News Briefing and Comment

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  • 20 Apr 2010

    Almost two-thirds of Europeans think ‘Christian values’ are still relevant to contemporary life, but they want the churches to be open, responsive and engaged.

  • 20 Apr 2010

    The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has come under attack from the Green Party for promoting the Liberal Democrats as the environmental option in the election.

  • 20 Apr 2010

    Last day to register to vote, in UK

    7.30am Daily Lib Dem press conference with Nick Clegg and Vince Cable, focusing on banking crisis.

    8.10am Peter Mandelson on Radio 4 Today Programme.

    9.30am Scottish Green Party launch manifesto

    10.00am SNP manifesto launch, Glasgow.

    11.30am Nick Clegg meets students at agricultural college in Chippenham.

    Scottish Trade Union and Socialist Coalition launch manifesto.

    2:00pm Former shadow home secretary David Davis, barrister Cherie Booth and director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti debate whether the Human Rights Act 1998 should be replaced by a British Bill of Rights

    2.15pm BBC2's Daily Politics holds second of special election debates. Alan Johnson, Chris Grayling and Chris Huhne will go head-to-head on crime.

    6:30pm Green Party leader Caroline Lucas speaks at debate in Brighton hosted by Steve Richards from the Independent.

    7:00pm Stop Climate Chaos holds hustings in Torridge and West Devon

    10.35pm Harriet Harman, shadow defence secretary Liam Fox and former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy appear on ITV 1's Campaign 2010

    Comment

    There is a lot going on in Scotland today, with Greens, SNP and Trade Union and Socialist Coalition launching manifestos, which may well get eclipsed by what the bigger parties are doing

    Watch out to see if either Alan Johnson or Chris Huhne mention Labour's commitment to a Restorative Justice Act, mentioned in their manifesto, or restorative practices which the Lib Dems say they will promote in theirs. They were conspicuous by their absence in the party leaders TV debate on crime.

    Polls in today's papers confirm the Lib Dem surge is being sustained, with increased speculation about how it will translate into votes and seats in the House of Commons. Labour, lying in third place in a number of polls, looks set to nevertheless get most seats in the House of Commons, with a hung Parliament.

    The Lib Dems will look at banking reform today, and attack 'casino banking'.

    There will be analysis of David Cameron's election broadcast last night which was re-done at the last minute in light of the Lib Dem surge.

    The Conservatives have confirmed that two prominent business leaders who backed their plans for a National Insurance cut were nominated to be peers back in January.

    Dealing with ongoing air chaos likely to continue to dominate the news agenda.

  • 20 Apr 2010

    As opinion pollsters seek to discover more about what is behind the Lib Dem surge, the ICM poll for today's Guardian seems to confirm that Clegg is being seen as the 'anti-politics' candidate who can be trusted more than the other two big party leaders.

  • 19 Apr 2010

    Nick met a nurse, Gordon met a cancer patient, Dave met a black man from Plymouth. The leaders' eagerness to demonstrate how in touch they are with 'real people' and to use them in the popularity stakes is a little toe-curling, even when the accounts are accurate. But the three anecdotal encounters which David Cameron used during last week's debate have unravelled to his detriment and to the further alienation of an already cynical electorate.

  • 19 Apr 2010

    Young children’s cognitive or social and emotional development does not appear to be significantly affected by the formal marital status of their parents, according to a new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies

  • 19 Apr 2010

    A political Facebook group based on the successful campaign to get Rage Against the Machine, the UK Christmas number one, has reached 100,000 members.

  • 19 Apr 2010

    Was yesterday a good day to bury important global perspectives? Let's consider the evidence and then look at what you might have missed...

  • 19 Apr 2010

    An ippr report shows that claims that the presence of immigrants and ethnic minorities is 'causing' the rise of the BNP are false. Alienation and limited life chances are to blame.

  • 19 Apr 2010

    UK business leaders became much more confident in Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg's during April, according to a poll by ComRes published today (Monday).

    Between March and April, business confidence in the better known UK politicians picked up, but Clegg was the main beneficiary. Asked if they had confidence in Clegg, 41 per cent of the 170 chief executive officers and directors of the UK businesses said yes.

    That rating is up from 20 per cent in March. Confidence in David Cameron rose to 65 per cent from 55 per cent of respondents, and in Gordon Brown to 28 per cent from 19 per cent.

  • 19 Apr 2010

    Amnesty International has strongly condemned the executions of two Palestinian men in Gaza last week by the Hamas de facto authority, following an unfair military trial.

  • 19 Apr 2010

    A website designed to help people figure out who to vote for on the basis of what options they prefer is proving a big hit and encouraging election participation.

  • 19 Apr 2010

    Labour cabinet ministers in London for an emergency Cobra meeting on ongoing air chaos.

    Conservative manifesto for Scotland launched.

    Democratic Unionist Party publish manifesto

    Nick Clegg addresses students at Cardiff University

    10.30am Brown and Mandelson at Labour campaign event

    2.00pm Health Secretary Andy Burnham expected to address the Unison health conference

    2.15pm Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague, Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Liberal Democrat spokesman Ed Davey in first Daily Politics election debate

    18.30pm Stop Climate Chaos holds hustings in Lib Dem target seat of Islington South and Finsbury

    Vote for Change constructing giant gallows from which an effigy of the Palace of Westminster will be hung.

    Comment

    Party leaders marked ‘World Poverty Day’ yesterday, but the issues are likley to disappear until the TV debate on Thursday, which will focus on foreign policy.

    Dealing with ongoing air chaos is likely to dominate the news agenda.

  • 19 Apr 2010

    The thing that should scare both Labour and Tories alike is that the Lib Dem surge has little to do with its policies, says Jonathan Bartley.

  • 19 Apr 2010

    The first nationwide survey of the churches, chapels and meeting houses in the UK, has been launched today aiming to understand how they are maintained, repaired, funded and used by their local communities.