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Summary

  1. Ed Miliband says Labour will not go into coalition with the SNP after the election
  2. Nicola Sturgeon promises the SNP can be a "constructive" force at Westminster for the whole of the UK
  3. UKIP has been added to the list of parties entitled to at least two party election broadcasts, but the Green Party has not
  4. Conservative chairman Grant Shapps faces questions over his outside business interests
  5. Danny Alexander launches a review of business rates aimed at making the system fairer
  6. There are 52 days until the general election

Live Reporting

By Nick Eardley and Angela Harrison

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Signing off

Here's a quick look back at the main stories from the world of politics today:

  • Labour leader Ed Miliband ruled out a formal coalition with the Scottish National Party in the event of a hung parliament, but not a looser arrangement
  • David Cameron said it was "despicable" Mr Miliband had not ruled out a post-election deal with the SNP
  • SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said in a speech that her party could help overhaul the UK's "crumbling" institutions
  • Newsnight reported claims an undercover police operation that gathered evidence of child abuse by Cyril Smith and other public figures was scrapped shortly after the MP was arrested
  • Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps said he had "screwed up" by suggesting he had never had a second job while an MP
  • UKIP was put on the list of "major parties" entitled to at least two party election broadcasts - but the Green Party was not

That's all from the Politics Live page for tonight. We'll be back from 06:00 GMT with all the day's election news, comment and pre-Budget predictions. See you then.

Tomorrow's Herald

Herald front page
Herald

Tomorrow's i

i
Inpho

Paper review

BBC News Channel

Paper review
BBC

Joanne Hart says the UK is not used to discussions over coalitions or pacts - we're more used to majority governments. Torcuil Crichton says Labour wants to talk down the idea of pacts. The party fears that if it starts the conversation on coalitions, it will start talking itself out of power and a possible majority.

Paper review

BBC News Channel

Paper review
BBC

On the paper review, Torcuil Crichton from the Daily Record and Joanne Hart from the Mail on Sunday are discussing the Times splash. The paper reports a Home Office minister - Lord Bates - saying immigration must be reduced as foreign-born mothers are having too many children. Mr Crichton says Lord Bates is wrong - without immigration into the country, "we will fossilise and die off". We need migrants to boost the economy, he says. Ms Hart agrees, saying "Today's migrants are tomorrow's citizens if it's handled properly". And English people aren't having enough children, she adds.

DailySunday Politics

@daily_politics

tweets: Tuesday's guest of the day is @Nigel_Farage joining @Jo_Coburn for our eve-of-Budget #bbcdp programme from 12-1

Tomorrow's Telegraph

Daily Telegraph
Telegraph

Official Secrets

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

Alison Millar, a lawyer representing victims of abuse, has been telling Newsnight the Home Secretary Theresa May should make it clear to officers that they would not be bound by the Official Secrets Act if they wanted to pass on information about investigations into Cyril Smith and an alleged child sex abuse ring in London. The Metropolitan Police is under investigation over claims of a cover-up. It is not commenting because it says the investigation is live.

Jim Murphy on coalitions

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

Jim Murphy
PA

"There isn't going to be a coalition... and we aren't looking for any sort of deal", Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy tells Newsnight. He says Labour wants to retain the Barnett formula and the SNP want to get rid of that - a form of austerity Mr Murphy says Scotland has never seen the likes of before.

Mr Murphy says the party with the most seats in the Commons will form the next government - Labour will only be in charge if they are the biggest party, he says.

BBC Panorama

@BBCPanorama

tweets: Now on @BBCOne #Panorama @clivemyrieBBC reports on #WhatBritainWants: somewhere to #work

Clive Myrie
BBC

Sturgeon on coalitions

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

Nicol;a Sturgeon
PA

Nicola Sturgeon has told Newsnight nothing Ed Miliband said today changed anything - a coalition was "highly unlikely" anyway. She said the party had had no talks. Earlier today the Labour leader ruled out a formal coalition with the SNP.

Scotland's First Minister also said her party wanted an alternative to spending costs: "That's what I stand for."

Ms Sturgeon says she also cares about people in England and progressive change - not just in Scotland.

Mark Wallace, Conservative Home

@wallaceme

tweets: A must-watch #Newsnight report tonight by @nickhopkinsnews on appalling allegations of a Met cover-up of child abuse in Lambeth.

James Lyons, Sunday Times deputy political editor

@STJamesl

tweets: Extraordinary report on Newsnight regarding child abuse cover-up allegations

Tomorrow's Times

The Times
The Times

George Eaton, New Statesman political editor

@georgeeaton

tweets: Danger for Tories of £1m inheritance tax threshold is that reinforces reputation as the party of the rich: just 6% of estates would pay.

Cover-up claims

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

Cyril Smith
BBC

A bit more from Newsnight. The programme has been told an undercover police operation which gathered evidence of child abuse by Cyril Smith and other public figures was scrapped shortly after the MP was arrested. The Liberal MP was held during a 1980s probe into alleged abuse of teenage boys in south London, a source has said. He was allegedly released within hours of being taken to a police station. Here's

more.

Cover-up allegations

BBC Newsnight

BBC Two, 22:30

An undercover investigation into allegations the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith and other prominent figures abused teenage boys was shelved after arrests were made,

BBC Newsnight reports.

Inhertiance tax 'leak'

The Guardian

The Guardian is reporting George Osborne has drawn up plans which would allow parents to pass a property worth up to £1m to their children without facing inheritance tax. The scheme would also reduce the bill on properties up to £2m by £140,000, the paper says. The information comes from documents leaked to the paper, it says. The move was blocked by the Lib Dems, according to the report. More

here.

Tomorrow's Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Daily Mail

Tomorrow's Daily Mirror

Mirror
Mirror

Tomorrow's Guardian

Guardian front page
Guardian

Janan Ganesh, FT columnist

@JananGanesh

tweets: Osborne must leave a legacy that outlives this budget.
My column in tomorrow's FT

Tomorrow's Daily Record

Daily Record
Daily Record

The precariat?

Clive Myrie
BBC

The BBC's Clive Myrie drew on his own family's history to make an

"immersive report" for Panorama on the world of work in Britain today and yesterday.

Laura Kuenssberg, Newsnight chief correspondent

@bbclaurak

tweets: #newsnight @nickhopkinsnews exclusive on child abuse; @BBCAllegra talks to @NicolaSturgeon; @edballsmp + Lab arguments ahead of #budget2015

Financial Times front page

Financial Times front page
FT

Tim Reid, BBC political correspondent

@TimReidBBC

tweets: All quiet on the #bbc #budget2015 studio front but we will be preview-tastic tomorrow

BBC studio
BBC

End of the issue?

The Spectator

Will Ed Miliband's announcement that the Labour party will not go in to formal coalition with the SNP stop attacks from the Conservatives on the issue? Sebastian Payne, over at the Spectator, doesn't think so. He quotes a Tory source saying the party will continue to campaign on the issue. More

here.

'Neck and neck'

In a

blog post, YouGov's Anthony Wells says the most recent polls suggest Labour and the Conservatives "are still neck and neck".

BBC Newsnight

@BBCNewsnight

tweets: Tonight at 22.30 @nickhopkinsnews reveals shocking details of how major paedophile investigation ws shut down after MP arrested #Newsnight

Lobbyists register launch date set

The BBC has been told the government's new register of lobbyists will go live on 25 March. Registrar Alison White said the register, as promised by the coalition, would be "open for business" and lobbyists could sign up online. The BBC's Tom Moseley has the story

here.

Where do I sign?

David Cameron
PA

David Cameron also discussed the TV debates - and online alternatives - in his BuzzFeed interview. The prime minister said: "I'm up for a debate, I'm up for a multi-party debate, whether it is you [BuzzFeed], whether it is another digital debate, whether it is the TV broadcasters, that matters less to me than having a multi-party debate before the campaign gets under way."

He added: "Everyone's got to agree to it but I've said very clearly - multi-party debate before the campaign, where do I sign?"

James Chapman, Daily Mail political editor

@jameschappers

tweets: Cameron tells Buzzfeed he'll stay on as MP if he loses. If so, would he serve in shad Cab after decent interval? Hague did as former leader

David Cameron interview

The Daily Telegraph

David Cameron
PA

Here's The Telegraph's take on the David Cameron interview on BuzzFeed. The newspaper writes that the prime minister suggested he will stay as an MP even if he loses the election.

David Cameron's kitchens

During an interview with BuzzFeed earlier, David Cameron admitted that he had two kitchens, just like Labour leader Ed Miliband. The prime minister told the website he had a second kitchen installed in his house in Notting Hill for the benefit of the carers who looked after his disabled son Ivan, who died in 2009.

Mr Cameron said: "We actually had to extend into the basement and we put in an extra kitchen, not least because I had a very disabled son, Ivan, and his carers were there and they looked after him and so we did that for them, as well as for him."

He added: "The point is not whether you have got two kitchens, but whether you have a photocall in one of them and pretend it's your kitchen. That's the issue."

BuzzFeed UK Politics

@BuzzFeedUKPol

tweets: David Cameron's favourite Game of Thrones character
is Ned Stark

North Sea leader on Budget

A lot is likely to be said about Wednesday's Budget over the next 48 hours. And tonight, on the BBC, one leading figure from the oil and gas industry has said the budget could be the most important in the history of the industry in the North Sea. Sir Ian Wood, who was commissioned by the government to undertake a review of the whole sector, called for Chancellor George Osborne to take "really significant" action. Mr Osborne is widely expected to announce a change in the North Sea tax regime. More

here.

Labour and SNP

David Cameron talks to Jim Waterson, the deputy editor of Buzzfeed UK
Getty Images

A bit more on that key story about Labour ruling out a formal coalition with the Scottish National Party. The Labour leader Ed Miliband said there would be no SNP ministers in his Cabinet. Commentators say the two parties could still come to a different arrangement short of a coalition, such as a "vote by vote" deal.

Tonight, in an interview with Buzzfeed, David Cameron said: "Not ruling out a deal, or a pact, or support from the Scottish National Party means that the Labour Party is effectively saying, we're trying to ride to power on the back of a party that wants to break up our country. Now I don't think that is acceptable. The SNP isn't just any old party, they're a party that thinks that the United Kingdom - our country - shouldn't exist. And so I think it is pretty despicable, frankly, not to say 'look there's no dealing with them we're going to do'. And he's not saying that."

Cover-up allegations

The background to the announcement of an inquiry in to alleged corruption by the Metropolitan police over child sex abuse cases can be found

here.