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Labour and SNP 'close to post-election deal'

Sturgeon offered Miliband a vote-by-vote deal to help him become Prime Minister. Credit: PA

Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon are "at the altar, and preparing to sign the register" on a post-election deal, according to Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.

In a letter to party supporters she said: "In the last few days, we've now seen hard evidence that this nightmare scenario is now all too real.

"Another poll of Scottish seats on Friday showed that Scottish Labour is now a sinking ship, and is losing voters to the SNP. In truth, there is no way back for them.

"Their weakness means that one thing has become near inevitable: if Ed Miliband is in the position to form a government on May 8th, he will need the SNP's support to push him over the line.

"I said at the turn of the year that Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon were halfway down the aisle towards a deal.

"The truth is that they are now at the altar, and preparing to sign the register. It's the only way Labour can get in to power."

Tories to promise £4bn cut-price Lloyds Bank shares

The Government has already raised £9 billion from the sale of Lloyds shares. Credit: PA

The public will be offered the chance to buy up to £4 billion worth of shares in Lloyds Banking Group below market price if the Tories win the General Election, David Cameron is set to announce.

The Prime Minister will say on Sunday that existing plans to sell a £9 billion tranche of the taxpayers' stake will include a "retail offer" with a proportion of the shares being reserved for sale at a discounted price.

Buyers who keep them for a year will be rewarded with a "loyalty bonus" of one additional free share for every 10 shares that they still hold.

Mr Cameron will also confirm that, with Lloyds shares closing at 78.75p on Friday, shares will be sold below the "in price" of 73.6p - a share paid by the previous Labour government when it bailed out the bank following the financial crash of 2008.

Under the terms of the retail offer, buyers will receive a discount of at least 5% on the market price at the time of the sale, with priority being given to investors purchasing up to £1,000 worth of shares.

The minimum purchase will be £250 and there will be a maximum limit of £10,000.


National manhunt as mother and daughter killed

A national manhunt is underway tonight for a man wanted in connection with the murder of his mother and sister.

Police have warned the public not to approach Peter Fox, who they believe travelled from Merseyside to London this evening.

The bodies of the women were found at separate homes in Bootle. Sejal Karia reports.

Labour: Tories 'planning secret NHS nursing cuts'

Labour says the Conservatives' post-election plans involve cuts to 2,000 nursing jobs. Credit: PA

Labour has accused the Conservatives of "secret" plans to cut almost 2,000 NHS nursing roles after the General Election.

The party's shadow health secretary Andy Burnham claimed the figures, hidden away in official Government documents, showed that NHS trusts in England are preparing for reductions in three of the four branches of nursing over the next four years.

The figures were contained in Health Education England's Workforce Plan for England 2015/16, which lays out forecasts for future workforce requirements.

Burnham said: "Hospitals are already at their limits and staff are working wonders, but this plan will push them over the edge. It proves David Cameron's promises on the NHS can't be trusted."

However, the Conservatives said the report was based on assumptions before they promised an additional £8 billion a year by the end of the next parliament - thus making them out of date.

Miliband admits Labour 'got it wrong' on immigration

Labour leader Ed Miliband pledged to introduce new measures and border controls to limit the number of immigrants coming into the UK as part of his election campaign today. He also pledged to get tough on employers who exploit migrant workers. The plans were dismissed by Ukip as a "diversion", whilst Cameron spent the day celebrating a Sikh festival with his wife Samantha.

Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports.


Silent vigil for Irish student Karen Buckley in Glasgow

A silent vigil has been held by neighbours, friends and family members of Karen Buckley close to where the Irish student lived.

Friends and family members attend a silent vigil for Irish student Karen Buckley. Credit: Press Association.

Residents of the Garnethill area of Glasgow gathered to remember the 24-year-old, whose body was found at a farm north of the city four days after she went missing on a night out.

Approximately 120 people attended the vigil, lighting 1,000 small candles in the shape of a Celtic symbol.

1,000 candles were laid at the silent vigil. Credit: Press Association

Organiser Jane Sutherland said the whole community was still reeling from the death.

It's a wee close-knit community up here, although it's quite a transient population with the students, it's a small community and the news of this young girl going out on a Saturday night and then never coming back is just unbearably sad.

This is just a moment for the neighbourhood to come together. Since she went missing nobody has talked of anything else.

Words fail me - that's why we wanted to do a wee silent candlelit vigil - 1,000 points of light for the one point of light that went out.

– Jane Suthwer

Murdered family member 'may have travelled to London'

A man wanted in connection with the murders of his mother and sister may have travelled to London from Merseyside, police believe.

Detectives say Peter Fox, 26, should not be approached by members of the public.

I would appeal to Peter to come forward so that we can speak to him following the murders of his mother and sister. We believe that Peter could possibly be in the London area and are working with the Metropolitan Police to try and find him."

– Dave Rooney, Detective Chief Inspector, Merseyside Police

Fox is described as white, between 5ft 2in and 5ft 5in and of slight build with short, dark hair - no longer shaved - and brown eyes. He speaks with a Liverpool accent.

Polls split between Labour and Tory electoral lead

Two polls from the Sunday Times and the Observer have reached contradictory conclusions - with a YouGov survey putting Miliband three points ahead, whilst an Opinium survey put Cameron four points ahead.

Ed Miliband taking part in Thursday's BBC debate. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The Observer poll, carried out by Opinium, found that Labour's support had dropped two points to 32%, while the Conservatives remained on 36%.

Support for Ukip was found to have risen 2 points to 13% according to the survey, while the Liberal Democrats also gained by one point to 8%.

The poll of 1,995 adults took place on 16 and 17 April, with the BBC "Challengers' Debate" falling inbetween those dates.

A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times revealed Labour were three points ahead.

Ukip's third position with 13% remained consistent in both of the polls.

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