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Ed Miliband MP

Labour party leader

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  • 12:33 Lucy Powell: I don't want to discuss who signed off Labour's immigration strategy document On air

    On Air | Lucy Powell | Labour MP | Daily Politics, BBC Two Video Lucy Powell

    Lucy Powell said she would not discuss whether Yvette Cooper had signed off a document about Labour's immigration strategy. "I’m happy to come on this programme and talk about our strategy on immigration. [Whether I signed off the docume... Continue to article

  • 10:19 Farage attacks Cable's 'Marxist' sell off of Royal Mail PoliticsHome News

    Farage attacks Cable's 'Marxist' sell off of Royal Mail PoliticsHome News

    Nigel Farage has said that Vince Cable is not fit for purpose and that he made a “made a pig’s ear” of the Royal Mail sale. Speaking on his LBC radio show Phone Farage, the Ukip leader attacked the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Mr ... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Wednesday 17th December
  • 15:18 Telegraph Opinion: David Cameron has a very good tax problem News

    Opinion | Telegraph blog source icon

    Ed Miliband is trying to trap the Prime Minister on tax Continue to article

  • 13:00 PMQs: Miliband presses Cameron on tax and spend plans House of Commons

    PMQs: Miliband presses Cameron on tax and spend plans House of Commons

    David Cameron and Ed Miliband have clashed over Tory spending plans in the final Prime Minister’s Questions of the year. The Labour leader repeatedly accused Mr Cameron of wanting to go back to public spending levels last seen in the 193... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 15th December
  • 16:37 Diane Abbott and Simon Danczuk blog: What should Labour's message on immigration be? News

    Blog | Comment is Free source icon

    Diane Abbott and Simon Danczuk debate whether Labour should put immigration high up its agenda. Continue to article

  • 15:54 Story (21 links): Miliband dismisses leaked Ukip strategy document

    PoliticsHome Miliband dismisses leaked Ukip strategy document Story View links

    Ed Miliband has distanced himself from a leaked document setting out Labour's strategy for dealing with Ukip.

    The strategy document, passed to the Telegraph, showed that MPs have been told to consider "moving the conversation on" if immigration is raised by some voters on the campaign trail.

    It also said that writing "proactively" to voters about immigration "risks undermining the broad coalition of support we need to return to government". 

    But the Labour leader dismissed the briefing today as he delivered a speech setting out the party's plans to tackle the exploitation of migrant workers.

    "I think what matters about our party and where we stand is what I'm saying on this stage, the pledge we're making, rather than some not-very-well-drafted language, out-of-context in a briefing document," he told reporters.

    PoliticsHome has been told that no member of Mr Miliband's office or the relevant Shadow Cabinet teams had seen the document - prepared by the party's campaigns team - before it went out.

    “The Shadow Cabinet are incandescent,” one source said. “They’ve got to account for themselves over this. It goes against everything the Shadow Cabinet believe and have been saying for months in coffee mornings and events in their own constituencies.”

    Yvette Cooper downplayed the significance of the briefing this afternoon, telling the World at One it should not be taken "too seriously".

    The Shadow Home Secrerary said: “No I didn’t [sign the document off]. And I am afraid the document has been wrong on this and it does not reflect what we are actually doing as well."

    And she added: “I am not taking it too seriously. I don’t think you should take this document too seriously… because this doesn’t reflect what we are actually doing.”

    The 33-page document also says that immigration is a "complex issue" on which voters have "legitimate concerns", and says the party should be prepared to "face the issue of immigration directly with identified Ukip supporters".

    In his Norfolk speech today, Mr Miliband said employers could face prosecution if they were found to have exploited migrants and employed them on significantly different terms from local workers.

    "We are serving notice on employers who bring workers here under duress or on false terms and pay them significantly lower wages, with worse terms and conditions," he said.

    Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves this morning confirmed the plans to tackle undercutting would be based on an existing German law to safeguard foreign workers who may be unaware of protections available in their host country.

    She said: "Exploiting a migrant means, for example, taking away their passport, tying housing costs to employment.

    "So having to pay, for example, £500 a month to live in 12-to-a-room accommodation, having to pay transport costs out of your wages that are in excess of what you should be charged. So there has to be exploitation as well as the undercutting."

  • 14:35 Transcript: David Cameron: economy speech Transcripts

    David Cameron: economy speech Transcripts

    INTRODUCTION   This Government has a long-term economic plan...   ...and today I have seen that plan in action.   Here in Magna Academy...   ...which has been re-built not just in its bricks and mortar, but in its cu... Continue to article

  • 13:50 Simon Danczuk: It is impossible not to talk about immigration On air

    On Air | Simon Danczuk MP | | The World At One, BBC Radio 4 Video Simon Danczuk MP

    Simon Danczuk said he was “concerned” about a leaked Labour document suggesting that party activists steer conversations with voters away from immigration.     “I am concerned about the document in terms of the fact that it tells Labour ... Continue to article

  • 13:46 Yvette Cooper: I did not sign off leaked Ukip strategy document On air

    On Air | Yvette Cooper MP | Shadow home secretary | The World At One, BBC Radio 4 Video Yvette Cooper MP

    Yvette Cooper distanced herself from a leaked Labour document suggesting to MPs that they should consider ‘moving the conversation on’ when voters raise the issue of immigration on the doorstep. “No I didn’t [sign the document off]. And ... Continue to article

  • 13:20 Miliband cool on leaked Ukip strategy document PoliticsHome News

    Miliband cool on leaked Ukip strategy document PoliticsHome News Miliband cool on leaked Ukip strategy document

    Ed Miliband has distanced himself from a leaked document setting out Labour's strategy for dealing with Ukip. The strategy document, passed to the Telegraph, showed that MPs have been told to consider "moving the conversation on" if immi... Continue to article

  • 12:48 TUC: The government should protect migrant workers from exploitation Press Release

    12:48| Press Release

    TUC press release Responding to Ed Miliband’s speech on immigration today (Monday), TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This government’s opposition to basic rights at work, and unwillingness to enforce those that exist, has he... Continue to article

  • 12:11 Labour: Launch of Labour’s second election pledge Press Release

    12:11| Press Release

    Labour press release Launch of Labour’s second election pledge Ed Miliband today (Monday) unveils the second of Labour’s five key election pledges. “We will control immigration with fair rules. “People who come here won’t be abl... Continue to article

  • 09:50 Waugh Room: Labour's UKIP problem The Waugh Room

    09:50 | The Waugh Room | PoliticsHome The Waugh Room Labour's UKIP problem

    The Telegraph's excellent scoop today on Labour's anti-UKIP campaign document is perfectly timed. With Ed Miliband due to make a speech in Great Yarmouth (a key Farage target), his plans to curb migrant employment will be overshadowed by... Continue to article

  • 07:30 Rachel Reeves: Leaked Ukip strategy document has been taken out of context On air

    On Air | Rachel Reeves MP | Shadow Work and Pensions Secre... | Today, BBC Radio 4 Video Rachel Reeves MP

    Rachel Reeves pushed back at a leaked document outling Labour's strategy for dealing with Ukip. "It's quite funny because at the weekend I was talking to local councillors in my constituency about what stories we were going to put in our... Continue to article

  • 00:01 LabourList blog: Labour will make it a criminal offence to exploit migrant workers, Miliband to announce News

    Blog | LabourList source icon

    Today, Ed Miliband will announce that Labour will make it a criminal offence for employers to exploit migrant workers. Continue to article

  • = Key Development Sunday 14th December
  • 22:16 MPs clash over EVEL PoliticsHome News

    MPs clash over EVEL PoliticsHome News

    MPs from across the political spectrum have clashed this evening over the scope and timescale of proposed constitutional reform that would move Westminster towards a system of ‘English votes for English laws’. Speaking on Radio 4’s Westm... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Saturday 13th December
  • 08:55 Douglas Alexander: Scottish Labour rewrote statute book but didn't rewrite the story On air

    On Air | Douglas Alexander MP | Shadow foreign secretary | Today, BBC Radio 4 Video Douglas Alexander MP

    Douglas Alexander argued that the Labour party in Scotland had failed to update its message for the 21st century. “To understand where Scottish politics is today, as you’ve suggested, you need to understand that we’re still in the immedi... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Friday 12th December
  • 17:10 In Brief Events

    17:10 | Events | PoliticsHome Events

    Prime Minister David Cameron speaks on the government's economic and housing policy, and announces a new scheme for first-time buyers. He also hosts talks at Downing Street with Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, Northern Irela... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 11th December
  • 16:23 Hopi Sen blog: Masterminding the deficit question News

    Blog | Progress Online source icon

    Ed Miliband’s favourite childhood game was, famously, a Rubik’s cube. Continue to article

  • 15:52 Robert Peston blog: Labour remembers the deficit News

    Blog | BBC source icon

    Ed Miliband has unilaterally decided that the general election campaign has begun. Continue to article

  • 15:28 Telegraph Opinion: I'd like to climb inside Ed Miliband's head News

    Opinion | Telegraph blog source icon

    Maybe one day I will understand Ed Miliband's plan to win the election Continue to article

  • 14:41 Isabel Hardman blog: What we learnt from Miliband’s Big Speech, with no Big Announcement News

    Blog | Coffee House source icon

    Ed Miliband’s speech on reducing the deficit has attracted a fair bit of criticism for not telling us very much that’s new. Continue to article

  • 12:26 LabourList blog: More than £500 million could be saved in local government budget, Labour’s report finds News

    Blog | LabourList source icon

    Following Ed Miliband’s speech on the deficit today, the Labour leadership are outlining how they will make £500 million in savings in the Communities and Local Government budget. This comes from the ... Continue to article

  • 12:04 Sian Penny blog: Compulsory voting: the next stage of electoral reform? News

    Blog | Progress Online source icon

    In a parliament in which little has been done to tackle the issue of low voter turnout, particularly among young people, Ed Miliband’s announcement that Labour will introduce votes for 16- and 17-year... Continue to article

  • 11:53 Transcript: Labour: Speech by Ed Miliband MP on the deficit Transcripts

    Labour: Speech by Ed Miliband MP on the deficit Transcripts

    Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, in a speech on the deficit, said: My speech today is about the deficit. Its place in our priorities. How a Labour government would deal with it. And how we would do so consistent with our valu... Continue to article

  • 07:58 Isabel Hardman blog: Labour now thinks it is safe to reject the Tory narrative on the economy News

    Blog | Coffee House source icon

    Labour has returned to a bit more of an even keel in the past few wintry weeks after a torrid autumn. Plotters are resigned to letting Ed Miliband fight the… Continue reading The post Labour now think... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Wednesday 10th December
  • 17:08 LabourList blog: Miliband makes stirring defence of Human Rights Act News

    Blog | LabourList source icon

    Ed Miliband marked the UN Human Rights Day today by making a powerful defence of the UK’s role in creating documents to codify internationally recognised human rights. Continue to article

  • = Key Development Tuesday 9th December
  • 16:18 Story (11 links): Labour sets out votes at 16

    PoliticsHome Labour sets out votes at 16 Story View links

    Labour would legislate to allow 1.5 million 16 and 17-year-olds to vote by May 2016, in time for the London mayoral election, Ed Miliband has said.

    Speaking at a Bite the Ballot Leaders Live event with YouTube and ITV last night, the Labour leader described the changes as “the greatest extension of the franchise in my lifetime.” He added: “Too many young people are turning their backs on politics.”

    He also said he would consider the use of ‘exclusion zones’ outside abortion clinics, after the Shadow Home Secretary called for a review to prevent harassment and intimation of women seeking abortions.

    Meanwhile, former business secretary Lord Mandelson has told Ed Miliband not to compete with Ukip, and to exploit public concerns over George Osborne’s cut programme.

  • 14:02 London Live: Labour candidate announces she is transgender Press Release

    14:02| Press Release

    London Live, the capital’s TV channel, interviewed the recently selected Labour candidate for Sutton and Cheam, Emily Brothers, on its lunchtime show ‘Headline London’ today . In her first TV interview since the parliamentary announcement i... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 8th December
  • 18:31 Miliband pledges votes at 16 by 2016 London mayoral election PoliticsHome News

    Miliband pledges votes at 16 by 2016 London mayoral election PoliticsHome News

    Labour would legislate to bring in votes for 16 and 17 year olds in time for the next Mayor of London elections, Ed Miliband has said. Speaking to young people on the Bite the Ballot/ITV young persons’ leaders’ debates, the Labour leader... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Friday 5th December
  • 16:29 In Brief Events

    16:29 | Events | PoliticsHome Events

    Prime Minister David Cameron hosts a Downing Street event on coding and has announced plans for maths and science in schools Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband participates in a Leaders Live online debate with young people (5:30pm) ... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 4th December
  • 16:48 Ed Miliband: Labour's £2.5bn NHS boost on top of Autumn Statement commitments On air

    On Air | Ed Miliband MP | Labour party leader | 5 News, Channel 5 Video Ed Miliband MP

    Ed Miliband said Labour would stick to its plan for an extra £2.5bn a year for the NHS, on top of pledges in the Autumn Statement. "Labour is the only party that actually has set out where we’re going to get extra money from for the Nati... Continue to article

  • 14:23 John Mann: Spending cuts could leave Britain a ten-bob country On air

    On Air | John Mann MP | Labour MP | BBC News Video John Mann MP

    John Mann warned that the NHS, police and Army were under threat if spending cuts were pursued at current levels. “We have to ensure that the annual deficit is got under control, so Ed Balls, Ed Miliband are right to say we’ll get on top... Continue to article

  • 12:37 Guardian: Swedish nightmare looms for Labour News

    News | The Guardian source icon

    As Europe’s populist parties continue to lure voters, Ed Miliband could soon see himself stuck between a rock and a hard place Continue to article

  • = Key Development Wednesday 3rd December
  • 11:54 Rachel Reeves and Kate Green blog: The 6 policies Labour will introduce to help change the lives of disabled people News

    Blog | LabourList source icon

    Tonight we will join Ed Miliband at an event to recognise the United Nations International Day of Disabled People. Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 1st December
  • 22:00 ComRes/Independent poll: Cameron & Osborne lead Miliband and Balls on economy and family finances Press Release

    22:00| Press Release

    David Cameron and George Osborne are winning the economic argument with Ed Miliband and Ed Balls as voters make up their mind in the run-up to next May’s general election, according to a ComRes survey for The Independent.   People are... Continue to article

  • 16:50 Ed Miliband: Brown was a towering political figure for a generation On air

    On Air | Ed Miliband MP | Labour party leader | BBC News Video Ed Miliband MP

    Ed Miliband has praised former prime minister Gordon Brown, who is due to announce he will step down as an MP tonight, as a “towering political figure for a generation”. “He’s been instrumental in many of the Labour government’s achievem... Continue to article

  • 16:16 LabourList blog: Ashcroft poll correction shows no UKIP threat to Miliband in DoncasterNorth News

    Blog | LabourList source icon

    Plenty was made last week of the idea that if Tories vote for UKIP in Doncaster North next May they could unseat Ed Miliband next May. Continue to article

  • 13:43 Anthony Wells blog: Update on the Lord Ashcroft Doncaster poll News

    Blog | UK Polling Report source icon

    An update on the Lord Ashcroft constituency polling from last week. Looking at the tables for Doncaster North – Ed Miliband’s seat – the weighting appears to be seriously askew. Continue to article

  • = Key Development Sunday 30th November
  • 23:15 Chris Leslie: Falling real wages to blame for Govt missing deficit reduction target On air

    On Air | Chris Leslie MP | Shadow Chief Secretary to the ... | Westminster Hour, Radio 4 Video Chris Leslie MP

    Chris Leslie said the fall in real wages was to blame for the Government’s failure to hit its deficit reduction target. “First of all in terms of business investment the Chancellor back in 2010 promised that it would be 8% a year – it ha... Continue to article

  • 08:00 Iain Martin: Autumn Statement: George Osborne is still cleaning up after Labour’s epic failure News

    Opinion | The Sunday Telegraph source icon

    Despite the deficit, the identity of his accusers gives the Chancellor an enormous electoral advantage that Ed Miliband and Ed Balls still struggle to process mentally Continue to article

  • = Key Development Saturday 29th November
  • 07:19 Tom Watson interview: ‘There is no doubt in my mind that at least one politician abused kids’ News

    Opinion | The Guardian source icon

    The scourge of the phone hacker now has a new crusade: to get to the bottom of the claims of a Westminster paedophile ring. So what turned him into a private investigator? And why can’t he back Ed Miliband with the same enthusiasm? Continue to article

  • = Key Development Friday 28th November
  • 13:54 LabourList blog: Labour will implement Smith Commission proposals in first Queen’s Speech, pledges Miliband News

    Blog | LabourList source icon

    Ed Miliband today said that the vow he made to radically devolve powers to Holyrood during the referendum campaign had been ‘signed, sealed and delivered’ by the publication of the Smith Commission’s report. Continue to article

  • 11:35 Ed Miliband: Cameron has no credibility on immigration On air

    On Air | Ed Miliband MP | Labour party leader | BBC News Video Ed Miliband MP

    Ed Miliband responded to David Cameron's speech on immigration by claiming the Prime Minister had "no credibility".  “David Cameron has absolutely no credibility when on immigration. This is somebody who made a promise at the last genera... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 27th November
  • 20:00 Ed masters discipline The House Magazine

    20:00 | The House Magazine | PoliticsHome The House Magazine Ed masters discipline

      Words: Paul Waugh Photos: Paul Heartfield     Ed Balls is feeling the pressure. In just a few days, he faces yet another big test of his ability, with huge amounts at stake if he fails. But it’s not the Autumn Statement tha... Continue to article

  • 20:00 The Knowledge: What does #Cameronmustgo mean? The Political Pulse

    20:00 | The Political Pulse | PoliticsHome The Political Pulse

      You can tell a good deal about an era from the new words it contributes to the country’s vernacular. This parliament has already seen such political idioms as ‘fracking’, ‘devo-max’ and ‘omnishambles’ added to the dictionary, and now C... Continue to article

  • 12:00 Ed Miliband: Smith Commission proposals a first step on road to wider UK devolution On air

    On Air | Ed Miliband MP | Labour party leader | Sky News Video Ed Miliband MP

    Ed Miliband said the Smith Commission's proposals on further Scottish devolution represented a good start on the road to a wider decentralisation of power across the UK. “This delivers on the promise that Labour made to the people of Sco... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Wednesday 26th November
  • 15:01 Ivan Lewis blog: Tackling inequality: the gateway to a shared future in NorthernIreland News

    Blog | LabourList source icon

    The moral compass at the heart of Ed Miliband’s vision for the future of our country is a passionate commitment Continue to article

  • 13:33 Dot Commons: Watch and learn, Ed Dot Commons

    PoliticsHome Watch and learn, Ed

    Labour has been having a few problems with celebrities in recent weeks. After Myleene Klass’ run-in with Ed Miliband, Angelina Jolie has now revealed she might not buy a house in Britain if the ‘mansion tax’ goes ahead after all. So w...

  • 13:29 Ed Vaizey: Voters can compare Labour and Coalition NHS records On air

    On Air | Ed Vaizey MP | Culture minister | World at One, BBC Radio 4 Video Ed Vaizey MP

    Ed Vaizey said that voters at the next election should make a comparison between the Welsh and English NHS, rather than listening to Labour’s rhetoric on the health service. “This point that’s coming out that Ed Miliband apparently wants... Continue to article

  • 12:50 PMQs: Cameron and Miliband go head-to-head over the NHS House of Commons

    PMQs: Cameron and Miliband go head-to-head over the NHS House of Commons

    David Cameron and Ed Miliband have once again traded blows over the health service, in a session of Prime Minister's Questions focusing heavily on NHS policy. The Prime Minister was challenged by the Labour leader over an admission by H... Continue to article

Stories involving Ed Miliband

Miliband dismisses leaked Ukip strategy document

Ed Miliband has distanced himself from a leaked document setting out Labour's strategy for dealing with Ukip.

The strategy document, passed to the Telegraph, showed that MPs have been told to consider "moving the conversation on" if immigration is raised by some voters on the campaign trail.

It also said that writing "proactively" to voters about immigration "risks undermining the broad coalition of support we need to return to government". 

But the Labour leader dismissed the briefing today as he delivered a speech setting out the party's plans to tackle the exploitation of migrant workers.

"I think what matters about our party and where we stand is what I'm saying on this stage, the pledge we're making, rather than some not-very-well-drafted language, out-of-context in a briefing document," he told reporters.

PoliticsHome has been told that no member of Mr Miliband's office or the relevant Shadow Cabinet teams had seen the document - prepared by the party's campaigns team - before it went out.

“The Shadow Cabinet are incandescent,” one source said. “They’ve got to account for themselves over this. It goes against everything the Shadow Cabinet believe and have been saying for months in coffee mornings and events in their own constituencies.”

Yvette Cooper downplayed the significance of the briefing this afternoon, telling the World at One it should not be taken "too seriously".

The Shadow Home Secrerary said: “No I didn’t [sign the document off]. And I am afraid the document has been wrong on this and it does not reflect what we are actually doing as well."

And she added: “I am not taking it too seriously. I don’t think you should take this document too seriously… because this doesn’t reflect what we are actually doing.”

The 33-page document also says that immigration is a "complex issue" on which voters have "legitimate concerns", and says the party should be prepared to "face the issue of immigration directly with identified Ukip supporters".

In his Norfolk speech today, Mr Miliband said employers could face prosecution if they were found to have exploited migrants and employed them on significantly different terms from local workers.

"We are serving notice on employers who bring workers here under duress or on false terms and pay them significantly lower wages, with worse terms and conditions," he said.

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves this morning confirmed the plans to tackle undercutting would be based on an existing German law to safeguard foreign workers who may be unaware of protections available in their host country.

She said: "Exploiting a migrant means, for example, taking away their passport, tying housing costs to employment.

"So having to pay, for example, £500 a month to live in 12-to-a-room accommodation, having to pay transport costs out of your wages that are in excess of what you should be charged. So there has to be exploitation as well as the undercutting."


Miliband: We should be embarrassed over lack of female engineers

Ed Miliband has criticised Britain’s lack of female engineers, labelling it a “national embarrassment” and calling for an extra 400,000 to be trained by 2020.

Writing on Facebook yesterday, the Labour leader highlighted the shortfall of engineers, and said it must be addressed “if we are going to win the race to the top in the 21st century”.

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves today told the Sun today that Mr Miliband does understand the lives of ordinary people, after Emily Thornberry was forced to resign over an offensive tweet.


Miliband declares 'united party' despite poll blow

Ed Miliband has responded to criticism of his leadership and a further slump in the polls by insisting that Labour will "go forward as a united party" and not look inwards.

The Labour leader gave an interview to the BBC this evening as a new ‎Ipsos Mori poll showed the Conservatives have taken a three-point lead.

He admitted that the party had recently been through tough times.

"It is fair to say that we haven’t had the best couple of weeks," he said.

He also insisted that unity was key to success in 2015.

"Disunited parties are parties that the public worry about and I understand that, that’s why we are going to go forward as a united party.

"That’s why the feeling right across our party, the vast, vast majority of people is we are going to look outwards to the country and I’m very clear about that.

"We are going to fight for what we believe in, we are going to focus on the needs of the country, we are not going to look inwards as a party because, frankly, it would be unforgiveable.‎"

The Ipsos Mori survey for the Evening Standard has topline figures of the Tories on 32%, Labour down four points to 29%, Ukip on 14%, the Lib Dems on 9% and the Greens on 7%.

There was more bad news for the Labour leader in the poll after it found that the number of people who think he is ready to be prime minister has dropped sharply.

In June this year, 22% thought Mr Miliband was ready to be prime minister and 65% thought he was not.

However, the figures today have dropped to 13% and 73%.

Speaking to Sky News about the findings, Ed Balls acknowledged Labour faced a “big challenge”, but brushed off the importance of this individual poll.

The Shadow Chancellor said: “These polls have been bouncing around up and down for the last few months. The only poll which is going to matter is the one on general election day. We’re not complacent at all because we’ve got a big challenge ahead in the coming months.”

Mr Miliband will give a speech tomorrow in which he will set out his reasons for taking on his brother for the Labour leadership in 2010.


Labour sets out votes at 16

Labour would legislate to allow 1.5 million 16 and 17-year-olds to vote by May 2016, in time for the London mayoral election, Ed Miliband has said.

Speaking at a Bite the Ballot Leaders Live event with YouTube and ITV last night, the Labour leader described the changes as “the greatest extension of the franchise in my lifetime.” He added: “Too many young people are turning their backs on politics.”

He also said he would consider the use of ‘exclusion zones’ outside abortion clinics, after the Shadow Home Secretary called for a review to prevent harassment and intimation of women seeking abortions.

Meanwhile, former business secretary Lord Mandelson has told Ed Miliband not to compete with Ukip, and to exploit public concerns over George Osborne’s cut programme.


Labour jump in the polls

Labour are ahead by clear margins in new polls today by Populus and Lord Ashcroft.

The latest Populus poll - taken after the resignation of Labour frontbencher Emily Thornberry amid a row over perceived snobbery - put the party ahead on 36%.

The Conservatives were down by two points on 31%, Ukip's support had risen by one point to 15%, while the Liberal Democrats' support remained unchanged on 9%.

A further poll from Lord Ashcroft this afternoon put Labour five points ahead of the Conservatives on 32% to 27%.

The news comes as Ed Miliband promised to take tough action against "cowboy employment agencies" who fail to follow new criteria by undercutting wages and failing to pay taxes.

“There is now overwhelming evidence that some [agencies] are operating in the shadows of our economy and on the margins of law, damaging the basic fabric of British life,” he said.


Miliband reshuffle: Creagh replaces Murphy

Ed Miliband has carried out a reshuffle of his shadow cabinet, in the wake of former shadow international development secretary Jim Murphy quitting his position to focus on his campaign to become leader of Scottish Labour.

Mr Murphy has been replaced as shadow international development secretary by transport spokeswoman Mary Creagh.

Ms Creagh is succeeded by Michael Dugher.

Lucy Powell has also been promoted to the shadow cabinet to take on responsibility for general election operations.

Ms Powell told BBC Newsnight she was confident in getting Ed Miliband out talking to voters, and making sure the party was working "at its very best".

"I am going to make sure we put out the very best of our talents and communicate the very strong message that we have got going into the next election and unblock the system so our operation is serving all of those fantastic candidates, our fantastic front bench and our leader," she said.