevent it from happening. He said there were "very few" opponents to the documentary being filmed at Westminster, but "in Parliament every day there are cunning plans; it is a place made for plotting and conspiracy".

    The first episode is broadcast on Tuesday 3 February on BBC Two at 21:00 GMT.

     
  78.  
    11:49: Westminster 'trip' Chris Mason Political correspondent, BBC News

    MPs plotted to knock over a BBC cameraman in the House of Commons - in the hope of stopping a new documentary on life at Westminster. The documentary maker Michael Cockerill told reporters about the plan at a press screening of his new series Inside the Commons, which starts on BBC Two next week.

    "I'm not fingering anyone by name," Mr Cockerill said, when asked who was involved in the plot. But he did say they were "right wing Tories... what Downing Street know as the berserkers - the naughty bench." He declined to name the cameraman who was the subject of the apparent skulduggery.

     
  79.  
    11:45: Actor quits Labour Party

    In Scotland, actor Brian Cox has quit the Labour Party and joined the Scottish National Party. Cox has attacked the "empty rhetoric of leading members of the [Labour] party" and says they no longer stand for social democracy, the Press Association reports.

     
  80.  
    11:41: Birmingham schools statement House of Commons Parliament
    Tristram Hunt in the Commons

    Nicky Morgan, responding to Tristram Hunt's attack on the government's education reforms, says the shadow education secretary is "absolutely wrong" to blame the coalition. The problem, she says, started "long before" 2010. Hunt, arms folded as he leans back on the frontbench, scoffs in response. Morgan wraps up by saying ministers are "building resilience into the system".

     
  81.  
    11:36: Child abuse inquiry House of Commons Parliament

    Conservative MP Tim Loughton has been pressing the government on delays in finding someone to chair its independent inquiry on child abuse. During questions to Commons Leader William Hague, Mr Loughton, a former children's minister, said there had been no announcement as promised from Home Secretary Theresa May and requested a debate. Mr Hague said Mrs May would be before MPs in the coming weeks and that the government was determined the work of the inquiry would continue while Parliament is dissolved for the general election.

     
  82.  
    11:33: Birmingham schools statement House of Commons Parliament
    Tristram Hunt in the Commons

    Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt says the government "did nothing" in response to warnings emerging from Birmingham before the 'Trojan Horse' story hit the newspapers. Hunt says there is a broader problem for which the coalition is ultimately to blame. "We do hold this government to account for a chaotic and disjointed schools policy which has increased the threat to child safety and attainment. And sadly, the government's response to this has fallen short."

     
  83.  
    PoliticsHome

    tweets: .@NickyMorgan01 says "every school shld be promoting British values, not just as bulwark against extremism but b/c it is right thing to do"

     
  84.  
    Guardian politics
    man shouting

    tweets: Clegg: next Cameron will ask the 'tea lady' to join debates bit.ly/1twXvqS

     
  85.  
    11:23: Birmingham school statement House of Commons Parliament

    Education Secretary Nicky Morgan says she has told Labour-run Birmingham council officials that "reform is too slow" - and threatens to use emergency powers allowing her to intervene if they do not make changes quickly.

     
  86.  
    11:21: Birmingham schools statement House of Commons Parliament
    Nicky Morgan

    Nicky Morgan says progress has been made since concerns about extremism in Birmingham schools emerged. The schools in question are being incorporated into broader networks in Birmingham and teachers are being investigated, the education secretary says. "We have acted swiftly," she adds.

     
  87.  
    11:17: Birmingham schools statement House of Commons Parliament

    Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is on her feet in the Commons, making a statement on Birmingham schools and the so-called Trojan Horse plot. She starts by pledging to address all the concerns which have been raised.

     
  88.  
    11:14: NHS boost 'mainly down to Labour supporters' BBC News Channel
    The Kings Fund's John Appleby

    New figures suggesting satisfaction with the NHS is at a near record high are unlikely to be the result of recent, direct experience of the service. That's according to the Kings Fund Health think-tank. The Fund's John Appleby told the BBC News Channel that the NHS rating among Labour voters was up 11%, while it was flat among Conservative supporters. Professor Appleby thought that suggested it was a vote of "solidarity" and support for the concept of the NHS.

     
  89.  
    11:11: 'Extremism' in Birmingham schools

    In the next few minutes Education Secretary Nicky Morgan will give an update on dealing with alleged extremism in Birmingham schools. Yesterday, Ofsted's chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, warned that radicals "have gone to ground" but would return in Birmingham schools unless there was extra funding to recruit better teachers.

    In June, Ofsted issued a damning verdict on the running of a number of Birmingham's schools, placing five into special measures. And this month, the Department for Education issued its own review, one of a series of investigations prompted by the so-called "Trojan Horse letter" - now widely believed to be a hoax.

    The anonymous letter, sent to the local council, referred to an alleged plot by hard-line Muslims to seize control of school governing boards in the city.

     
  90.  
    11:08: League tables explained
    girl reading

    The number of state secondary schools in England considered to be underperforming has more than doubled in a year, according to official figures. Wondering what the figures mean? The BBC News website looks at what school performance data is and what it really means.

     
  91.  
    11:08: Angela Eagle v William Hague House of Commons Parliament
    William Hague in the Commons

    William Hague gets laughs of his own as he responds to Angela Eagle in the Commons. He says Baroness Kramer's watch gaffe wasn't the best gift of the week. That honour goes to Ed Miliband, who received "the gift of being defended by the noble lord Lord Kinnock". Hague says this is a "sure sign of impending disaster", to the mirth of Tory backbenchers. "His belief that Labour is pursuing the right election strategy will be of great comfort to all of us."

     
  92.  
    11:07: Michael Gove's watch House of Commons Parliament
    Michael Gove in Downing Street

    Angela Eagle, who has presumably heard it from reliable sources, recounts an unfortunate incident during Cabinet. She says proceedings were interrupted by Michael Gove's smart watch as it played "one of Beyonce's latest hits". Eagle then turns this into a dig at Gove's absence from the Commons chamber. She gets a big laugh as she wraps up by saying dryly: "Any watch which is smart enough to play Beyonce can surely tell him when business questions is."

     
  93.  
    11:05: Angela Eagle v William Hague House of Commons Parliament
    Angela Eagle in the Commons

    A recap of business questions in the Commons. It began with shadow leader of the House Angela Eagle reviewing the week:

    • On plain packaging, she suggests the government's last-gasp U-turn to support the measure occurred because ministers realised the Conservatives' election adviser and lobbyist "Lynton Crosby wasn't looking"
    • On the NHS, Eagle highlights "overstretched hospitals" and says "the Tories' pledge to protect the NHS is now in tatters".
    • On the Lib Dems, Eagle highlights Baroness Kramer's unfortunate gaffe while on a visit to Taipei. "She gave the city's mayor a watch, which is taboo in local culture because it suggests the recipient's time is running out. She should have given it to her party leader."
     
  94.  
    @BBCNormanS Norman Smith, BBC News Assistant Political Editor

    tweets: Ed Miliband says case for Mansion Tax getting "stronger and stronger"

     
  95.  
    11:04: Voter registration
    Voting in the 2010 general election

    Labour has already claimed changes to the way voters get their names on the electoral roll mean a million fewer people are registered for the general election. Now the leader of the party's Local Government Association group has urged parliament to intervene. Cllr Jim McMahon told local government paper the MJ that councils had "been asked to do the impossible by the [Electoral] Commission". And he warned: "Whilst the current political focus is on the level of voter registration amongst students for the General Election in May 2015, the real democratic crisis will come in December 2015 when potentially millions of voters will be removed from the electoral register."

     
  96.  
    11:02: Broadcasters on the TV debates

    The BBC's Director General Tony Hall says: "We would not be fulfilling our obligations of impartiality to the voters of Northern Ireland if we were to invite one of the Northern Ireland parties but not all the others, which also have substantial support in Northern Ireland."

    Both the BBC and UTV plan dedicated debates in Northern Ireland involving all the larger parties there. The broadcasters are also reiterating that the debates will go ahead even if any of the leaders refuse to participate.

     
  97.  
    11:00: Breaking News: TV debates

    The BBC, Sky and ITN confirm they will not be inviting Northern Ireland's DUP Party to take part in the main televised debates ahead of the general election. The broadcasters are proposing three debates - one between David Cameron and Ed Miliband, and two adding Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, UKIP, the Green Party, the SNP and Plaid Cymru. The DUP had demanded to be included, but in a joint statement the broadcasters say allowing only one of the Northern Ireland parties to take part "would be unfair and discriminatory".

     
  98.  
    10:59: Clegg's 'Monster Raving Loony' jibe
    Natalie Bennett, Nigel Farage, Nick Clegg, David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nicola Sturgeon, Leanne Wood

    On his LBC phone-in earlier, Nick Clegg was less than complimentary about the way his coalition partner David Cameron is approaching the proposed TV debates. Referring to the PM's calls for the Green Party, then the DUP, to be included, Mr Clegg said: "I suspect next week he will be worried about the fate of the Monster Raving Loony Party." Here's the full story of his comments.

     
  99.  
    10:43: Fracking fallout House of Commons Parliament

    Labour is going on the offensive on fracking in the Commons, as Angela Eagle criticises the government for not being open enough about its shale gas policy. Environment secretary Liz Truss holds the line: "Fracking has a huge potential to provide jobs and growth and also lower our energy costs, and that is why it's so important that we proceed with this vital technology," she says. The exchanges follow Lib Dem Tessa Munt's resignation over the issue earlier this week.

     
  100.  
    10:26: Election battlegrounds
    election map

    We may not know who will win the next general election but we do know which parts of the country will determine the fates of the political parties. The killing grounds in any general election can be found among that minority of parliamentary constituencies - marginal seats - with a history of being won or lost by parties. Here is a guide to the political battlegrounds of the 2015 general election.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • The AmericansThe good guys?

    A US TV show examining the Cold War is offering a radical revision of history, writes Eric Kohn

Programmes

  • A person wears a mask at the Vevcani Carnival in MacedoniaThe Travel Show Watch

    The masked Balkan carnival attracting thousands to the streets of Vevcani

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.