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Ed Miliband MP

Labour party leader

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Stories involving Ed Miliband

Labour to cut tuition fees by a third

Labour will commit to cutting tuition fees by a third in its election manifesto, and is considering moving towards a graduate tax, according to reports today.

The move could cost as much as £10bn if they reduce fees from £9,000 to £6,000, aimed to appeal to young people and middle class voters.

A Conservative spokesman said that it would create a “new level of chaos” and would lead to more borrowing.

The policy was first released by Ed Miliband in 2011, but has not yet been confirmed for the party’s manifesto.


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 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.


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