Party election broadcasts 2014
Use the links below to watch campaign broadcasts for the 2014 European Parliament and local elections. This page will be updated regularly throughout the campaign before polling day on 22 May.
Use the links below to watch campaign broadcasts for the 2014 European Parliament and local elections. This page will be updated regularly throughout the campaign before polling day on 22 May.
Labour's Hilary Benn says it was unwise of the prime minister to make the promise on net migration, and criticises Ms Perry for trying to "blame everyone else". Asked what Labour's plan is, he says the party would have a "fair" immigration policy that requires migrants to the UK to contribute. "That's what we're doing," Ms Perry intervenes.
Over to the MPs panel now, and transport minister Claire Perry concedes that the government had not met the target. But she says that no-one could have predicted the UK would become the "jobs factory of Europe", which is why migration to the UK has increased, she adds. Ms Perry stresses the government's "commitment" to bringing down immigration.
The Guardian's Nick Watt predicts that Ed Miliband will not want to define his election campaign on immigration, but rather on the cost of living. "But for today's purposes he felt he had a clear way of getting a clear win on immigration, and clearly the prime minister was uneasy," he adds.
Let's go back to the Daily Politics for a moment, where we're getting some reaction to PMQs. Guardian commentator Nick Watt says the PM clearly knew what was coming on immigration. He knew that Ed Miliband would mention David Cameron's pre-election "contract with Britain", and so had a copy to hand to reel off commitments that had been met, he added.
That brings an end to this week's Prime Minister's Questions and in a short while MPs will turn their attention to the Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill, which is going through its final stages in the Commons.
Labour MP John Woodcock raised a question, before the session ended, on Furness General Hospital, after an investigation rules that a "lethal mix" of failures led to the unnecessary deaths of 11 babies and one mother. David Cameron says it is a "very important report", adding that the government wanted to see many of its recommendations implemented. Where there are problems in the NHS it is important not to sweep them under the carpet but be open and honest about them, he says, adding that his heart goes out to all those whose children died at the hospital.
Labour MP Iain Mckenzie's attempt to attack David Cameron over the government's energy reforms backfires slightly, as the PM uses it as an opportunity to go on an attack of his own, by making fun of Labour's "price freeze" which he said would increase consumers' bills as energy costs have fallen.
Lib Dem MP Mark Hunter asks the prime minister if he supports a campaign to ensure that all nursery staff are qualified in paediatric first aid, and if so, if he will seek to hurry up a government review on the matter. David Cameron says it makes sense for as many people as possible to have that sort of training, and promises to speak to the relevant minister in charge of the review.
Labour MP Meg Munn says it is time to make child protection "much more central" within the Ofsted process and ensure every school is inspected on this area regularly, even if they are rated "outstanding". David Cameron says he will look carefully at her suggestion.
tweets: Cameron refuses to rule out putting up tuition fees if re-elected #pmqs
Seema Malhotra, a Labour MP, uses her question to ask the PM to rule out increasing tuition fees any further. David Cameron says universities are now better funded, with the number of students having increased, including from poorer backgrounds. Labour has taken four years to work out its own "useless" policy, which hits universities and helps rich students rather than poor ones. It represents the "chaos" that a Labour government would bring, he adds.
tweets: In #PMQs. Never seen anyone look so upset that youth unemployment's gone down as the people opposite me.Just Wow.Election time IS here. :-(
A question from Conservative MP Guy Opperman provides David Cameron with a rather helpful opportunity to set out his "long-term economic plan" for the north east. He goes on to list of what he says are the government's economic achievements.
Labour MP Julie Elliot criticises the government over what she sees as its failure on the national minimum wage, which prompts David Cameron to defend his record in this area, citing steps taken to enhance enforcement of the law.
tweets: #pmqs Dave extolling the benefits of pubs. I hear they make a great place to leave the kids...
"I bring the House good news," declares Andrew Griffiths, who tells MPs that British beer sales are up for the first time in a decade - praising the scrapping of the beer duty escalator and cuts in beer duty. He calls for further cuts to the beer duty. David Cameron praises Mr Griffith's campaign work in this area, adding that the government has been a "good friend" to pubs and the beer industry.
David Cameron faces the opposition benches.
tweets: Seriously unconvinced there's any point whatsoever to #pmqs at this point in the electoral cycle.
tweets: That sound is the nails being screwed into the coffin of the TV debates #PMQs. Or else it's the sound of Labour MPs making chicken noises
tweets: Only 10 Labour MPs put their hands up when Cameron asked how many would use Ed's pic in leaflets. Can't believe they fell for that #PMQs
tweets: Sign of Tory discipline that Fox's question was about Trident not spending 2% of GDP on defence
tweets: PM ducks two offers from Ed Miliband to do the head to head tv debate the broadcasters have offered #pmqs
Liam Fox, former Tory defence secretary, seeks assurances that David Cameron would not agree to scrap the renewal of Britain's Trident nuclear weapons system in any future coalition negotiations. Mr Cameron reaffirms his commitment to the deterrent and says Labour needs to rule out any possibility of a coalition with the SNP, who have said the scrapping of Trident would be a red line in any coalition negotiations.
Lib Dem David Ward asks the PM whether he feels his and Ed Miliband's behaviour at Prime Minister's Questions either enhances or damages the image of Parliament. In his reply, the prime minister acknowledges it is "inevitably a robust exchange" but says there is always room for improvement. PMQs has an important function, in that it holds government to account, he adds.
tweets: Real prob with Ed M saying he'll attend head to head debate on Apr 30, even if Cam doesn't: TV unlikely to empty chair a 2-way
Labour backbencher David Winnick says he doesn't want to be personal but... the PM "doesn't understand" the lives of people who try to live on modest incomes. The Conservatives remain the party of the rich and privileged, he adds. David Cameron responds that 1.85 million more people are now in work as a result of the government's policies, as he defends his record in office.
tweets: I can't think anyone can call today's PMQs anything other than a total walkover for @Ed_Miliband. Not often one can say that.
On to backbench exchanges now. Barry Gardiner, the Labour MP for Brent North, uses his question to raise concerns about targets for cancer referrals. David Cameron tells him there has been a 50% increase in cancer referrals, and stresses the importance of early diagnosis. He also underlines the need to keep on with the Cancer Drugs Fund.
Ed Miliband tries once again, asking the PM if he will commit to the debates - which is met with the same reply from the PM, who adds that Mr Miliband wants to avoid debating with the Greens. This gives him the chance to joke that Labour's leader had seen Natalie Bennett's "car crash" interview last week as a "master class". That brings the leaders' exchanges to a close.
"So it's all about leadership?" responds Ed Miliband - which gets cheers from the Tory backbenchers. The Labour leader changes subjects, and goes on the attack over TV election debates, asking the PM if he will commit to the proposed head-to-head debate with him on 30 April. Mr Cameron does not say he will take part, saying "we're having a debate now" and says Miliband can't talk about jobs or the economy because of the government's success.
The PM takes a swipe at Ed Miliband whom he says Labour MPs do not want to feature on their election leaflets. He asks for a show of hands for those going to feature Mr Miliband on their leaflets. Lots of arms are raised on the Conservative benches.
Speaker John Bercow tries to quieten noisy MPs, telling them they should consider what their rowdiness looks like to the public, whose votes they will be seeking soon.
tweets: Cheeky of Miliband to attack Cam on migration given Labour's open-doors policy #PMQs
tweets: Challenge for Miliband is to criticise Cameron for breaking a promise without appearing anti-immigration. #PMQs
UKIP's immigration spokesman Steven Woolfe says the party's points-based system will work like someone "submitting a CV". "People from anywhere across the world, irrespective of whatever culture, creed, nationality you are, goes onto our system whether its online or through an organisation helping them and puts in their application," he says.
"If they fit the points they go through to the next stage. Then the Commission will work out what sort of numbers we need for each year. If it says we need 50,000 people that year then we'll have 50,000 visa available and that goes through those people that have passed."
Speaker Bercow is on his feet again, and calls for order (it's getting pretty rowdy in the chamber). Over to Ed Miliband, who says the PM must admit he has broken his promise. David Cameron says he has cut migration from outside the EU but that it has risen from within the EU. He's back to his list of commitments met again.
After Ed Miliband accuses David Cameron of breaking his promise to cut net migration, the PM reels off a list of pledges that he says the government has honoured - much to his backbenchers' delight. Speaker John Bercow cuts him off for taking too long, opening the floor to Ed Miliband who says Mr Cameron's promise on immigration was not worth the paper it's written on.
tweets: Cameron again refuses to say if he discussed tax avoidance with Lord Green. He did/didn't*(*delete according to politics) #pmqs
David Cameron adds that he wants to keep the economy strong but change the benefits system. Labour wants to protect the benefits system and trash the economy, he adds.
Ed Miliband is on his feet and begins his questioning on immigration. He says the PM made a "no ifs, no buts" promise to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands and had said people should vote him out if he didn't keep it but now it's higher than when he took office, he says. David Cameron says the strength of the UK economy and the benefits system were the reasons why migration had gone up.
tweets: Lots of empty space on the green benches today #pmqs
The first question to the PM comes from Labour MP Khalid Mahmood, who asks David Cameron to clarify whether he or the chancellor had a conversation with former trade minister Lord Green about HSBC's tax affairs. David Cameron responds by saying all the proper checks were made on Lord Green's appointment, and that Labour had employed him as a trade adviser.
tweets: Am told that tomorrow is World Erotic Book Day. Shall I ask at #PMQs what the PM will do to mark it? (Maybe not).
Guardian commentator Nick Watt offers his predictions on Ed Miliband's line of questioning at this week's PMQs. He thinks the Labour leader would be on more comfortable ground if he goes on David Cameron's "failure" to meet the net migration target, rather than this morning's IFS report on household incomes.
Tim Aker, UKIP MEP and parliamentary candidate for Thurrock, rejects assertions that UKIP has changed its mind on its immigration policy. He says the party has been "consistent", and that its target is to bring immigration under control.
tweets: Interesting on @bbc5live panel..Farage claims of UK being most crowded country contradicted by Reckless who agreed with me - Netherlands is!
UKIP's Steven Woolfe gets a double round of applause as he says "when UKIP come into power, when we win this election... and when we do so Channel 4 by the way, I will be the immigration spokesman not the fantasy person you created."
Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb answers questions in the Commons.
On tuition fees, Labour front bencher Hilary Benn rejects the notion that Labour's policy - to reduce them from £9,000 to £6,000 - is "unravelling". He contends that Labour is on the side of students.
Lib Dem party president Tim Farron is pressed over the party's prospects at the forthcoming election. He thinks predictions the Lib Dems will lose up to 30 seats will not prove accurate. He says if the election is a "difficult experience" and the party comes through it "then the leader deserves all the credit for bringing us through it".
tweets: Here are the poll graphics from #bbcdp debate with @afneil @Jo_Coburn @claire4devizes @timfarron @hilarybennmp
The first subject under discussion is this morning's IFS report which says average household incomes are back to where they were before the financial crisis. Conservative minister Claire Perry welcomes the report's findings and says the trend on the cost of living is "really improving".
Shadow Wales secretary Owen Smith also pays tribute to departing Welsh MPs. He notes that the list includes two former Labour secretaries of state: Peter Hain and Paul Murphy.
UKIP's immigration spokesman Steven Woolfe is speaking now. As you can see the party's slogan is Believe in Britain.
Mr Farage says that over 600,000 people came to settle in the UK last year. That's true - the figures from the Office for National Statistics show that immigration was up to 624,000 in the year to September 2014 from 530,000 in the previous 12 months. About 327,000 people emigrated from the UK in the same period. That left a net migration figure of 289,000, which is the one mostly talked about when politicians debate immigration levels.
Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb tells MPs that this is the last Wales Office questions before the general election. He pays tribute to eight MPs in Wales who are standing down in May, saying they have "served their constituencies with distinction".
The Daily Politics programme is under way, with Conservative MP and transport minister Claire Perry, shadow communities and local government secretary Hilary Benn and Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron on today's panel. We'll be bringing you live updates.
Questions to Wales Office ministers are just starting in the Commons. Topics include the labour market in Wales, the tourism sector, the Severn Barrage, and healthcare provision across the border between Wales and England.
"In the most overcrowded country in Europe... we have to build one new dwelling every seven minutes just to cope with current levels of immigration," Mr Farage adds. He says he knows an unlimited supply of unskilled labour and open door immigration have been a boon for the very wealthy - which he says have done well from cheaper nannies and chauffeurs and gardeners - and businesses which "have kept wages artificially low."
Energy Secretary Ed Davey has announced the launch of a new £70m tranche of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund from Monday 16 March. He's been speaking to Money Saving Expert, and said up to £5,600 will be available to households in England and Wales to help with the costs of installing energy saving improvements. The money off vouchers will be available on a first-come first-served basis. The fund offers cashback and incentives on such things as double-glazing, insulation and boilers.
"The big debate in the 1970s was whether we could accommodate 28,000 migrants from Uganda... but we did and they turned out to be one of the most successful migrant groups in our history," Mr Farage says.
"We don't want mass immigration to continue as it is... we need better controls over our borders," Mr Farage says. He claims UKIP has a common sense policy on immigration. He adds UKIP is the only party that will talk honestly about immigration, which he says is the number one issue for most voters. He claims the current policy discriminates against skilled migrants from India and other parts of the Commonwealth in favour of unskilled migrants from southern and eastern Europe.
Mr Farage claims net migration levels used to sit at around 30,000 a year - he said earlier that he was referring to figures from the 1950s to the late 1990s. He continues by saying there is nothing wrong with wanting to control immigration, saying "we want to do what the Australians do". He claims an influx of unskilled migrants has also meant that for many the "minimum wage has become the maximum wage".
"It is perhaps no wonder that 77% of the British public want us to take back control of our borders," says Mr Farage as he makes his opening salvo in his immigration speech. He then starts to link the pressure on services including the NHS and pressure on communities to immigration too.
The day in the House of Commons begins in a few minutes' time, as MPs put questions to the Secretary of State for Wales, Stephen Crabb. Shortly after 12.00 GMT, Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband face each other for Prime Minister's Questions.
Tory MP Dominic Raab has laid into the Green party on the Conservativehome blog. He calls the party's policies dangerous and irresponsible. He also warns the Greens "may threaten Labour most. But, that wouldn't stop them forming a Red-Green alliance that draws from the most economically and socially irresponsible agenda presented by any UK party for a generation".
The Guardian's latest election poll projects the Conservatives will win 277 seats at the general election, Labour 271, the SNP 51, the Lib Dems 25, UKIP 4, the Greens 1.
In November former chief whip Andrew Mitchell lost his High Court libel action against News Group Newspapers over a story in the Sun in 2012 which claimed he called PC Toby Rowland a "pleb" during a row about whether he could cycle out of the main gates in Downing Street. Mr Mitchell acknowledged that he had used bad language but maintained he had not used that word. Delivering his ruling, Mr Justice Mitting said he was satisfied that the MP did say the word "pleb". PC Toby Rowland counter-sued Mr Mitchell over the claims, hence today's settlement.
If you're a little behind the times on the "Plebgate" row or it it passed you by somehow then the BBC has a handy timeline, which should take you through it all.
It's been a long and tangled tale, the plebgate saga. Here's our news story on the latest development - the £80,000 pay out by Andrew Mitchell to Pc Toby Rowland. We'll be building it up as more details come in.
Business Minister Matthew Hancock begins his interview rather like his boss did earlier by avoiding the question raised by the IFS report about the divergence in fortunes between young and old. "It's a big moment. This is very big news," he says, hailing the positives. But he goes on to say: "The job isn't done. We're moving in the right direction." He adds that the government doesn't "care about the data" but about individual people.
tweets: Seeing homes being built by @barrattplc in Thurrock. 95% will be sold to first time buyers with Help to Buy mortgages
tweets: A third of people who registered to vote on #NVRD were aged 16-24: are you registered?
Yup it's true, we've checked. John Humphreys did in fact ask George Osborne the same question six times as Ed Balls has claimed. In case you missed it, it was did he [the chancellor] speak to Lord Green about the allegations that HSBC clients had evaded tax before the government appointed him as a trade minister?
From the Press Association: Pc Toby Rowland, the police officer at the centre of the notorious Downing Street "Plebgate" incident, has accepted £80,000 damages in settlement of his libel action against former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell, a High Court judge was told today.
tweets: Joking aside, if you read @Nigel_Farage Telegraph article, most significant thing is change of tone. Migrant bashing gone. And that's good.
tweets: Most encouraging thing for the Tories about latest YouGov is that their vote share is up to 36%, might not be stuck in the low 30s anymore
Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls has responded to Chancellor George Osborne's interview on the Today programme earlier. He accuses the chancellor of refusing to answer the same question six times. We may go back and listen to see if this is true.
Mr Balls says: "George Osborne was asked six times whether he discussed allegations of tax evasion at HSBC with Lord Green, the bank's former chairman, and six times he refused to answer.
"What has George Osborne got to hide? People will draw their own conclusions from his total failure to answer.
"The chancellor also struggled to explain why, since the government received these files in May 2010, only one person has been prosecuted out of 1,100 names.
"David Cameron and George Osborne must now come clean about their discussions with Lord Green - both while he was a Tory minister and before they appointed him."
"The slowness of this recovery seems to me to be quite unprecedented," says Jonathan Portes, from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. He's being asked about the IFS's report out today. Mr Portes also points out something we spotted too, that George Osborne avoided answering when it was put to him on the BBC News Channel earlier that people over 60 are getting richer while younger people aren't.
Simon Walker, director general of the IoD, told the Today programme a week ago that existing limits on skilled migrants were "draconian". He said the fact the government couldn't block EU migrants meant all the burden fell on those people coming from outside the EU, "and that's really damaging". "They should be able to come here freely if they are qualified and able and many of them have been students here and often have to leave rather than work in the country they have come to call home," he added.
tweets: Ukip's migration cap joins the flat tax and their 2010 manifesto in the "dumped by @Nigel_Farage" list
Transport minister Claire Perry and shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn join Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn throughout the programme. They'll look ahead to the election with Tim Farron from the Liberal Democrats, and UKIP MP Mark Reckless will be on to discuss his party's immigration plans. Journalist and editor of Briebart UK James Delingpole will say why he thinks obese people are putting too much of a strain on the NHS, and there will be live coverage of Prime Minister's Questions. Desktop users can watch the programme live, or later, via the Live Coverage tab above.
It's also probably worth pointing out that last week, the Institute of Directors (IoD) said the current cap on skilled migrants entering the UK from outside the European Union - yes there already is one - of 20,700 annually was "damaging and restrictive" to the UK economy. It called on the government to raise the limit.
In theory, as they argue, UKIP would be able to bring net migration down very swiftly if the UK were to leave the EU as they desire. Last week, official figures showed 57% of those coming to the UK were from Europe.
tweets: Farage: "Our intention is to bring net migration to between 20k + 50k". From cap to target to ambition. And now an 'intention'
On the subject of migrants' salaries, you might be interested to know that Nigel Farage pays his wife, who was born in Germany, £27,000 a year to be his secretary. Here's the Daily Mail's story from last year about that.
Pressed further by the BBC's assistant political editor Norman Smith over his immigration policy, Nigel Farage says: "We need a degree of flexibility over what we need, and what we don't need is the continued mass migration into the UK of unskilled workers. Our intention is to bring net migration to between 20,000 and 50,000." He says the media are "obsessed by targets, let's talk about policy".
Mr Farage is asked if he is just making policy up as he goes along? He says not. He repeats his claim that 27,000 people would have come into the UK under the points system UKIP is proposing. "Some years it will be more, but at the moment net migration is running at 10 times what it was for most of last 50 years of the 20th century," he says.
Asked if people coming to the UK would need to meet a minimum income target of £27,000 - something they had been expected to announce - Mr Farage says: "There will be no statement that it will be £27,000. It is likely to be £27,000. What we want is people who come to the UK with a skill, who don't have a criminal record or life threatening illness," he adds.
Au contraire, says UKIP leader Nigel Farage, "it isn't a U-turn". "I don't think we get anywhere near 50,000," he says. Under an Australian points-based system only 27,000 people would have been admitted to the UK last year, he insists.
It looks like UKIP are going to be completing a policy U-turn on immigration targets today. That's after UKIP's immigration spokesman Steve Woolfe told the BBC last week that the party was committed to a migration target of 50,000 coming to work in the UK, only for his party leader to claim UKIP would not commit to a target in a Daily Telegraph article today.
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