Ed Miliband makes first stop of general election campaign in Ilford North to back Labour’s Wes Streeting
PUBLISHED: 16:25 27 March 2015 | UPDATED: 09:25 30 March 2015
Labour leader Ed Miliband rolled into Ilford North this morning on the first stop of the party’s campaign – just hours after he was grilled by Jeremy Paxman on live television.
In his first interview since launching Labour’s general election campaign this morning, Mr Miliband told the Recorder he was “passionate” about parliamentary candidate Wes Streeting’s campaign to win the seat.
Speaking over a cup of tea at Nesse’s Cafe in Beehive Lane, Redbridge, Mr Miliband said he was offering “big ideas to change the country”.
“I’m really passionate about Wes’s campaign because he’s been running an incredible campaign, rooted in knocking on doors, listening to people in Ilford North and campaigning on the issues that matter to them,” he said.
“I think he will be a star in parliament, not for himself but for the people of Ilford North.”
Fresh from a grilling from Jeremy Paxman in last night’s televised “non-debate”, Mr Miliband said he believed the focus of voters’ questions was on issues and not on personality.
“People understand what they want in a leader or prime minister,” he said.
“I’m offering big ideas to change the country – I’ll stand up to people when I think it’s the right thing to do.
“I make no bones about the fact I believe decency is an important thing in politics.”
And Mr Miliband also spoke out over the Conservatives’ failed bid to change the rules of voting for the Speaker of the House – seen as an attack on current speaker John Bercow.
On the last day of parliament yesterday, William Hague – who is not standing in the election – moved a motion for a secret ballot to be brought in to decide the speaker’s future after the election.
But after opposition from their own party, Conservatives sensationally lost the vote 228 to 202.
Mr Miliband branded it “petty parliamentary tactics” and said it was a “sad day” for the former foreign secretary Hague.
He told the Recorder: “They were spending the last days of parliament trying to have some complicated plot to unseat the speaker after the next election. We are spending the last weeks of this campaign trying to speak for the country – I think that is the contrast.
“I think it was actually a pretty sad day for William Hague.
“It was his last day in parliament and there was this jiggery-pokery – goodness knows what they were trying to do or what possessed them to do it.
“I do think it says something about the Conservative campaign.
“We should be rising to the challenge of this general election.
“We should be talking about the country and how we can change the country – not engaging in petty parliamentary tactics.”
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