Miliband defiant over ‘fewer seats’


Published: Monday 4th May 2015 by The News Editor

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Ed Miliband has refused to say if Labour could form a legitimate government with fewer seats than the Conservatives – while ruling out an SNP arrangement.

The Labour leader accused David Cameron of being a “desperate man” who had resorted to setting the election up as a “clash of two nations” after losing the arguments on several key issues.

And he added that he is intent on putting forward a Labour Queen’s Speech and budget, saying of the SNP: “No, we’re not going to have an arrangement with them.

“What the Scottish National Party or any other MP elected to the House of Commons does is absolutely a matter for them but I want to be absolutely clear with you – I want to put forward a Labour Queen’s Speech, we’re going to put forward a Labour budget and it will be for the House of Commons to decide how it votes.”

Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Miliband was asked to explain what a legitimate government is.

He paused before telling presenter John Humphrys: “You’ll have to explain the question.”

Mr Miliband was informed that questions had been raised over the legitimacy of a Labour government which has fewer seats than the Tories.

Mr Miliband replied: “I’m really not going to start speculating about the election outcome.”

Told it was a matter of constitutional importance rather than speculation, Mr Miliband said: “If you want to get the constitutionalists on to talk to you about the constitution … you said it wasn’t speculation, John, it absolutely is speculation.

“I am fighting as hard as I can for a Labour majority, for Labour to do as well in this election as we can because I want to put working people first in our country.

“I think there are enormous issues we face. I look forward to discussing with you and others the election outcome after there is an election outcome.

“But until there is an election outcome, I think I take an old-fashioned view, John, which is that we should let people vote in the election.”

Asked if he or colleagues were planning to have any conversations with the SNP, Mr Miliband replied: “I am not planning that, no.”

Mr Miliband also defended his party for chiselling his key manifesto promises on to an 8ft 6in high stone, which could be installed in the back garden of 10 Downing Street if he wins power in Thursday’s General Election.

He said: “It’s got people talking.”

Told of criticism from the Guardian newspaper, which endorsed Labour last week, Mr Miliband said: “They don’t always get everything right.”

He added that he would “leave the landscape gardening to other people” when referring to the placement of the stone as he reiterated the need to boost trust in politicians.

On the Prime Minister, Mr Miliband said: “He’s a desperate man because what he’s reduced to is trying to set this election up as a clash of two nations. He’s lost all the arguments: he’s lost the argument about the economy, he’s lost the argument about leadership, he’s lost the argument about his broken promises on the NHS, and so this is all he’s got left.

“It isn’t a clash of two nations. It’s about how you stand up for working people in England, in Scotland, in Wales, in Northern Ireland, in every part of our country.”

Published: Monday 4th May 2015 by The News Editor

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