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Page last updated at 06:33 GMT, Monday, 26 April 2010 07:33 UK
Today: Monday 26th April

Tory plans to allow parents in England to set up their own schools could damage state schools, a Conservative County Council leader has said. And an NHS review has recommended that several children's heart surgery units should be closed and the operations carried out at fewer, specialised centres.

To speed up the loading time for this running order, we have replaced the audio with links. To hear the reports, interviews and discussions, just click on the links.

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0709
The leader of the biggest local education authority in England has criticised Conservative plans for free schools. The Tory leader of Kent County Council, Paul Carter says the funding arrangements for free schools could mean council run schools will get less money. Shadow children's secretary Michael Gove, reacts to the comments.

0720
The business news with Adam Shaw.

0723
The election campaign so far has been devoid of any of the political gaffes that we have come to be used to in many political fights. George Jones. Political correspondent for the Press Association political correspondent and veteran reporter on 11 general elections, looks back on momentous election blunders.

0727
Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

0734
The Foreign Office has been forced to apologise for a leaked memo suggesting that the Pope's forthcoming visit could see him opening an abortion clinic, blessing a gay marriage and launching a range of Benedict-branded condoms. The Bishop of Chester, the Right Reverend Dr Peter Forster, comments on whether political establishments are unsympathetic to the Christian faith.

0738
The head of the Indian Premier League cricket tournament, Lalit Modi, has been suspended pending an investigation into allegations of corruption and match-fixing. Rahul Tandon reports from Mumbai.

0740
The paper review.

0742
Over the course of the election campaign, the Today programme is travelling around the UK to investigate the political questions that matter to the electorate. Justin Webb visited Bristol North West, a hard to predict marginal constituency, to find out what voters think of the election race so far.

0749
Thought for the day with Reverend Dr Giles Fraser.

0751
As the election draws nearer, opinion polls are being used more and more in an attempt to establish how the parties are performing. Tim Harford, columnist for the Financial Times and presenter of Radio 4's More or Less programme, and Ben Page, chief executive of pollsters Ipsos Mori, debate whether opinion polls can predict an election result.

0810
Conservative leader David Cameron has said he might consider joining forces with the Liberal Democrats in the event of a hung parliament, and adopt electoral reforms which are heavily opposed by his party. Today presenter Justin Webb gauges West Country attitudes to a coalition government, deputy political editor James Landale examines the effect of introducing electoral reforms on the dominance of the Conservative party. Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith and former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy discuss the possibility of a coalition of their two parties.

0823
Author Alan Sillitoe who died yesterday, aged 82, was part of a generation of working-class writers who shifted the boundaries of taste. Sillitoe was one of the band of "angry young men" who arrived on the literary scene in the 1950s with tales of gritty, urban reality. Critic DJ Taylor reflects on Sillitoe's legacy.

0829
Sports news with Rob Bonnet.

0836
The rural vote is a vital vote if any party is to do well in the West Country and could be decisive in this year's general election. Rural Affairs Secretary Hilary Benn, his shadow Nick Herbert and the Liberal Democrats' rural affairs spokesman David Heath debate rural policy.

0846
The business news with Adam Shaw.

0849
The United States has seen the rise of the Tea Party movement in reaction to President Obama's election win. Correspondent Kevin Connolly investigates what a British Tea Party movement may look like.

0854
The general election has seen many firsts including TV debates and the strong prospect of a hung parliament. Mary Beard, professor of Classics at Cambridge University and Jane Humphries professor of Economic History at Oxford University, consider how this election will be viewed by future generations.


PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to offer transcripts for our programme interviews. Today is broadcast live and the running order is subject to change.




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