- Prime Minister David Cameron meets the Queen to dissolve parliament, beginning the 2015 election campaign.
- Labour leader Ed Miliband outlines the party’s pro-EU stance to business leaders, but Labour’s advert in the Financial Times causes controversy.
- Deputy PM Nick Clegg claims that the UK’s era of single party government is over.
- Conservatives say that under a Labour government, taxes would rise by over £3,000 per working family.
- UKIP leader Nigel Farage sets out the party’s ‘pledge to Britain’.
- The Green Party joins the immigration debate by saying it’s a mug’s game and unveiling their own ‘migrant mug’.
Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg have visited the Queen at Buckingham Palace to dissolve parliament.
The 2015 general election campaign has now officially begun, and party leaders have spent the day addressing voters to set out their party pledges and criticise their rivals.
The 2011 Fixed-term Parliaments Act requires that parliament be dissolved exactly 25 working days before the election.
Labour’s business manifesto
Mr Miliband used the first day of campaigning to launch his party’s business manifesto, called a ‘Better Plan for Business’.
Mr Miliband criticised the Conservatives’ promise to hold an EU referendum, and argued that Britain should take a leadership role at Brussels and help drive reform.
But the Labour party has also been criticised for a full page advert in the Financial Times. The advert quoted pro-EU company leaders, including Siemens CEO Juergen Maier, reportedly without seeking permission.
Nick Clegg predicts a coalition
Mr Clegg, leader of the Lib Dems, says that the party will occupy the ‘reasoned centre ground’ during the campaign and claimed that ‘the last thing the country now needs is a lurch to the left or the right’.
Mr Clegg said that ‘the era of single party government in the United Kingdom is over’, indicating that he expects another coalition government.
Tax rise under Labour?
There’s been fighting talk from the Conservative party, with its leader Mr Cameron claiming that a Labour government would bring in ‘over £3,000 in higher taxes for every working family to pay for more welfare and out-of-control spending’.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has looked into the £3,000 figure and concluded that there’s nothing to suggest that this is what the Labour party are planning.
UKIP ‘Pledge to Britain’
Mr Farage has unveiled UKIP’s five key manifesto points, confirming the party’s commitment to leaving Europe and controlling immigration, and also pledging an extra £3 billion to the NHS and scrapping tax for minimum wage earners.
The fifth election pledge is a promise to cut foreign aid spending, and during the Westminster launch Mr Farage said UKIP view the UK’s large foreign aid bill as ‘rather a waste of money’.
The Green Party’s Mug’s Game
The Green Party responded to what it described as Labour’s ‘merchandising catastrophe’ by producing it’s own ‘migrant mug’.
The new mug, commissioned only this morning, features the slogan: ‘Standing up for Migrants’.
The Greens also announced that half of all their London candidates are women.
The list also includes the country’s first ever out trans man to stand for parliament, Charlie Kiss, candidate for Islington South.