Claim that Sturgeon is rooting for a Cameron victory…

telegraphsturgeon“Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader, has privately said that she would “rather see” David Cameron win the general election because Ed Miliband is not “prime minister material”, a leaked memorandum seen by The Daily Telegraph has revealed. The SNP leader told the French Ambassador in February that she would prefer that “David Cameron remain” in Downing Street, according to an official account of their conversation seen by this newspaper. The disclosure undermines public claims made by Miss Sturgeon this week that she wants to build a “progressive” alliance with Ed Miliband and other left-wing parties to keep the Conservatives out of office. ” – Daily Telegraph

  • Sturgeon says story “categorically, 100% untrue” – BBC
  • Something might be lost in translation – The Times(£)
  • A devastating revelation says Jim Murphy – The Sun(£)
  • Sturgeon holds all the aces – Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: It doesn’t matter who Sturgeon would prefer as PM

…as Nicola-mania grips the media

“Nicola Sturgeon’s perceived win in Thursday night’s television debate has caused Labour to panic, with Ed Miliband accused of giving the Scottish National party leader a “free hit”. Pressure is growing for him to match her anti-austerity message. Ms Sturgeon made a triumphant return to Edinburgh yesterday as Alex Salmond claimed that she had “hammered” her rivals in the seven-way election debate. Mr Miliband’s failure to confront her was condemned by senior Labour figures in Scotland.” – The Times(£)

  • Is this the most dangerous woman in Britain? – Daily Mail
  • Labour MPs attack “Milibot” – The Sun(£)
  • Miliband told by Labour MPs to have sharper tactics – The Guardian

Labour warn of a Conservative/UKIP deal

UKIP logo“Nigel Farage has described David Cameron as “somebody we can sit down and talk to” but he said UKIP could “could never” do a deal with Ed Miliband because of his stance on the EU referendum. Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said the public deserved to know whether the Conservatives planned to do a deal with Mr Farage’s party. He has written to David Cameron urging him to set out his intentions. It comes after both Mr Cameron and his Conservative chancellor, George Osborne, refused to rule out a deal during separate media appearances.” – BBC

  • Nein Danke says Gove – The Guardian
  • Fishermen feel less at sea with UKIP – The Times(£)
  • Farage defends comments about health tourism – BBC

Huntsmen step up campaign for Conservative victory

“Two of Britain’s most prominent fox hunting chiefs have issued a call to arms for all their supporters to canvas on behalf of Conservative election candidates backing their campaign to overturn a ban on the blood sport, as two more Tories are revealed to be receiving direct backing. The plea made by Lord Mancroft, a hunting partner of Prince Charles who chairs the Council of Hunting Association, together with Hunting Office director Tim Easby, will increase concerns among animal rights campaigners that the bar enforced a decade ago could be lifted if the Tories are able to form a government after the general election.” – The Independent

Conservatives propose porn websites would have to block those under 18

sunporn“PORN websites will be forced to check users’ ages to make sure all under-18s are locked out, the Conservatives pledge today. All sites — including foreign ones — will be ordered to use the latest technology to set up strict age verifications — and a new regulator will ensure that the crackdown is enforced. Unveiling the plan, to be in the Tory election manifesto, Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: “All parents worry how easy it is for kids to view explicit material. Society does not allow a 12-year-old to buy a hardcore DVD from a sex shop. So why should we let children be just two clicks away from the same thing online? It’s doing some very dangerous things to their minds. ” – The Sun(£)

Labour set out plans for 125,000 new homes

“Banks would be encouraged to fund 125,000 new homes for first time-buyers in England under a Labour government, Ed Miliband will say. The scheme would be based on the first-time buyer ISAs announced by George Osborne which sees the government top up money people save towards a deposit to buy their first house. Labour says it would invest the money in new housing developments. The Conservatives said the scheme was “ill thought-through”.” – BBC

  • The new fund would “pump prime” supply – The Guardian
  • Councils want to replace homes sold in right to buy – The Times(£)

Labour voters want an in/out EU referendum

“LABOUR’S failure to give voters a say on Europe was blasted yesterday — as it emerged that more than half of the party’s supporters back an EU referendum. The finding pours cold water on Ed Miliband’s claim that the issue is not a priority at the General Election. Fifty-one per cent of Labour voters revealed they wanted a say, while 37 per cent were not bothered and 12 per cent were not sure, according to a shock poll from researchers TNS.” – The Sun(£)

Lib Dems promise £2.5bn Care Fund

NHS“The Lib Dems have set out plans for a £2.5bn healthcare fund to alleviate pressure on hospitals in England. The aim is for improved GP access, a wider range of services at doctor surgeries and better healthcare in nursing homes. The money would come from the £8bn extra a year the party has promised to spend on health care by 2020.” – BBC

  • Clegg launches campaign poster in rainy empty car park – The Sun(£)
  • One party Labour rule is the last thing Sheffield needs says Clegg – The Guardian

Spouses join campaign

“David Cameron and Ed Miliband’s sizeable campaign entourages of aides and bodyguards were swelled by a notable addition yesterday: their spouses. Samantha Cameron joined a visit to Chorley, Lancashire, her second appearance this week. The couple cooed over a seven-week-old baby, prompting the prime minister to jest that his wife looked “broody”. The Labour leader and his wife, Justine Thornton, ventured to Blackpool pleasure beach where they met party supporters. It marks the start of a busy period for the wives, who both have careers of their own.” – The Times(£)

  • Camerons “probably” won’t have more children – The Sun(£)

Paxman: The public in the TV debates are too soft on politicians

Jeremy Paxman“In events involving the public you are also up against another obstacle: the innate decency and good manners of the British public. Is there anything more dispiriting to professional troublemakers like me than the polite “thank you very much” with which so many people accept a torrent of verbiage and half truths from their politicians?”- Jeremy Paxman The Times(£)


Clark: The Government must speak out over the atrocities against Christians

“Thursday’s massacre at Garissa University in Kenya, where 147 Christians were executed by terrorists from Islamist group Al-Shabaab, is typical of the atrocities facing Christians worldwide which barely reach our consciousness. While terror attacks in the developed world, such as that on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris in January, never fail to make the front pages, we seem to overlook what is going on in Sub-Saharan Africa.” – Ross Clark Daily Express

Parris: It’s not about personalities it’s the policies that matter

“Allow that we saw seven perfectly viable leaders, in possession of all their faculties, kind to their grannies, proficient in joined-up writing and able to boast the customary number of fingers and toes. Take all that for granted and move on to the question, the only question, on which this election should hinge. How much government do we want, how far into our lives do we want government to reach, how big a government do we want, and how expensive a government can we afford?” – Matthew Parris The Times(£)

Moore: The threat to Christianity

MOORE Charles blue background“This increased threat to Christianity raises some difficult questions. Where does this leave civil society, cut adrift from its historic moorings and now bobbing on the turbulent waters of secularism? What can be said to the large majority that now knows almost nothing about the faith that dominated public culture and private life for more than 1,500 years? I cannot see that human rights, whether dressed up in Universal Declarations or Fundamental Charters, provide a secure substitute. But for Christians, the situation has become clearer, much closer to the one familiar to the founder of their faith.” – Charles Moore Daily Telegraph

News in brief

  • BBC reviews Dead Sheep – BBC
  • NUT to ballot teachers on more strikes – The Times(£)
  • Police raid home of Labour councillor whose son tried to enter Syria – Daily Telegraph
  • Red Ed’s hypocrite Hobbit is a tax avoider -Daily Mail
  • Labour will push for tougher climate change targets – The Guardian
  • Did BBC help win Labour the 1964 election by cancelling Steptoe and Son? – Daily Telegraph
  • Happy Mondays star is standing for election in Salford – The Independent

And finally…spin doctors “risk lives” by covering Exit signs

exitnew“Campaigning politicians could be putting lives in danger by using one of the oldest tricks in the political PR book, fire officers have warned. They say disguising “exit” signs to avoid embarrassing photos could lead to voters getting trapped or lost if a fire breaks out in a room where politicians are appearing. Covering up the signs is an important job of party spin doctors of every stripe – so their candidate isn’t photographed walking under a sign that suggests they should be on their way out, rather than in.” – BBC

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