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Summary

  1. UK government finances showed a surplus of £8.8bn in January, the Office for National Statistics said
  2. A Lords report on the Ukraine crisis accused the UK and EU of a "catastrophic misreading" of the Kremlin's mood
  3. The Scottish Conservatives held their conference in Edinburgh
  4. George Osborne and Boris Johnson unveiled plans for 24hr transport services in 'long term plan for London'
  5. There are 76 days until the general election

Live Reporting

By Dominic Howell and Adam Donald

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight

It's been another eventful day today with leaders from across the political divide taking swipes at one another. Earlier, we saw David Cameron address the Scottish Conservatives in Edinburgh, and use the opportunity to attack Labour as "weak". Meanwhile, senior Labour party figures warned that voting for the SNP risked "another five years of the Tories". And George Osborne and Boris Johnson unveiled plans for 24-hour transport services in "long term plan for London". Away from the campaign trail much of the focus has been on Greece and the eleventh-hour deal it has struck with eurozone creditors. We'll be back with more news, analysis and reaction to all these stories and more with Politics Live on Sunday from 8am.

The Independent's front page

#bbcpapers

The Independent
The Independent

The Guardian's front page

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The Guardian
The Guardian

Saturday's Daily Mail front page

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Daily Mail
Daily Mail

'Difficult to stomach'

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two,

Just a snippet more on Newsnight's coverage of the Greece deal tonight. BBC's Athens correspondent Mark Lowen told the programme: "This is a major climb down by Greece make no mistake. It will be hard to sell here. Greece has been backed into a corner, it has had to row back on many of the promises the government made before the election. And that will be difficult for some of the voters here to stomach. The government has had to accept supervision from European institutions, to extend a loan that it fundamentally disagreed with..."

Greece deal - 'crunch time for Europe'

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two,

Newsnight tonight focused on the deal struck earlier this evening between Greece and eurozone nations which extended financial aid for the country. The deal came after five hours of bailout talks in Brussels. BBC economics correspondent Duncan Weldon in Brussels told the programme: "Today really was crunch time for Europe. Greece's existing bailout was due to end in just eight days time, and after that the Greek government itself risked running out of money. And perhaps more importantly without a financial backstop in place people would have continued to pull deposits out of Greek banks."

Tomorrow's Mirror front page

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From page of the Mirror
Daily Mirror

Saturday's FT front page

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Financial Times
FT

Weekly review of the polls

David Bowers at

totalpolitics.com has has carried out a weekly review of the polls, and he questions whether a recent rise in support for UKIP and the Lib Dems should be taken at face value. The average of this week's numbers gives the following for each party: Con: 31.7 (-1.1), Lab: 33.4 (-0.5), LD: 8.1 (+1.0), UKIP: 14.6 (+1.3) and Green: 6.3 (-0.8).

The Sun's front page

#bbcpapers

Sun front page
Sun

The Times front page

The Times
The Times

Saturday's Telegraph front page

The Daily Telegraph

Telegraph
Telegraph

Any Questions - Education

BBC Radio 4

A little earlier writer and political commentator Simon Heffer was met with rapturous applause when he called for the government to "bring back grammar schools" for England.

There are about 24,000 state schools in England - 164 are grammar schools. Mr Heffer said he came from a middle class home but was at school with pupils who had fathers who worked as "bus drivers, lorry drivers, and farm labourers" and they all went on to "get great jobs".

He said: "It's not an exclusive system it's not an elitist system...I envy Northern Ireland for having it and I really hope that England will bring back grammar schools for everybody, wherever they live as soon as possible."

Syria: 'More action needed'

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has commented on the story that three east London schoolgirls have flown to Turkey and there are fears they may cross the Syrian border to join the extremist group the Islamic State (IS).

She said: "The idea of 15-year-old British schoolgirls setting off to Syria is very disturbing, and shows that more action is urgently needed to stop young people being drawn into extremism and conflict, and to help families and communities who are trying to counteract extremist recruitment messages.

"Far more needs to be done involving communities, schools and families to prevent young people getting radicalised - including looking at the impact of social media."

Davidson on small businesses

Earlier today Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson gave a speech to Tory delegates in Edinburgh, here's a quick recap of what she said about small businesses....

"Here's the plan we are proposing," she said. "For small and medium sized companies that agree to pay the Living Wage, we'll offer a cut in their business rates over and above any they already get. We won't use public money to prop up pay, but we will cut taxes for small businesses that boost the pay-packets of their workers."

Nigel Farage - UKIP leader

@Nigel_Farage

Tweets: Campaigning in Sandwich, this lad had a UKIP placard in his van! Journos thought it a setup, I promise it wasn't!

Nigel Farage
BBC

Martin Rosenbaum, BBC journalist

@rosenbaum6

tweets: On Week in Westminster Sat11am Radio4, views on 5 yrs in Parliament fm @sarahwollaston @ChiOnwurah @IanLaveryMP @DavidWardMP @RoryStewartUK

Phone records: judicial review

Robin Brant

Political Correspondent, BBC News

More on the government's decision to require judicial review of police requests for access to journalists' records: In his report to David Cameron earlier this month, the interception of communications commissioner Sir Anthony May said police forces should be made to seek a judge's permission when trying to uncover confidential sources. The Home Office has confirmed that a new temporary measure will be introduced under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) which will mean police (or the National Crime Agency or HMRC) are required to seek a judge's permission.

A spokesman for the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "We're glad the Tories have finally found some sense and have at the least agreed to ensure temporary measures are put in place to protect journalist sources...whilst temporary measures are better than none, we will not stop pushing to ensure permanent safeguards are put in place."

Any Questions - TV debates

BBC Radio 4

On Radio 4's Any Questions, DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr. says "the BBC is absolutely wrong - and is on a hiding to nothing - whenever they decide that they can have Plaid Cymru with three members, the SNP with six members on a national broadcast, and say to parties with 8 MPs: you're not going to be included". He adds: "I will be challenged in my seat by a UKIP member, I will be challenged in my seat by a Conservative member - the nation needs to hear the views of all of these parties."

Phone records: judicial review

Robin Brant

Political Correspondent, BBC News

Sim card
Press Association

The government has agreed to let a judge consider future police requests for information from journalists' phone and e-mail records, after the Conservatives came under pressure from Nick Clegg and other media campaigners. The prime minister agreed to the change two weeks ago, but the government is only now publishing details of how it will be done. It comes after the interception commissioner - who audits requests to access communications - reported that 19 police forces made more than 600 applications to uncover confidential sources in the past three years.

BBC's economics editor Robert Peston

@Peston

tweets: Greece will present reform programme on Monday - so eurogroup, IMF and ECB can decide whether this comprehensive enough

BreakingBreaking News

Officials say a deal has been reached between Greece and its eurozone creditors over the country's financial bailout.

Full story here.

Any Questions, 20:00 GMT

BBC Radio 4

Jonathan Dimbleby
BBC

Join Jonathan Dimbleby and guests on Any Questions tonight at 20:00 GMT on Radio 4, with political debate from Lumen Christi College in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland. On the panel: the former chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, Jim Gamble; Sinn Fein MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Michelle Gildernew; writer and political commentator, Simon Heffer; and Democratic Unionist Party MP for North Antrim, Ian Paisley.

More from Green Party leader

Natalie Bennett
BBC

Natalie Bennett, has told BBC London 94.9 that her party want to build half a million new homes across England if they come to power at the general election. She said they wish to fund the homes by removing the mortgage rate relief for private landlords and to end the right to buy scheme, that she called "the privatisation of a public asset".

Bennett: fuel price drop 'not good news'

Natalie Bennett
Getty Images

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has told BBC London 94.9 it is not good news that petrol prices have gone down.

Asked by Eddie Nestor whether the recent drop in prices was a good thing, Ms Bennett responded by saying, "No, it isn't good news", and went on to say the government needs to cut the amount of money being spent on Britain's roads.

Tory campaign tactics

Conservative Home

Conservative poster
Press Association

At Conservative Home,

Mark Wallace takes a look at different approaches within the Conservative Party to general election campaigning. He says: "The tricky task in a campaign is not picking between being positive or negative, it's in making the two sit comfortably and plausibly alongside each other. Switching from the promise of sunlit uplands in one breath to predictions of doom and disaster in the next makes you look mad, not persuasive. If there's some divide among Tory figures about which they prefer to do more of, that won't necessarily do the campaign any harm."

Love and politics

The Daily Telegraph

Frank Doran
BBC

The pressures of being a politician cost Labour MP Frank Doran his first marriage - but helped him find new love too,

he's been telling the Telegraph's Rosa Prince. Mr Doran was first elected to parliament in 1987 but the strain proved too much. "She couldn't quite handle everything that was involved," he explains. When he lost his seat in 1992 he found comfort in fellow Labour MP Joan Ruddock. "[Joan and I] were together when I lost my seat. We've been together now for about 20 years and we married about four years ago," he says. "Because we're both so experienced, we've been here such a long time, we understand all the pressures." He says he's standing down now because he's "old and decrepit".

Speaker's wife's 'horrific ski accident'

Sally Bercow
Press Association

The

Mail Online reports that Sally Bercow, wife of Commons speaker John Bercow, has broken her leg in nine places and faces a 12-week lay-up. Mrs Bercow has previous form in providing colourful headlines, and once entered the Celebrity Big Brother house.

James Cook, BBC News Scotland correspondent

@BBCJamesCook

tweets: Interesting reading Conservative lines on #indyref. Cameron: "the question is settled." Davidson: "this isn't over and it hasn't gone away".

May: UK needs 'extremism strategy'

Home Secretary Theresa May
BBC

Home Secretary Theresa May has said authorities need to look at the ideology which drives young people to travel abroad and join extremist groups. Ms May said it was important to look not just at terrorism but "extremism across the whole spectrum". Click

here for a video of the Home Secretary talking about the need for a UK "extremism strategy".

On Friday, Metropolitan Police said they believed three London schoolgirls were travelling to Syria via Turkey, to join Islamic State militants.

Royal US trip

Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall
AP

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are to meet US President Barack Obama during a four-day tour of the US. The White House said Mr Obama will host the royal couple in the Oval Office on 19 March. They will be in the US from 17 to 20 March to "promote the UK's partnership with the United States", Clarence House said. They will also mark the Magna Carta's 800th anniversary during their trip. Read the full story

here.

Greece latest

Mark Lowen

BBC News, Athens

Greece government source tells me: "There is no agreement so far. There is only the clear message of the Greek Prime Minister to Donald Tusk (EUCO chair) that if no agreement tonight, he will ask for an extraordinary summit."

Read the full story here.

If I were prime minister...

The Independent

Joey Barton
Press Association

For each of the final hundred days before the polls open, the Independent has been inviting one contributor to describe what he or she would do as prime minister.

Today's candidate is footballer - and Twitter philosopher - Joey Barton. His priority is to "privatise religion": "The state should neither be for or against religion. People will continue to be free to indulge in religion in their own time and with their own money. However, religious people should cease to expect taxpayers to subsidise their particular religious thinking and life styles. We shouldn't waste public money on religion when we can better serve the common good by spending money saved on social housing, the NHS and a pluralist education."

Tory Scottish fortunes

Ruth Davidson
BBC

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has told BBC News: "At the last general election here in Scotland [in 2010] we got between four hundred thousand and five hundred thousand votes - the same as the Liberal Democrats and the SNP." Noting the disparity in the number of Commons seats this resulted in for each party, she adds: "Our great strength in Scotland is also our great weakness - our support is spread right across the country."

Apprentices are paid 'exploitative' rates

Some news just in: Apprentices are paid "exploitative" rates and must receive higher wages if the programme is to solve youth unemployment, a report says. The National Union of Students say apprentices cannot afford to travel to their place of work or study, or take time off sick. England's teenage apprentices are entitled to £2.73 an hour - £95 for a 35-hour week. The government is considering raising apprentices' pay by £1 an hour.

Get the full story here.

Cameron hits back at Sturgeon

David Cameron and Nicola Sturgeon 22/01/2015
PA

Last week Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made a speech in London where she blasted Tory spending cuts as "morally unjustifiable". Today, David Cameron hit back at the SNP leader. "I'll tell you what is 'morally unjustifiable', first minister," he said earlier. "And that is racking up more debt than our children and grandchildren could ever hope to re-pay. Passing the buck like every other hopeless left-wing administration in history. "And that's why it will be us - the Conservative Party - who will do the right thing, clear up this mess - and leave Scotland standing taller."

UKIP/Green support

New Statesman

Nigel Farage
Reuters

At the New Statesman's May2015.com general election website,

Will Jennings and Gerry Stoker have an in-depth analysis of the causes for surging support for UKIP and the Greens. "The odds of someone intending to vote Green or UKIP are up to two and a half times higher (and at least 50 per cent greater) if they express distrust in politicians," they write.

Mayoral resignation

Shafiq Chaudhry
Slough Borough Council

Slough's mayor has resigned after attending a court sentencing to support the family of a child sex offender. Shafiq Chaudhry - who serves as a Labour councillor - was in Reading Crown Court on Monday when

Esmatullah Haidaree and Azim Ahmed were jailed for sexual offences against three girls. He said he was trying to "support a family torn apart by one man's horrendous crimes" but understood his actions could be misconstrued.

Alan Roden, Scottish Daily Mail political editor

tweets: Tory delegates listening to Taylor Swift and 1D before @RuthDavidsonMSP speech at #scc15.

Andrew Black, BBC reporter

@BBCAndrewBlack

tweets: . @ScotTories leader @RuthDavidsonMSP addressing her party conference - a few empty seats in the hall. #scc15

Conference hall
BBC