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Cameron to kick off general election battle

Britain's Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron gestures during his keynote speech at the party's spring forum in ManchesterDavid Cameron will make a short trip from Downing Street to Buckingham Palace today to ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament.

The final act of pomp and ceremony of his coalition government will be followed by a statement from the Prime Minister on the steps of Number 10 in which he will say the country faces “a stark choice” between the Conservatives and Labour.

Mr Cameron will say: “You can choose an economy that grows, that creates jobs, that generates the money to ensure a properly funded and improving NHS … and a Government that will cut taxes for 30 million hardworking people …

“Or you can choose the economic chaos of Ed Miliband’s Britain – over £3,000 in higher taxes for every working family to pay for more welfare and out-of-control spending. Debt will rise and jobs will be lost as a result.”

Labour leader Mr Miliband is joining shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna and shadow chancellor Ed Balls for the launch of Labour’s business manifesto at Bloomberg.

The Labour Party is expected to release a “dossier” on the EU, setting out how Mr Cameron has, in their view, caved in to the eurosceptics within his party.

Labour will also take out an advert in the Financial Times focusing on their campaign to stay in Europe.

Mr Miliband is expected to say: “There could be nothing worse for our country or for our great exporting businesses than playing political games with our membership in Europe.

“David Cameron used to understand that. But in the past five years our place in the European Union has become less and less secure.

“He used to say he would campaign to keep Britain in Europe. But now he won’t rule out campaigning to leave.

“He used to say he would be able to negotiate treaty change in Europe. But now he prefers to keep quiet about that too.”

The polls are fluctuating. A Sunday Times Poll put Labour ahead by 3 points but a ComRes Poll for ITV News and the Daily Mail shows the Conservatives 3 points in the lead at 36% to Labour’s 32%.

With Parliament dissolved, MPs immediately lose their title and are asked to remove references to it, or place disclaimers on any email or social media account which names them as an MP.

They will also find their parliamentary pass for Westminster Palace ceases to work.