• 12 Apr 2010

    7.30am Lib Dem press conference.

    8.10am Ed Miliband on Today Programme.

    8.45am David Cameron at campaign event in marginal constituency of Reading West.

    10.40am SNP launches manifesto.

    11.30am Launch of Labour manifesto in Birmingham with Cabinet.

    Scottish Labour launch manifesto.

    Gordon Brown visits 'green' factory in Rugby

    Jon Snow interviewing Gordon Brown on Channel 4

    Shadow Skills Minister John Hayes unveiling Tory apprenticeship scheme at debate in Birmingham.

    Tory Party chairman Eric Pickles in marginal constituency of Crawley where Labour has majority of 37.

    Taxpayers' Alliance in Parliament Square with large 'UK Debt Clock'

  • 12 Apr 2010

    A selection of stories from today's press and other media that relate to Ekklesia's work, produced daily by James Vincent and covering papers such as The Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent, Guardian, and the tabloids.

  • 12 Apr 2010

    A politician who is female, young and Muslim may be a rare sight. Indeed, up until now it's been a non-existent sight within the House of Commons.

    This may be about to change, as the Muslim peace activist Salma Yaqoob is reported to be in with a real chance of winning Birmingham Hall Green.

  • 12 Apr 2010

    According to today’s YouGov tracker poll in The Sun (which seems to be the only poll out this morning) the Lib Dem and ‘Other’ vote still seems to be holding up well. Lib Dems are on 20 (+2) and Others on 12. Whilst a number in any given poll can easily be out by two points or so, it does suggest that the smaller parties are not getting squeezed in the election campaign so far.

  • 11 Apr 2010

    Significantly more voters want a hung parliament (46 per cent) than a Labour (25 per cent) or Conservative (29 per cent) Government.

  • 11 Apr 2010

    Coinciding with the demonstration outside Conservative HQ this afternoon, George Osborne has announced new plans to tackle homophobic bullying in faith schools.

    In summary they are:

    • Freeing heads to exclude homophobic bullies

    • Giving teachers the power to stop violent homophobic incidents (“Teachers are often unable to break up violent homophobic bullying because of the lack of clarity over use of force”)

    • New guidance on bullying aggravated by prejudice (“non-violent bullying aggravated by prejudice like homophobia should result in tougher punishments than other forms of persistently disruptive behaviour...we believe that all forms of violent bullying should continue to lead to some form of exclusion”)

    • Recording incidents of homophobic abuse

  • 11 Apr 2010

    Caroline Lucas has said that if one or more Green MPs is elected on 6th May, more would "swiftly follow" at future elections.

    Speaking on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show this morning she talked of a "real possibility" the Greens would get their first MP in Westminster come the general election.

  • 11 Apr 2010

    Steve Chalke was on Radio 4’s Sunday Programme this morning suggesting the churches should stop ‘bleating’ (his word) about their loss of power and influence at the general election. He also explained that he had refused to sign the ‘Westminster Declaration’ signed by conservative church leaders, on the basis that churches should not present themselves as holding the ‘balance of power’ or as a religious block to be won over by the parties. (It's also very narrow in focus)

  • 11 Apr 2010

    In a YouTube video, Alex Salmond - who is retiring from the House of Commons after 23 years - has echoed the words of Clare Short on Radio 4 yesterday about the decline of the House of Commons, and how smaller parties might help in a hung/balanced Parliament scenario.

  • 10 Apr 2010

    The first week of the Conservative Party's election campaign has reminded me of the series of books entitled Where's Wally?, in which readers are challenged to search for a glimpse of an individual who has been made almost invisible. Since the Shadow Home Secretary, Chris Grayling, was recorded attacking the rights of same-sex couples, the Tories have kept him in the background, despite his senior position in their party.