Election 2010 Lookahead: Tuesday 4 May

The who, when and where of the campaign.

With two days to go, here is what is happening on the campaign trail today:

Labour

A quiet day for Labour -- though an interview with Alistair Darling was broadcast early this morning (see below).

 

Conservatives

David Cameron will begin a 24-hour campaign through to Wednesday today, travelling throughout the night to meet fishermen, bakers and florists working early mornings.

 

Liberal Democrats

Nick Clegg will host a press conference at the Work Foundation in London early this morning (7.30am).

 

The media

Continuing with its themed election debates, BBC2's The Daily Politics: 2010 Election Debates will feature a live debate on immigration policy between Phil Woolas for Labour, Damian Green for the Conservatives, Tom Brake for the Lib Dems and Lord Pearson for Ukip. Andrew Neil and the BBC's home editor, Mark Easton, will be asking the questions (2.15pm).

BBC1 Northern Ireland and BBC Parliament will broadcast The NI Leaders' Debate, with the leaders of Northern Ireland's four main political parties facing questions from a studio audience (9pm). Over on ITV1, Campaign 2010 with Jonathan Dimbleby will discuss the most recent election events (10.35pm). If you're extra keen, you can also check out BBC News Channel's Straight Talk on iPlayer (broadcast at 3.30am today), in which Andrew Neil interviews Alistair Darling.

 

Away from the campaign

OK, so technically this one is still about the election . . . A trio of new crisp flavours reflecting the public's view of the three main political parties is to go on sale at Selfridges today ahead of the general election. Flavours are based on a poll asking members of the public which tastes they most associate with each party. New flavours are Cameron Crunchies" (Eton Mess), Gourmet Gordons (scotch egg and brown sauce) and Clegg's Cocktail (hummus and roast vegetables).

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George Osborne takes up job at BlackRock - but what does it mean for politics?

The former Chancellor insists he hasn't forgotten about the Northern Powerhouse.

George Osborne is to take up a part-time role at asset management giant BlackRock.

The former Chancellor is understood to have been hired by the chief executive of the world's biggest investor, Larry Fink. He will be working alongside his former economic adviser Rupert Harrison.

The appointment has been approved by the Independent Appointments Committee and Osborne intends to continue as a backbench MP.

He said: "I am excited to be working with the BlackRock Investment Institute as an adviser. BlackRock wants better outcomes for pensioners and savers - and I want to help them deliver that. It's a chance for me to work part-time with one of the world's most respected firms and a major employer in Britain. 

"The majority of my time will be devoted to being an MP, representing my constituents and promoting the Northern Powerhouse.  My goal is to go on learning, gaining new experience and get an even better understanding of the world."

Once tipped as a future Prime Minister, Osborne's career ambitions were stymied after he backed Remain in the EU referendum and was sacked in Theresa May's Cabinet reshuffle. Whether he will find the halls of fund managers more comfortable than the green back benches is yet to be seen, but for now he has been clear he intends to continue his constituency duties. 

He will work at the BlackRock Investment Institute, which researches geopolitical, technological and economic trends. 

He is expected to provide insights on European politics and policy, Chinese economic reform, and trends such as low yields and longevity and their impact on retirement planning. 

While the pay packet has not been officially confirmed, Sky News quoted a source saying it would be hundreds of thousands of pounds.

But the move will also place a pro-Remain former Chancellor at the heart of the City of London, just as his Tory front bench is losing its support over Brexit negotiations.

Speaking shortly after the EU referendum vote, BlackRock chief executive Fink said he "didn't get a lot of sleep" the night of Brexit, and that the decision had led to greater uncertainty. 

 

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.