Live updates

Nick Clegg kicks off election campaign in Abingdon

The Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg has been in the South today as he launched the party's General Election campaign. The liberal democrats are aiming to hold onto their seats in Mid Dorset and Poole North along with Eastleigh. And on his first day of campaigning, Mr Clegg said they are determined to win back the key marginal of Oxford West and Abingdon. Penny Silvester reports.

Nick Clegg arrives in Abingdon for start of General Election campaign

Nick Clegg has arrived in Abingdon Credit: ITV NEWS MERIDIAN

Nick Clegg has arrived in Abingdon as he begins his battlebus tour as part of the Liberal Democrats General Election campaign.

The Lib Dem Leader chose to visit the marginal constituency of Oxford West and Abingdon for the start of his campaign. It's one of a series of Lib Dem target seats where they are fielding a woman candidate.

Advertisement

Clegg kicks off election campaign in Oxfordshire

The Deputy Prime Minister has chosen to launch the campaign in Oxford Credit: PA

Nick Clegg will today set out to woo women voters as he kicks off the Liberal Democrats' general election campaign.

The Deputy Prime Minister is beginning his battlebus tour in the knife-edge marginal constituency of Oxford West and Abingdon - one of a series of Lib Dem target seats where they are fielding a woman candidate.

Party strategists believe that winning over the female vote will be crucial to their chances of success across a range of key battleground constituencies.

Despite their dire opinion poll ratings, they insist that their own internal polling shows women voters coming over to them in a series of must-win seats.

They say younger women particularly are attracted by their policy on shared parental leave, while headline plans to prioritise mental health, raise tax thresholds and cut the deficit are popular among women generally.

Nick Clegg with his wife Miriam Gonzalez Credit: PA

Mr Clegg will highlight the Lib Dems' attempts to increase their quota of women MPs, visiting a series of constituencies where they have women candidates in the opening days of the election campaign.

They lost Oxford West and Abingdon - where the candidate is physics teacher Layla Moran - by just 176 votes to the Conservatives at the 2010 general election and are determined to win it back this time around.

New Folkestone and Hythe candidate announced

The former chair of Labour’s ruling body, Harriet Yeo, was today named as Ukip's new Folkestone and Hythe general election candidate.

It follows the expulsion of Janice Atkinson over allegations of an inflated expenses claim.

Advertisement

Janice Atkinson will fight UKIP exclusion

The MEP for the South East and general election candidate expelled by Ukip over allegations of an inflated expenses claim has vowed to fight the decision.

Janice Atkinson has signalled her intent to continue as an elected UK representative in the European Parliament Credit: PA

Janice Atkinson and her assistant Christine Hewitt were thrown out of the Eurosceptic party by a disciplinary panel.

Ms Hewitt was filmed by The Sun allegedly obtaining an invoice from a restaurant for a sum more than three times the actual cost of an event, apparently with the intention of claiming it back from Brussels funds.

The footage is being reviewed by Kent and Essex police forces' serious crime directorate.

Ms Atkinson said she was "deeply disappointed" and signalled her intent to continue as an elected UK representative in the European Parliament.

I was elected to represent the constituents of the south east of England and I will continue to work tirelessly on their behalf and for the best interests of our country.

– Janice Atkinson

Ukip expel Janice Atkinson over expenses claims

MEP Janice Atkinson has been expelled from Ukip Credit: PA Wire

MEP Janice Atkinson - and her chief of staff Christine Hewitt - have been expelled by Ukip for bringing the party into disrepute over claims about inflated expenses, a party spokesman said.

MEP Janice Atkinson says she is "deeply disappointed" by Ukip's decision to expel her from the party following allegations about her expenses, and insists she "fully" intends to appeal.

"I was elected to represent the constituents of the south-east of England and I will continue to work tirelessly on their behalf and for the best interests of our country," she added in a short statement.

Farage protesters say 'prejudice' is reason for pub invasion

The Ukip leader, Nigel Farage has described as 'scum' protesters who invaded a pub in Kent where he was having lunch with his family at the weekend.

Dozens of demonstrators initially went to the George and Dragon in Downe before realising that he was actually in the Queen's Head pub - on the opposite side of the road.

They are alleged to have chased the family out and jumped on the bonnet of Mr Farage's car as he drove away. Watch Phil Hornby's report.

Load more updates