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Unemployment figures: Regional breakdown

The north-west of England celebrated the biggest fall in the number of people out of work in the three months to February, official figures reveal.

The region saw a fall of 20,000, bringing the unemployment rate down to 5.6 per cent.

The south-west fared worst of the English regions, with an increase in unemployment of 7,000.

  • North West: down 20,000 to 209,000 (5.9% unemployment rate)
  • Yorkshire/Humber: down 17,000 to 166,000 (6.2%)
  • South East: down 13,000 to 195,000 (4.2%)
  • East Midlands: down 13,000 to 116,000 (4.9%)
  • Wales: down 12,000 to 92,000 (6.2%)
  • North East: down 11,000 to 100,000 (7.7%)
  • London: down 10,000 to 287,000 (6.2%)
  • West Midlands: down 1,000 to 172,000 (6.2%)
  • East of England: up 1,000 to 154,000 (5%)
  • Northern Ireland: up 3,000 to 53,000 (6%)
  • South West: up 7,000 to 126,000 (4.6%)
  • Scotland: up 9,000 to 167,000 (6%)

While Wales celebrate a 12,000 drop in unemployment, Scotland saw a rise of 9,000 and Northern Ireland saw 3,000 more people out of work.

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Jim Murphy: SNP 'talk like radicals but act like Tories'

Leader of the Scottish Labout party Jim Murphy has said the SNP, "talk like radicals but acts like Conservatives."

Mr Murphy claimed the Scottish Nationals were voting for Scotland to get less money and more austerity, at a press conference in Edinburgh with Ed Miliband and Ed Balls.

The strong language comes as the Labour party seeks to distance itself from opposition claims that Ed Miliband would agree to full fiscal autonomy for Scotland in exchange for SNP backing for a Labour government.

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Sturgeon: Labour's 'desperate cuts claims are wrong'

Nicola Sturgeon has denied Ed Miliband's "desperate" claim that there are billions of pounds of cuts on the horizon under the SNP's plan for full fiscal autonomy for Scotland.

The SNP leader claimed that Labour is "wrong" while campaigning on the streets of Stirling, saying:

This is desperation on the part of the Labour Party. Instead of putting forward a positive case of their own, they are resorting to the same fears and smears that they resorted to during the referendum.

The truth is the only cuts on the horizon for Scotland are the ones that the Tories are proposing and Labour are backing.

– Nicola Sturgeon

Miliband launches SNP attack: 'Time they came clean on cuts'

Ed Miliband has launched a broadside attack on the Scottish Nationalists as he insisted the SNP "come clean" over spending reductions.

The Labour leader is seeking to distance himself from opposition claims that he would agree to full fiscal autonomy for Scotland in exchange for SNP backing for a Labour government.

Full fiscal autonomy will mean a £7.6 billion hole in Scotland's finances.

Today I challenge Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP to say how they will fill fill this £7.6 billion gap.

Which services will be cut, which taxes will be raised. And what cuts will it mean for pensioners in Scotland when they're taken out of the UK pension system.

The SNP claim in this campaign to be proposing no reductions in spending but in fact they are planning dramatic reductions in spending. They must now come clean.

– Ed Miliband

Miliband rules out coalition with SNP

Ed Miliband has ruled out entering into a formal coalition with the SNP after the general election on May 7.

Responding to comments from comedian Katy Brand, who said she believed a coalition between the two parties would be positive, he said:

This might be inconvenient, but we're not going to have a coalition with the SNP.

– Ed Miliband

He said he could not control how MPs voted on the Queen's Speech, after SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon vowed to torpedo any attempt by the Conservatives to form a minority government, but said there would be no coalition in the way the Tories teamed up with the Lib Dems in 2010.

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