Labour making progress, says Ed Miliband

Miliband: Vote shows "deep sense of discontent"

Ed Miliband has said Labour's second place in the European elections shows the party is "making progress", but acknowledged it has "further to go".

Labour finished behind UKIP but ahead of the Conservatives, while its vote share was up by nearly 10% on 2009.

Labour's leader said there was "deep discontent" in the UK and it must show it could "answer the call for change".

But Mr Miliband said the party would not be changing its position on a referendum on EU membership.

Labour has said it will only hold a public vote if there are any plans for further powers to be transferred from the UK to the EU and opposes the Conservatives' pledge to hold an in-out referendum in 2017.

Labour had hoped to beat UKIP to top the European poll, but it finished in second place in terms of total votes.

However, its 25.4% share of the overall vote is much higher than the 15.7% it obtained in 2009, after the party came first in Wales, the North West and North East of England, as well as London.

Party

It has 20 MEPs, up seven on 2009. Mr Miliband said he was pleased with the results, which follows gains in Thursday's English council elections.

He rejected suggestions Labour should be doing better less than a year before the general election, saying the results proved Labour was continuing to recover support it had lost since 2009.

"We won the local elections. We beat the Tories in the European elections. These elections show Labour making progress. We have further to go and I am absolutely determined we do that."

UKIP's victory was more than a vote about Europe, he said, suggesting it reflected the "deep discontent" among large sections of the population about the way the economy worked and other issues.

He added: "The challenge for Labour is to understand the lessons of these elections and show that we can answer the desire for change."

Claude Moraes making his victory speech at London's City Hall Claude Moraes (l) was one of Labour's three winning candidates in London

Mr Miliband said there needed to be change in Europe but he had set out his position on the circumstances in which a referendum would be held and said that would not change in the light of UKIP's performance.

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna said the result showed that victory in the 2015 general election was "not in the bag".

He told the BBC that Labour had not won a European election for more than 20 years and he welcomed the extra scrutiny that UKIP would get as a result of their victory.

Criticism

While his party had to take UKIP seriously, he said the public expected more from Labour.

"The challenge for us as prospective parties of government is that we are not treated the same as UKIP, in the sense that people expect us to provide answers, and that's what we are doing," he said.

However, two senior backbenchers have told the BBC there is a feeling of "complete despondency" about the party's election performance.

Both MPs said Ed Miliband "clearly got it wrong" by not committing to an in/out EU referendum and the party was "out of position" on Europe.

One of the MPs said Labour could not rely on winning seats in London and the party's message must reflect the concerns of voters outside the capital. Another added that the results pointed to Labour coming third in England behind UKIP and the Conservatives which was "very worrying".

UKIP has topped the poll, with 25 MEPs and 27.5% of the vote - up 11% on five years ago. The Conservatives got 19 MEPS and on 23.9%of the vote, are 3.8% down on their 2009 showing.

Labour topped the local elections in England on Thursday but fell short of the margin of victory some had said it needs to secure a majority at Westminster. It gained 338 councillors.

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  1.  
    @paulwaugh 17:19: Paul Waugh, editor of Politics Home

    Tweets: "Looks like an 8-way. Labour back DUP too. Source: "We can see no good reason to treat NI differently to the rest of the UK in these debates"

     
  2.  
    @MichaelLCrick 17:14: Michael Crick, Political Correspondent, Channel 4 News

    Tweets: "Forget this 100 days tomorrow lark, it's now 78 days, maybe fewer, before people start voting in significant numbers in election - by post"

     
  3.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 17:04: Get involved

    G Kelly, Hampshire: 101 days of what seems to be a no-brainer. After the election, regardless whether there is an overall majority or not, there will only be one Prime Minister and that will be either David Cameron or Ed Milliband. Minority parties could enter into coalition, but with whom? Dreams of holding a working balance of power are just that - dreams.

     
  4.  
    House of Lords 16:50: Internet privacy

    The Lords have begun considering the main business of the day: an 18-page cross party amendment to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, re-introducing the so-called "Snoopers Charter" which makes internet service providers log more of what people do online.

    It would also make the logged data more easily accessible to law enforcement and security services.

    The motion has been tabled by four senior peers: Lord King of Bridgewater, a Conservative former defence secretary; the cross-bencher and former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Lord Blair of Boughton; the Labour former security minister Lord West of Spithead, and the Liberal Democrat Lord Carlile of Berriew, the former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation.

     
  5.  
    @Kevin_Maguire 16:40: Kevin Maguire, Daily Mirror

    tweets: How newspaper readers voted 2010: Mirror Lab 59%, Con 16%. Mail Con 59%, Lab 16%! See photo

     
  6.  
    #ukipfilmtitles trending on Twitter

    @EmmaJCot tweets: 10 Things I Hate About EU #UkipFilmTitles

    @miky85tre tweets: Union Jackass #UkipFilmTitles

     
  7.  
    16:27: Silence from Amjad Bashir Guido Fawkes

    The Guido Fawkes blog reports that Amjad Bashir has been "gagged" by the Conservative Party, and is not allowed to make a statement on his own behalf to respond to a number of stories about his past that have emerged since his defection from UKIP. The website says that when directly asked if he had previously been a member of Respect, Mr Bashir hung up the phone without answering.

     
  8.  
    16:16: House of Commons

    In its rolling coverage of today's business in Parliament, BBC Democracy Live reports that the timetable for today's debate on the Infrastructure Bill has been approved and the session is under way.

     
  9.  
    16:04: Lord Ashcroft poll Conservative Home

    At Conservative Home, Lord Ashcroft outlines the results of his latest national poll. Labour and the Conservatives are level on 32%, with UKIP in third-place on 15%. The Greens come fourth at 9%, with the Liberal Democrats in fifth-place with 6%. 1,001 adults were interviewed by telephone between 23 and 25 January.

     
  10.  
    15:50: BBC News Channel

    Tessa Jowell, the Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, tells the BBC's Vicki Young: "People are more interested than we give them credit for. It depends how the campaign is conducted - the real campaign will be on the doorsteps, and church halls, and the villages and town centres of the country. That's where people do engage."

     
  11.  
    15:41: Party support in London

    The Evening Standard unveils a poll which shows Labour have a clear lead in London, with a number of coalition MPs in the capital facing a tough battle for their seats. Ed Miliband's party sits on 42%, with the Conservatives second on 32%. The Liberal Democrats have sunk to fifth-place with 7%, behind UKIP and the Greens.

     
  12.  
    @ftwestminster Financial Times Westminster

    tweets: Four themes that will decide the election on.ft.com/1Dad2gl

     
  13.  
    15:39: BBC/Populus issues poll

    Find out more about the results of the BBC's poll - which asked what people see as the most important issue to be covered by the news ahead of the election. The NHS came ahead of the economy, immigration, welfare and jobs.

     
  14.  
    15:35: Changing sides
    Douglas Carswell

    "What I do know is that it's incredibly difficult when someone changes side in politics."

    Douglas Carswell tells the Daily Politics show about the defection of UKIP MEP Amjad Bashir to the Conservatives, hours after he was suspended over various allegations by the party he was leaving.

    The Essex MP also speaks to Jo Coburn about his own defection in the opposite political direction last year.

     
  15.  
    15:24: Better than an empty chair?
    Champagne glasses

    Former SNP leader Alex Salmond tells the Aberdeen Press and Journal he thinks the broadcasters should put objects in place of any party leaders who don't show up for the TV debates. He suggested the following:

    David Cameron - a glass of champagne

    Ed Miliband - a bacon sandwich

    Nick Clegg - the pledge not to raise tuition fees he signed during the 2010 general election campaign

    Nigel Farage - a pint of beer

    Mr Salmond also said a debate between just David Cameron and Ed Miliband would be a simple re-run of PMQs, which has "turned off more television sets than the standby button".

     
  16.  
    15:17: Reality Check: Immigration
    Mark Easton

    In this video, the BBC's home editor Mark Easton reports on how immigration could factor as one of the big issues in the general election.

     
  17.  
    Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay Get involved

    @Liz_Hutchins tweets: 'We are addicted to the fag ends of fossil fuels' @julianhuppert tells rally #banfracking

     
  18.  
    15:05: Hoax call to No 10

    Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg says it is "quite right" that security is being reviewed after a hoax caller - posing as the head of government monitoring agency GCHQ - got to speak to the prime minister.

    Mr Clegg says: "Downing Street has been clear that this is being looked in to at the moment and when a hoax call like that take place, security arrangements are of course, quite rightly, reviewed."

     
  19.  
    14:59: Today in Parliament

    Work and Pensions questions kick off today's action in the House of Commons, with the controversial under-occupancy penalty - or what opponents label the "bedroom tax" - one of the topics set to be discussed.

    The House of Lords will consider the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill. A number of peers, including former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Blair, are attempting to introduce an amendment to the bill, and have faced accusations they are effectively re-introducing the so-called "Snoopers Charter" after it was emphatically rejected by a joint parliamentary committee on the Communications Data Bill.

    You can follow the BBC's coverage of Parliament on Westminster Live.

     
  20.  
    14:58: 'We've stuck with it' BBC News Channel
    Liberal Democrat MP Ian Swales

    Liberal Democrat MP Ian Swales tells the BBC: "I think the fact that the coalition has been here five years proves that we can do business with people. We've had to react to the problems in the country, we knew that life would be difficult for us, both in government and as a party - but we've stuck at it, we've stuck together.

    "And I think we've made a huge difference that the public will come to recognise - maybe over the coming years when historians start to write this Parliament up they'll realise what a great job we've done."

     
  21.  
    14:48: 'Nasty' tag The Daily Mail

    A YouGov/Prospect poll for the Daily Mail says the Tories' lead Labour when voters are forced to choose between the two parties, but that 42% of voters still see the Conservatives as the "nasty party".

     
  22.  
    14:47: Election scenarios The Guardian

    The Guardian's Tom Clark looks at some of the potential outcomes of a hung parliament in May, and asks what kind of deals - if any - we might expect to see between the parties.

     
  23.  
    14:43: Fracking vote

    MPs will attempt to amend a government bill on infrastructure later on Monday - to bar the fracking of shale gas. The House of Commons debate on fracking should start just after 15:30 GMT - with voting starting at 17:30. You can watch proceedings on Democracy Live.

     
  24.  
    14:37: Three wise men BBC News Channel
    Sir Menzies Campbell, Jack Straw & Sir Richard Ottoway

    Biggest changes they've seen at Parliament? Sir Menzies Campbell, Jack Straw & Sir Richard Ottoway give their views - Watch their BBC News Channel interview on Twitter

     
  25.  
    The Daily Telegraph

    James Kirkup contrasts Ed Miliband's response to the Greek election result with David Cameron's, and says the Labour leader's "bland, faintly pious, and politically pointless" words leave him looking "like a bystander".

     
  26.  
    Isabel Hardman The Spectator

    writes: As coalition rows go, today's 'spat' over who is most supportive of aspirational voters really is the more boring for a while. Read more

     
  27.  
    14:25: Reality Check: Health & the NHS

    And in this report, the BBC's health editor Hugh Pym asks how the NHS will feature in the general election campaign.

     
  28.  
    14:15: Reality Check: Education
    gillian hargreaves

    Over the next three months, the BBC is going to look at the main party manifestos and 'reality check' the facts and figures that are presented.

    In this video, the BBC's education correspondent Gillian Hargreaves examines the issues that politicians will have to tackle affecting schools and universities in the run up to the general election.

     
  29.  
    14:11: Ask Nick Robinson

    More from BBC political editor Nick Robinson, who is doing a live Facebook Q&A until 1430:

    Facebook
     
  30.  
    14:03: Clegg on election debates

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says he is "not completely happy" with the proposals for the televised election debates, but acknowledges that "everyone is going to have to compromise".

    He says: "I hope David Cameron takes part in those leaders' debates. I hope everyone does. I think, you know, you shouldn't be looking for excuses to wriggle out of them which appears to be the approach from the Conservative party so far."

     
  31.  
    13:56: Jagger on fracking BBC News Channel
     Bianca Jagger

    Former actress and human rights campaigner, Bianca Jagger, has joined the anti-fracking rally at Westminster. She tells BBC News: "What I hope to achieve is to convince MPs that what is at stake here is our way of life, our environment, our water sources, the air we breathe everyday - that this will be putting in danger even our commitment to reducing CO2 emissions."

     
  32.  
    13:50: Anti-fracking protest
    protesters at westminster

    Anti-fracking campaigners are protesting at Westminster where they will be handing in a petition to MPs later, signed by 300,000 people. They are opposing legislation that would allow companies to frack - or extract shale gas - from beneath people's land and home without landowners' permission.

    It comes as an influential committee of MPs has called for a moratorium on fracking on the grounds that it could derail efforts to tackle climate change.

     
  33.  
    13:47: Clegg on Greece

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said that differences of opinion between Greece and other European countries must be "resolved quickly" to avoid "a long period of instability" in the eurozone.

    "Clearly the election results in Greece will now lead to a period of uncertainty in the eurozone. Any uncertainty is frankly unwelcome because what you need is stability and certainty for economic growth to really take root. And I think that one of the lessons that we can all draw looking at Greece is that we could have been Greece. As a country our deficit back in 2010 was very similar to the deficit that Greece had.

    "We took the difficult and frankly at times downright unpopular decisions to pull the country back from the brink and I hope that whatever the differences of opinion are between Greece and those other parts of the eurozone, that those differences can be resolved quickly because we can't afford a long period of instability."

     
  34.  
    13:45: Ask Nick Robinson

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson is on Facebook now, dispensing wisdom on your questions and comments in a live Q&A. Here's a sample:

    Facebook
     
  35.  
    13:39: 100 constituencies
    thurrock

    The BBC's Today programme is visiting 100 constituencies between now and polling day. The BBC's Matthew Price has been in Thurrock and finds that it is now a three-way battle.

    "The fracturing of the political landscape, which is happening across the country, makes this one of the least predictable general elections the UK has seen in recent memory," he says.

    As far as Harris, a 27-year-old scrap metal merchant from Grays in Essex, is concerned, the last five years have seen a shift in the political landscape of this country. "People's ideas of what they want have changed," he says.

     
  36.  
    Norman Smith BBC Assistant Political Editor

    tweets: Ed Miliband accuses PM of playing politics over reaction to Greek election result

     
  37.  
    13:29: Ask Nick Robinson

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson is at his keyboard, preparing to answer your questions on a live Facebook Q&A.

    Nick Robinson
     
  38.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk Get involved

    Louis Lavery emails: Online voting, by mobile too, I assume? That'd likely encourage far more youngsters to vote. So long as it can be made secure. Someone give Dave a ring and see what he thinks.

     
  39.  
    Ross Hawkins Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: YouGov for Standard puts Lib Dems 5th in London, behind UKIP & Greens, Lab 10 ahead of Cons standard.co.uk/news/politics/… via @JoeMurphyLondon

     
  40.  
    13:01: How Parliament has changed BBC News Channel
    Sir Menzies Campbell, Jack Straw and Richard Ottoway

    The BBC's Norman Smith spoke to three eminent Parliamentarians planning to step down at the next election. Richard Ottoway, right, Jack Straw, centre, and Sir Menzies Campbell, who said the big changes he had seen was the pace of the news cycle and the lack of time to "sit, read and to think". He also said constituents were much more demanding than they used to be.

     
  41.  
    Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay Get involved

    @x00 tweets: Not sure I trust online voting enough. Or e-voting either >> Election should include online voting in 2020 - Bercow http://bbc.in/18hEQG1

     
  42.  
    12:45: Online voting plans

    Labour's Angela Eagle, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, said the Speaker's Commission on Digital Democracy "suggests some interesting ways to improve our democracy and help us meet the challenges of our modern age".

    "Labour is committed to piloting online voting to see if it can be done securely and affordably. We will also create a new democracy portal to draw together in one place all of the things you need to know before you vote, we will make it easier to register to vote and we will reform the scrutiny of legislation to formalise a role for the public and give a greater role to backbench MPs."

     
  43.  
    12:34: Lib Dem tax plans
    Danny Alexander Danny Alexander, left, with Vince Cable earlier this month

    Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander hits back at Conservative claims that Lib Dem plans to raise taxes are the "enemy of aspiration".

    "The Tories seem to think that aspiration should be for the rich. The Lib Dems are delivering opportunity for everyone. We have been cutting taxes from millions of working people against the wishes of the Conservatives, eight million families over £1,300-a-year better off thanks to the Liberal Democrat tax cuts. The Tories need to recognise that everybody has the right to expect the government to be on their side, not just the wealthiest."

     
  44.  
    @estembassyuk Estonian Embassy UK

    tweets: John Bercow talks abt perks of e-voting http://ow.ly/HWeOu via @guardian. #Estonia has used e-voting since 2005 http://ow.ly/HWa1H

     
  45.  
    12:20: Greek election fallout Robin Brant Political Correspondent, BBC News

    The prime minister "respects the decision of the Greek people" but he believes that the new Greek government "need to meet their international commitments" to the IMF and other creditors, Downing Street says. Asked if David Cameron has spoken to either Germany's Angela Merkel or France's President Hollande since the election result, the PM's official spokesperson said "no".

     
  46.  
    12:09: Online voting plans BBC Radio 4 The World at One

    Professor Ian Brown, Associate Director of Oxford University's Cyber Security Centre, has told the BBC's World at One that a proposal to introduce online voting by 2020 is "really incredibly optimistic". Professor Brown, who contributed to the democracy commission set up by Commons Speaker John Bercow, said the proposal would not be deliverable in time.

    "For national elections you really want to be very sure indeed that people aren't able to break into voting systems and to affect people's opinion of the trustworthiness of the results, which I think unfortunately would be a very significant risk if we in the UK were to introduce online voting in the kind of time-frame that John Bercow has talked about," he has told the programme.

     
  47.  
    12:07: Daily Politics

    The Daily Politics with Jo Coburn is under way - today they are looking at Greece's election fallout, the row over fracking and whether the old-fashioned ballot box will be a thing of the past by 2020. You can watch it live via the Live Coverage tab on this page, or on a TV on BBC Two.

     
  48.  
    12:01: Cameron on TV debates

    The prime minister has suggested that he believes that the general election leaders' debates should also represent parties in Northern Ireland. The PM was asked if he would "turn up" for the proposed seven-way debates which would include the Green Party, the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru.

    He said: "We are making good progress. I was told that it was 'appalling' and 'outrageous' that I had suggested that you couldn't have one minor party without having the other minor party and I'm delighted the broadcasters have gone away and thought again. They've actually come up with rather more minor parties that I had in mind, but anyway, I'm sure they've thought it all through and they know what they are doing. Although I don't quite see why Northern Ireland seems to be missing out, because as far as I am concerned that's as important part of the United Kingdom as Wales or Scotland. But anyway, we are making good progress and I'm sure they know what they are doing.

    "I want to take part, they needed to do the minor party thing and they've certainly done that."

     
  49.  
    11:53: Coalition lessons from abroad Norman Smith BBC Assistant Political Editor

    The average time it takes continental governments to form a coalition is, on average, 30 days. "So after the election we could have a good few weeks of wrangling and manoeuvring as we try and cobble together a coalition."

     
  50.  
    11:53: Hung future?
    Nick Pearce

    Nick Pearce, director of the Institute for Public Policy Research, talks to the BBC about the possibility of a hung Parliament at the next election.

    He says coalition negotiations are often down to policy but the personal dynamics between leaders are very important too.

    "Britain is clearly evolving into a truly multi-party system," he says.

     
  51.  
    @Neil_FindlayMSP 11:53: Neil Findlay, Labour MSP

    tweets: Good to see the SNP do a U turn on the proposed women's super prison - public and Labour pressure making a real difference!

     
  52.  
    11:51: Downing Street latest Robin Brant Political Correspondent, BBC News

    Downing Street says an internal review is under way but the prime minister's official spokesman says the hoax call failings are not a disciplinary matter and they don't believe a crime was committed.

     
  53.  
    11:49: Downing Street latest Robin Brant Political Correspondent, BBC News

    The prime minister believes GCHQ should "learn what lessons to learn from this" as Downing Street confirmed an internal review was underway into how a hoax caller got through to the PM yesterday. The prime minister's official spokesman said it was not a disciplinary matter, although she admitted that parts of the protocol for putting calls through to the PM "were not followed". Asked if GCHQ's director Robert Hannigan had apologised to the PM she said that had not happened.

     
  54.  
    11:47: Osborne: Fishing & the risk from Greece

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  55.  
    11:45: Osborne: Fishing & the risk from Greece
    George Osborne

    UK Chancellor George Osborne, speaking in Plymouth, says: "This morning I was on a fishing boat in Newquay and the fisherman, Phil, who has fished for crabs and has done so for the last 40 years, was explaining to me how his business was being affected by the fact that spider crabs that he sells to Spain are not being sold in the same volumes - because the eurozone is not working, because jobs aren't there in Spain."

     
  56.  
    11:43: Braced for the long campaign Norman Smith BBC Assistant Political Editor

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  57.  
    11:43: Rajeev Syal The Guardian

    Here's the Guardian's take on the idea that people should be offered the opportunity to cast their vote online in the 2020 general election, as suggested by a commission set up by House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow.

     
  58.  
    11:29: Greece election Robert Peston Business editor, BBC News

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  59.  
    11:27: Quote: Cameron on hoax call

    "I had Florence on my back - to add to the exercise regime... My Blackberry went in my pocket - I answered it and it claimed to be a conference call established, which I do obviously very frequently with the head of GCHQ and some of the staff in my office. A voice came through which I didn't recognise, the voice said that he was sorry to wake me up which I thought was strange as it was eleven o'clock in the morning, and so I quite rapidly asked "Who is this?" and the answer came "It is a hoax call" and so I pushed the red button on my Blackberry which ended the call.

    "No harm was done, no national security was breached but it is important when these thing happen to that we do everything we can to put in place systems to weed out hoax calls but every now and again I suspect these things will happen"

     
  60.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk Get involved

    Louis Lavery emails: Does the "greater security for everyone and every family" include our phone calls, Dave?

     
  61.  
    11:25: Key dates ahead Jo Coburn BBC political correspondent

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  62.  
    11:21: Labour letter

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    "The letter - signed by MPs on the left of the Parliamentary Labour Party - calls for an alternative to Labour's current deficit reduction plans, public ownership of the railways and a return to collective bargaining and employment rights in the workplace."

     
  63.  
    11:14: Election debates BBC Radio 5 live

    Broadcasters have proposed TV debates with seven parties taking part. The BBC's John Pienaar imagines what they will sound like… with the help of some creative editing.

     
  64.  
    11:13: Election debates

    "We are making good progress" on the format of the TV election debates, the David Cameron says. "I'm delighted the broadcasters have gone away and thought again.

    "They've actually come up with rather more minor parties than I had in mind. But anyway I'm sure they've thought it all through and they know what they're doing - although I don't quite see why Northern Ireland seems to be missing out because as far as I'm concerned it is an as important part of our United Kingdom as Wales or Scotland.

    "I want to take part."

     
  65.  
    @tessamunt Tessa Munt, Liberal Democrat MP

    tweets: Income tax cuts wouldn't be happening without @libdems in govt. Cameron said they were unaffordable & here's proof - http://bit.ly/15zfwda

     
  66.  
    11:04: Breaking News

    David Cameron has revealed the hoax call came through as he went for a walk with his family after a day trip to Saudi Arabia. He said his mobile rang with the display saying it was a conference call. The person apologised for waking him up. "I thought that was strange as it was eleven o'clock in the morning," said the PM, adding that he did not recognise the voice. He asked who it was and the answer was that it was a hoax call. Mr Cameron said there "no harm done... no national security breached".

     
  67.  
    10:58: Cameron speech

    We must continue to cut the deficit, the PM says. It is not easy but it is absolutely deliverable.

    He says that in the next two years the Conservatives will find a further £13bn of reductions to departmental spending; they will find £12bn of savings in the welfare budget; and they will find £5bn by continuing to make sure the government goes after aggressive tax avoidance and tax evasion.

     
  68.  
    10:57: The Mirror

    Jack Blanchard writes: 101 days to General Election. Here are 101 promises broken by ConDem Coalition government.

     
  69.  
    10:50: Cameron speech
    David Cameron

    Mr Cameron pledges that those earning a yearly income of less than £12,500 will not pay income tax. He also says the Conservatives will increase the 40p income tax threshold.

     
  70.  
    10:45: Cameron speech

    David Cameron says the Conservatives aim to help people by cutting their taxes. "I am a practical, down-to-earth, common-sense Conservative."

     
  71.  
    10:43: Breaking News

    David Cameron has started his campaign speech: "What we want to achieve is greater security for everyone and every family."

     
  72.  
    10:36: Cameron speech

    David Cameron is about to speak in Bursledon, Hamsphire, where he will set out the Conservative Party's third manifesto theme, a Britain that rewards work. You can watch the speech live by clicking on the Live Coverage tab at the top of this page.

     
  73.  
    10:27: Campaign countdown
    Labour MP Mike O'Brian

    There are marginal constituencies across the UK that will signpost which way this election will go. Our Midlands political editor, Patrick Burns, is in Coleshill in Warwickshire - the second most marginal seat in Britain with a Conservative majority of just 54. Labour Parliamentary candidate Mike O'Brian says he thinks it will be a Labour-Tory fight. He says the government's planned high-speed rail route could be a major issue affecting voters.

     
  74.  
    10:14: Polling matters BBC News Channel

    Is a hung Parliament the most likely outcome of the general election?

    More from Ipsos Mori's Ben Page: "A hung Parliament seems to be the most likely outcome... It could change but in 2005 the polls in January were pretty accurate predictions of what happened in May.

    "Polls are just what people are saying now. But the ones that were done in the week of the election back in 2010 were accurate to about plus or minus 1.1% for each party, which I think you'd agree is pretty good actually."

     
  75.  
    #nofracking trending on Twitter

    @suesmee tweets: As my MP, I'd like @neil_mp to vote against Cuadrilla getting the right to drill under my home - without my permission! #nofracking

    @loobylou43 tweets: I'm really hoping my MP @andrewpercy will vote for amendment 51 to the #infrastructurebill today #nofracking

     
  76.  
    10:06: Polling matters BBC News Channel
    Ben Page

    Ben Page, head of the research company Ipsos Mori, has been talking about polls leading up to the election: "Over the last month or so effectively what you've seen is Labour maybe one point ahead of the Conservatives.

    "That is a change on a year ago and they've gradually seen their lead evaporate effectively - but they are neck and neck and nobody seems to come up with something that allows them to break free of the other. It's a war of the weak in a sense."

     
  77.  
    10:04: 100 Constituencies Matthew Price BBC News

    Two interesting comments from voters here in Thurrock. First Harris, a scrap metal dealer. "What people are worried about has changed in the last five to 10 years." That will affect their vote he believes. He's voting UKIP. Second from Linda at Slimming World. "If my dad was alive and I told him I was going to vote anybody else but Labour he'd lynch me. But now you've got so many different parties. Green party, UKIP, what-have-you." It's going to be an unpredictable election.

    The BBC's Today programme will be visiting 100 constituencies between now and polling day.

     
  78.  
    09:56: Greek election fallout

    The right-wing Independent Greeks party has agreed to form a coalition with the Syriza party - which won Sunday's election. You can find out all the latest on this developing story and its implications on the BBC's dedicated Greece live page.

     
  79.  
    Robin Brant Political Correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: re: cameron hoax call, 'blagging' has been an offence since 2000 under the Data Protection Act 1998...

     
  80.  
    09:47: Hoax calls BBC Radio 4 Today
    Jon Culshaw

    Listen as comedian Jon Culshaw relives the moment he successfully hoax called Tony Blair as he impersonated William Hague, then leader of the opposition. It follows the headline from the The Sun newspaper from a drunk man claiming to have "just made complete monkeys out of GCHQ". The caller says the country's surveillance agency, who gave him the personal mobile number of their boss, also got through to the Prime Minister David Cameron.

     
  81.  
    09:41: Breaking News Mark Lowen BBC News, Athens

    It took just an hour of talks between two party leaders for the coalition to be formed. Greece's new government will comprise the leftists Syriza and a rightwing party, Independent Greeks, also fiercely anti-bailout but far more hardline on other policies such as immigration. Alexis Tsipras will see the President later today and be asked to to form a government. He will then argue he has the democratic mandate to revoke the budget cuts and persuade Europe to write off a portion of Greek debt. It'll meet a cool reception from Brussels and Berlin. Tough negotiations lie ahead to find a compromise that prevents Greece from defaulting on its debt: something that could threaten the country's place in the Euro.

     
  82.  
    09:36: Lord Mandelson warning
    Lord Mandelson

    Labour peer Lord Mandelson is warning today that his party must plan properly for a possible coalition with the Liberal Democrats. He tells the Guardian that while an outright victory is still possible, it is not defeatism to consider the consequences of a failure to win a majority.

     
  83.  
    09:33: Your comments: Fracking

    An influential committee of MPs has called for a moratorium on fracking on the grounds that it could derail efforts to tackle climate change. Paul writes: This is absolutely correct. We need to do the right thing out of principle. The only justification for fracking is greed and short term gain. Tim comments: This group of MPs is called influential. Influential but ignorant would be closer to the mark and that's a scary combination.

    Add your views via the comments module on our news story.

     
  84.  
    09:26: NHS concerns Hugh Pym Health editor

    Looking further ahead - the really big question for all parties is how they will fund the NHS over the next five years, particularly at a time, seemingly, of continued austerity. There's also an increasing and aging population, and patients are looking for better access to new drugs.

     
  85.  
    09:21: Questions for Nick
    Nick Robinson

    Are politicians delivering what you want? The BBC's Nick Robinson will be holding a Facebook Q&A about democracy - linked to his current Radio 4 series - at 13:30 GMT.

     
  86.  
    09:17: Campaign issues

    With 101 days to go the BBC has been finding out what issue most concerns you ahead of the election. The NHS emerged as the most important issue for those surveyed, ahead of the economy and immigration.

    Stats
     
  87.  
    09:15: Digital democracy
    House of Parliament

    We have been reporting on the launch of the Speaker's Commission on Digital Democracy this morning. In addition to encouraging online voting and more public participation in debates, one of its five objectives is to "ensure that everyone can understand" what the House of Commons does by 2020. As part of this, it says parliamentary language and procedures should be "simplified".

     
  88.  
    09:10: Hoax call to No 10
    Priti Patel

    Speaking to the BBC about the hoax call made to David Cameron, Treasury minister Priti Patel says "the most important thing right now is that no sensitive information was disclosed". She also stresses there will be a "full investigation" into what happened.

     
  89.  
    09:08: 100 constituencies Matthew Price BBC News
    Colin

    If Conservatives are to see off a double challenge from both UKIP and Labour in Thurrock they'll need core voters like Colin the car dealer to stick with them. He says he wants the current economic policy to continue so he does want David Cameron back in.

    (There is more on the BBC Today programme's 100 constituencies feature at 0755)

     
  90.  
    09:00: Archive treat 100: Robin Day v George Brown Alex Hunt Politics editor, BBC News Online

    Each day from now until 7 May we'll be bringing you a classic election clip from the BBC archives. We've already selected a fair few but do feel free to suggest some via email at politics@bbc.co.uk or via Twitter @bbcpolitics. Here's the first one -

    Robin Day interviewing George Brown

    If you think it all used to be honey and roses for political interviewees here's an election night clip from 1964 as BBC host Robin Day gets on the wrong side of the deputy leader of the Labour Party, George Brown, when quizzing him on the potential nationalisation of the steel industry.

     
  91.  
    08:56: Osborne full interview BBC Radio 4 Today

    The full BBC interview with Chancellor George Osborne is now online.

    Reacting to the anti-austerity party Syriza's win in the Greek elections, Mr Osborne told Today: "If your economy has shrunk you are going to look for other answers...the things the new government has promised, it's going to be very difficult to deliver."

    On Europe he added: "The institutions of the Eurozone are not working well enough for the people of Europe...people get tired of economic failure and rising unemployment."

     
  92.  
    BBC Politics

    tweets: The 2015 general election will be unlike any other http://bbc.in/1D8M48K

     
  93.  
    08:49: Fracking concerns BBC News Channel

    Joan Walley, chairwoman of the Commons Environmental Audit Committee, has told the BBC that they want the move to shale gas to be put on hold because of environmental and safety concerns. You can read more about their report here.

    Joan Walley
     
  94.  
    @robinbrant Robin Brant, BBC political correspondent

    tweets: It's back in action, up and running, primed for daily updates. The @BBCPolitics elex countdownerer @ChrisMasonBBC

    White board
     
  95.  
    Imelda Flattery BBC News

    tweets: Alexis Tsipras expected to speak to gathered journalists shortly. #Greece

    Media scrum
     
  96.  
    08:29: Greek election fallout

    More from the BBC's interview with Yanis Varoufakis, an economist who stood for Greece's Syriza party in the elections. He says a Greek exit from the eurozone is "not on the cards", and the party is not going to go to Brussels "in a confrontational style".

     
  97.  
    BBC Radio 4 Today

    tweets: 'We will take a plan to the #eurozone to minimise this Greek debacle' #Syriza candidate Yanis Varoufakis #R4today

     
  98.  
    08:22: New role for Lord Smith
    Lord Smith

    Lord Smith of Kelvin is to take on another high-profile role, after agreeing to chair of one of Scotland's largest regeneration projects. Lord Smith, who chaired the Smith Commission on Scottish devolution, will lead Clyde Gateway on delivering the post-2014 Commonwealth Games legacy. The work focuses on regenerating Glasgow's east end. Lord Smith was chairman of the Commonwealth Games organising committee and has a number of other top roles. They include chairing Forth Ports and the Green Investment Bank. He will take up his new unpaid role as chairman of Clyde Gateway next month

     
  99.  
    08:18: Hoax call to No 10 Norman Smith BBC Assistant Political Editor

    No 10 stress the PM's phone number was not given out to the hoaxer. However he was put through to the PM by the switchboard.

     
  100.  
    @BBCGen2015 BBC Generation 2015

    tweets: DEADLINE: Just 1 week for 18-24s to sign up to @BBCGen2015 to take part in BBC Election progs

     

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