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General election 2015 key dates: 13 days for your calendar ahead of the big event in May

There are now less than 100 days to go to the election

David Cameron jokes about 'hip-hoppy' Beyonce, Wolf Hall on TV and 'the chillax playlist on Spotify' in remarkable series of radio interviews

The PM even threw in an impromptu reference to Tony Benn and 'the ishoos' for good measure

Only Labour's Tristram Hunt was due to make an appearance on behalf of the politicians at the Manchester conference

Tristram Hunt accuses Green Party of 'total madness' in education policies

The Greens defended their plan to abolish free schools and academies

David Cameron does not want the debates to dominate the campaign at next May’s election

Cameron demands another change to pre-election TV debates before he agrees to take part

After complaining about the exclusion of the Greens, he now wants Northern Ireland parties to be invited

Tory whips have warned the Prime Minister that he could face a Tory revolt over the European arrest warrant

David Cameron vows to slash benefits cap to £23,000 and remove housing benefits for under 21s within first week of general election win

The Conservative leader says current cap of £26,000 will be reduced by £3,000 should his party emerge victorious

Among the results, researchers calculated that spending on “unprotected” services, including those for pre-school children, had been slashed by one-third (Getty)

Poorer households hit hardest by austerity over the last five years, according to new report

Families with young children have been harder hit than any other group

The number of schools converting to academies in the primary sector has now overtaken those in the secondary sector – 2,299 to 1,884 (Getty)

MPs question merit of turning primary schools into academies

The Commons Select Committee on Education: 'There is at present no convincing evidence of the impact of academy status on attainment in primary schools'

The latest spin coming out of No. 10 is that the new televised debate proposal is unfair on the political parties of Northern Ireland (Getty)

Andy McSmith's Diary: David Cameron, the champion of the Monster Raving Loonies

When one excuse fails, there is always another

Ben Emmerson before the Home Affairs Select Committee yesterday, where breaches of confidence were raised (PA)

Sketch: 'Goliath' Ben Emmerson fights back against 'David' Vaz in battle over child sex abuse inquiry

In Emmerson’s view, the current panel would have to be disbanded and replaced either by a royal commission or a new inquiry with statutory powers

The Conservative party is ahead of Labour in the polls for the first time since 2011, with the NHS likely to matter more to people than the economy when they decide how to vote in the general election (EPA)

UK general election - 100 days to go: Miliband and Cameron neck and neck in fight for voters' trust on NHS

The NHS has risen to the top of voters’ concerns amid the winter crisis in accident and emergency departments

Despite the growing popularity of Ukip, a YouGov survey found that 43 per cent of people would vote to stay in the EU in a referendum (Getty)

British support for EU membership grows, despite Ukip popularity

A YouGov survey found that 43 per cent of people would vote to stay in the EU in a referendum, while 38 per cent would vote to leave

The marble statue of Margaret Thatcher has been banished from the entrance of the Guildhall Art Gallery (Micha Theiner)

Thatcher statue made famous after being beheaded now tucked away in the ‘perfect setting’

The £150,000 statue, which became famous after a protester beheaded it with a metal rope support stanchion, is now only viewable 'by prior arrangement'

Amjad Bashir said Ukip had become a 'party of ruthless self-interest'

Ukip defection: Allegations that members tried to swing the outcome of a candidate selection contributed to Amjad Bashir's departure

Ukip has quashed the results of a council candidate hustings in West Yorkshire amid claims that a group of around 12 new members – all from the Asian community –secured the nomination of a particular candidate

Protesters simulate a flogging in front of the Saudi embassy in Washington DC in protest against the 10-year prison sentence and 1,000 lashes of Saudi activist Raef Badawi (Getty)

Pressure mounts on Chris Grayling to abandon Saudi Arabia prison contract

Amnesty International protested to the Justice Secretary, warning that it risked giving a 'British stamp of approval' to degrading practices in Saudi jails

Top Ukip official Matthew Richardson forced to apologise after 'unforgivable' anti-trans rant and 'she-males' slur

Matthew Richardson says his views on transphobia have changed since the speech

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Andy McSmith's Diary: Who said politics was all about the money? White Dee

White Dee, heroine of the Channel 4 documentary series Benefits Street, has been advised by her agent to shun politics. If the bookies are correct, she has a better chance than any other challenger of unseating the incumbent Labour MP Shabana Mahmood in Birmingham Ladywood where she lives, but her manager, Barry Tomes, thinks she should forget it. He has advised his client, whose real name is Deirdre Kelly, that she can make more money by being a media personality. She is thought to have been paid £100,000 for appearing on Celebrity Big Brother.

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