The latest from the campaign trail in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
• Scottish Labour published its manifesto, with Scottish secretary Jim Murphy saying: “Labour has set out a future that is fair and a plan for recovery that is sensible”, although the SNP weren’t quite so sure.
• The SNP were forced to appeal for more cash as their election coffers dried up.
• Alex Salmond launched his party’s election campaign, saying: “Our message today is clear. On May 6th, don’t just vote for a politician. Elect a local champion with the SNP.”
• Jim Murphy was forced to express his shock and outrage that a gangster had been able to attend a Labour fundraising event. He said: “I have never received money from him and the Labour party did not invite him to this event. I am shocked he was there.”
• The Liberal Democrats called for the Conservatives to come clean on their double-jobbing candidates.
• Alex Salmond declared the TV leaders to be meaningless for Scots as he failed to muscle in on the action.
• Welsh secretary Peter Hain vowed that Labour would create 50,000 new jobs in Wales if re-elected.
• First minister Carwyn Jones told activists: “It’s a choice between hope, prosperity and stability that would be delivered by a Labour government, for all the people of Wales – and the austerity and uncertainty of savage Tory cuts.”
• There was a warning that the election could destabilise the Housing Market.
• After launching its manifesto, Plaid Cymru blocked plans for their leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones, to be interviewed by former Tory Wales Office minister, Rod Richards. Gareth Evans of ITV Wales said of Plaid: “They have given us four different reasons against the proposal.”
• The Lib Dems dubbed Plaid Cymru “Irrelevant” in a Westminster Election.
• The Conservatives missed Anglesey on their map of the UK.
• Launching the party’s manifesto for Wales, Welsh Liberal Democrat leader, Kirsty Williams, declared that it would leave the “vast majority” of Welsh voters better off.
• Plaid Cymru dismissed the leaders debates as irrelevant to Wales.
• Northern Ireland’s Chief Constable, Matt Baggott, warned of a “very severe threat” as dissident republicans were blamed for a car bomb outside MI5 headquarters in County Down and a failed attack on a police station in County Armagh.
• Left Foot Forward explained why the Tories had got it all wrong on Northern Ireland.
• Leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice party, Jim Allistar, failed in his efforts to preventing the DUP’s Ian Paisley Junior distributing material he deemed unfair and wrong.
• SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie made clear that party would be “delivering for all our people in this new era of politics”.
• Commenting on the publication of the Conservative Party manifesto, UUP leader Reg Empey said: “The manifesto launched today shows that only David Cameron and the Conservatives and Unionist have the leadership, vision and energy to deliver the change the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, needs.”
The DUP’s Arlene Foster, however, said: “The 2005 Tory manifesto had a grand total of 79 words about Northern Ireland in it. This election’s measly offering contains 87. So Reg has wrecked his own party for a paltry eight extra words and a big Ashcroft cheque to fund UCUNF.
“The Tories are promising us nothing in relation to Corporation Tax that the current Government hasn’t already done. The Tories have proven how little they care about moving Northern Ireland forward with their paltry 87-word offering. Reg has shown he will swallow just about anything served up to him by Tory HQ.”
Quote of the Week
“We are living in a new era for policing and justice in the north. Attacks of this nature have no place in this new era and belong to the past.”
SDLP MLA, Ferghal McKinney ,commenting after a spate of bomb attacks on Northern Ireland’s policing and justice infrastructure
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