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Summary

  1. There are 32 days until the general election on 7 May
  2. Chancellor George Osborne tells Sky News it is "not his plan" to cut top rate of tax from 45p to 40p
  3. Lib Dem David Laws tells Radio 5 live the Tories have shown “unbelievable cheek” in taking credit for rises in the personal tax allowance
  4. Labour leader Ed Miliband wanted to be seen as a "happy warrior" in last Thursday's TV debate, according to notes reported by the Sun

Live Reporting

By Marie Jackson, Rob Corp, Brian Wheeler and Adam Donald

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Sunday Summary

If you thought the holiday occasion would dampen political spirits you'd have been wrong - here's the main stories we covered/followed up today:

We've already glanced at some of the stories set to feature on the news bulletins tomorrow - and you can be sure we'll be bringing you all the developments and reaction as it happens. Join us tomorrow at 06:00 GMT for another day on the campaign trail.

Tomorrow's Independent

Tomorrow's Independent front page, via the BBC's Nick Sutton:

Tomorrow's Independent front page
Independent

Tomorrow's Daily Mail

Tomorrow's Daily Mail front page, via the BBC's Nick Sutton:

Tomorrow's Daily Mail front page
Daily Mail

Tomorrow's Daily Telegraph

Tomorrow's Telegraph front page, via the BBC's Nick Sutton:

Tomorrow's Telegraph front page
The Telegraph

Tomorrow's Times

Tomorrow's Times front page, via the BBC's Nick Sutton:

Tomorrow's Times front page
The Times

Tomorrow's New York Post

A guest appearance in our paper preview from American tabloid the New York Post, which has mocked up its own idea of how former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg would look if - as reported in the Sunday Times - he were to entertain standing to be mayor of London in 2016. It's unclear how running London would work with a simultaneous career as a member of the Queen's Guard. Via the Sunday Times' Sarah Baxter:

Tomorrow's New York Post front page
New York Post

Tomorrow's Financial Times

Tomorrow's Financial Times front page,via the BBC's Nick Sutton:

Tomorrow's FT front page
Financial Times

Tomorrow's i

Tomorrow's i front page, via the BBC's Nick Sutton:

Tomorrow's i front page
Independent

Tomorrow's Guardian

Tomorrow's Guardian front page, via the BBC's Nick Sutton:

Tomorrow's Guardian front page
Guardian

'We'll take care of the bosses'

The Independent

Tomorrow's Independent carries an interview with Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem chief secretary to the Treasury, in which he claims that during policy discussions in 2012 a senior Conservative minister - whom Mr Alexander doesn't name - told him: "You take care of the workers and we’ll take care of the bosses." Mr Alexander claims this "really spelt out where their priorities lay", in terms of trying to push through tax cuts for higher earners.

Danny Alexander and George Osborne
Press Association

On the UKIP trail

Nigel Farage drinking
Press Association

The BBC's UKIP campaign correspondent Robin Brant has created an innovative report on Nigel Farage's activities yesterday in Margate. Click here to have Robin guide you through the story.

'Time for a new politics'

The Guardian

Leaders' debate
PA

In The Guardian, Zoe Williams says the flurry of commentary about what Nicola Sturgeon might or might not have said to the French ambassador displays the "nasty machinations" of Westminster at its worst: "When credulity pushes past reality into believing any damned thing you want to believe, the system suffers as a whole. It’s time for a new politics."

Election night bed-time

Ballot box
Press Association

The Press Association has a list of the estimated time each constituency will be declaring its result on the late night/early morning of 7/8 May. But we know you'll be sticking with the BBC's coverage all the way until every seat has been called, not just your own. Last time the coalition was formed after five days of bargaining - so if history repeats itself, we'll forgive you a few hours of sleep.

Simply Red's Hucknall red no more

Yesterday Labour wheeled out a host of famous faces to endorse the party, including Ben Elton, Eddie Izzard and Martin Freeman. But there's one star they haven't persuaded. Despite once donating £25,000 to the Labour Party, it appears Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall will not be casting a ballot for Ed Miliband's party in May. The Sun reports that he told guests at a London bash that if he had to vote, he would vote for "the coalition".On Labour, he allegedly said: "The stuff they're coming out with, this cap on profit. The freeze. It's just mad. It will not work."

Mick Hucknall
BBC

Farage 'not a punk'

And that headline should be taken literally. Buzzfeed's Alan White reports on the debunking of a picture which purported to show Nigel Farage dressed - and acting - like a punk in 1983. It's a fake, but we know you want to see it anyway:

Fake picture of Nigel Farage as a punk
@sketchaganda

Sturgeon memo

Nicola Sturgeon
AFP/Getty Images

Scottish Secretary Alastair Carmichael has confirmed the leaked memo which recounts the details of a meeting between Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the French ambassador was written in the Scotland Office - not the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The memo alleges that Ms Sturgeon told the ambassador she would prefer David Cameron to Ed Miliband as prime minister - something she fiercely denies ever saying.

Matt Chorley, Mail Online political editor

@MattChorley

tweets:

After "loser poll" in MoS, tonight Farage emailed Ukip supporters asking for a "personal favour" of help in Thanet

Email text
@MattChorley

Election outcomes: who agrees on what?

The Independent

In today's Independent on Sunday, John Rentoul has an informative graphic showing where party policies overlap, and therefore what we might expect from different variants of another coalition government.

Dan Hodges, Telegraph commentator

@DPJHodges

tweets :

Now Douglas Carswell is effectively running as an independent, Ukip's entire election strategy is now based on winning 1 seat.

Gaby Hinsliff, Guardian columnist

@gabyhinsliff

tweets :

How do you out-cute a PM feeding a baby lamb? presumably EdM now has to rescue an ickle kitten stuck up a tree, while Clegg gets a puppy.

and

Not sure about Nigel Farage. I can more imagine him cheerfully tucking into an Easter lamb, tbh.

2015's 'political uniform'

The BBC's Kerry Alexandra takes a look at one of the social media stories of the week: people having fun with the fact that those party leaders who strive to appear different dress in a remarkably similar fashion. Here's David Cameron in the ensemble of the modern politician when in the wild (that is, not in Westminster). You'll have to click over to Kerry's article to see Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg model the same range.

Cameron composite image
BBC

NHS treatment for foreigners - the public speaks

Doctor treating patient
Press Association

Nigel Farage's criticism during Thursday's debate of NHS treatment of foreigners with HIV embroiled the UKIP leader in controversy - admittedly, not an unusual experience for him. He claimed he had the "overwhelming" support of the British people in his stance that the NHS should not offer free immediate treatment to foreign nationals. Today, a YouGov poll has found that 50% of respondents would support a ban on non-British citizens receiving NHS treatment unless they had lived in the UK for five years, with 34% opposed to such a ban and 16% unsure. On the question of HIV sufferers specifically, 52% of respondents agreed with the statement: "Nigel Farage was right to raise this issue - immigrants with serious conditions like HIV are costing the health service a large amount of money". By contrast, 34% said: "Nigel Farage was just scaremongering - compared to the total cost of the NHS this is a drop in the ocean."

Downtime

Ed Miliband and family
Press Association

Tomorrow's bank holiday is likely the last time for a while politicians will be able to relax for even a short period - the next one is 4 May, a mere three days before the general election. So if they have any TV shows to binge-watch or books they want to linger over, the party leaders best get to them tonight and tomorrow. Time with the kids might be in short supply, too - and special advisers are really no replacement.

The Economist

@TheEconomist

tweets:

David Cameron claimed increased NHS spending by £12.7 billion. NHS spending has actually been falling since 2013 http://econ.st/1xyfcbu

Twitter grab
The Economist

Emily Ashton, BuzzFeed senior political correspondent

@elashton

tweets:

Cameron just can't resist picking up a lovable farm animal

Cameron pictures
@elashton

'Marmite man' Salmond

Alex Salmond
Press Association

Alex Salmond - or even just his picture - has already loomed large in the election campaign.The Financial Times hits the election trail (paywall) with the former SNP leader, a 'Marmite man' (you either love him or hate him) fighting to win the constituency of Gordon.

Recap

Never a day off for Election Live. Marie Jackson and Rob Corp are relinquishing the controls - here's what they've covered in the political world so far today:

Brian Wheeler and Adam Donald are here to take you through to midnight with updates on all of the above stories - and the best from elsewhere.

BBC election coverage past and present

Before the 1964 election, Harold Wilson talks to the BBC's Robin Day
BBC

The 2015 Politics Live page debuted with 100 days to go until polls open on 7 May - and it's just the latest in a long line of innovations in our election coverage. Check out our collaboration with the University of Sussex outlining the history of BBC coverage here.

'What's the plan?': Ed Balls

Ed Balls
Screengrab

Labour's Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls wants answers from the Tories on the subject of tax cuts.

When George Osborne cut the top rate of income tax from 50p down to 45p we know that he and David Cameron wanted to go further and actually cut it to 40p. They need to tell us... is that their plan?"

Tax rises? What tax rises?

The Spectator

HMRC
Reuters

Spectator editor Fraser Nelson says shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie's interview on Sky News' Murnaghan programme earlier confirmed Labour will have to raise taxes it has not yet disclosed: "You don’t need a PhD in economics to work out that if Labour does not agree with the Tory plans for spending reform, and it wants to get the government’s current spending into surplus, it will need to raise more taxes – and ones it hasn't told us about yet."

Matt Chorley, Mail Online political editor

@MattChorley

tweets :

AA Gill notes in STimes how TV debate did 4 Qs in "slightly longer than it took Shakespeare to get thorough A Midsummer Night's Dream"

'End austerity': Wood

BBC Radio 4

Leanne Wood
Getty

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood says her party would try to push a minority Labour government to the left. She tells The World This Weekend on Radio 4 her priorities are to end austerity and rebalance power and wealth.

Many people who vote Labour do so because of what Labour used to stand for in terms of their old values. And if we, with others, my friends in the SNP and any Greens that are elected in England, can put pressure to bear on the Labour Party to force them to consider what their original values were all about, then I think that's something that would have backing from people."

Political blogger Guido Fawkes

@GuidoFawkes

tweets:

Breakdown YouGov poll on NHS health tourism: 50% back Farage, 34% oppose, 16% don't know.

Channel 4 news presenter Cathy Newman

@cathynewman

tweets:

Having once been called upon to deliver a lamb I say @David_Cameron was lucky. Animal midwifery worse than eating a bacon sandwich on camera

Listen to Laws

BBC Radio 5 Live

If you missed David Laws on Pienaar's Politics earlier, you can listen to the clip here.

In the office

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael (third left) with Mike Crockart (second left) and Lib Dem activists
PA

No lambs here sadly, just Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael (third left) lending his support to Lib Dem Edinburgh West candidate Mike Crockart (second left) at a Liberal Democrat campaign office in Edinburgh.

'No plan to cut top-rate tax': Cameron

David Cameron
Screengrab

David Cameron is asked if he will cut the top rate of tax in a Conservative government.

It's not our policy. It's not our plan. Our plan is to raise to £12,500 the basic rate threshold so that we take another million people out of income tax altogether and cut tax for 30 million people. That's the plan. We're also going to raise the 40p threshold to £50,000 because too many middle-income families have been pulled into that tax rate. Those are our plans and they're the ones we'll pursue."

You can watch a clip of Mr Cameron's interview in our story on tax.

Election cock-ups and confrontations

John Prescott in scuffle
Press Association
Well, at least he won the election

The BBC's Giles Dilnot looks at some of the more distinctive ways politicians have dominated the news cycle during elections past - whether in facing difficult questions, making a controversial remark with a 'hot mic', or - as the now Lord Prescott of Kingston upon Hull can testify - by swinging fists.

Ross Hawkins, BBC political correspondent

@rosschawkins

tweets:

Opening paragraph of the weekend from @ShippersUnbound

Newspaper
@rosschawkins