Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Would you buy a used car from this man?
OK, the party leaders are not trying to sell you a car (though a "car crash" did use to be the Conservatives' favoured metaphor for the economy). But today was all about trust. David Cameron committed himself to introducing a law ruling out tax rises before 2020. His speech concluded with the words: "If you trust me, vote for me." Ed Miliband was asked on ITV why voters should trust him. He said: "That's a judgement you have to make."
Read my lips...
"Read my lips... no new taxes." "An end to boom and bust."

History is littered with politicians promising - or appearing to promise - that they can re-write the rules of economics and then being forced to gag on their own words.

It's not that these leaders are fools - far from it. Even as they uttered those words George Bush Senior and Gordon Brown must have been thinking "fingers crossed". It is, and forgive me for insulting my readers here, that quite a lot of the people whose votes they're trying to secure are, if not fools, not well-versed in economics.

So, it is that the hired hands who advise political parties now tell them that simply saying you want to do something or arguing that everyone knows that your party has those values doesn't cut it in an age of cynicism and short attention spans. Read more >
Nick Robinson
Political editor
PM's pocket protection promise
Not content with merely resolving not to put up taxes, David Cameron has promised a specific law to guarantee no rise in income tax rates, VAT or national insurance before 2020. He said he could put that constraint on a future chancellor because he had "seen the books", and only the Conservatives could manage the economy "without reaching into the pockets of hard-working people and taking their money". Ed Balls dismissed his promises as "two a penny", and the Lib Dems accused the Tories of wanting to "slash and burn support for families". Read more >
The Milibrand Show
The interview took place in Russell Brand's kitchen - where else?
Russell Brand carried out a 15-minute interview with Ed Miliband for his YouTube channel, during which he warned the comedian and campaigner there should be "no euphoria" if Labour wins the election. He added that securing meaningful change will be hard but defended the political system from Mr Brand, who argued that voting was pointless. Yesterday David Cameron labelled the comedian a "joke" because he advised people to withhold their votes. Read more >
Labour commits cash to tax credits
Ed Miliband has claimed the Conservatives have a "secret plan" to put tax credits in the "firing line". He said in contrast Labour would raise tax credits at least in line with inflation every year until 2020 to "protect family budgets".The Tories dismissed the attack, saying it was based on false assumptions about their spending plans. Read more >
Lib Dems serve up free school meal plans
Nick Clegg has said the Lib Dems would push for free school meals to be available to all primary school children in England. Currently on offer to infant school pupils, the Lib Dems want to extend the free meals to seven- to eleven-year-olds by 2017-18. It is estimated that the move would cost £610m a year.
Read more >
Watch: Health debate
Andrew Neil and the BBC's health editor Hugh Pym are joined by leading politicians to debate the parties' plans for the NHS. Watch >
The day in pictures
BBC News picture editor Phil Coomes looks at the photos of the day, including Ruth Davidson astride a tank. View more >
Politics around the UK
Scottish leaders cross swords on Trident
Read more >
Huw Edwards on the view from Anglesey
Read more >
Northern Ireland:
Unionists reject gay marriage referendum idea
Read more >
Printing error on ballot papers in Hull East
Read more >
One schoolgirl's feelings on the campaign
Watch: Politicians do the craziest things
Over the last few weeks we have seen politicians everywhere - from factories and farms, to hospitals and schools.

But whether they are posing with children or animals, the political photo opportunity always has the potential to go wrong. Political Correspondent Chris Mason has been taking a look back at some of the best and worst photo-ops for politicians past and present.
Watch >

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