Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Labour government 'not good enough'

Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, during his speech to members of the Fabian Society
Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, during his speech to members of the Fabian Society

Ed Miliband has admitted that the last Labour government did not do enough for ordinary people.

The Opposition leader said the party had become distant from the public on issues such as immigration, and failed to rein in excess at the top of society.

Fleshing out his vision of One Nation Labour in a speech to the Fabian Society, he also highlighted new policies designed to help people priced out of buying homes.

It is Mr Miliband's latest attempt to distance himself from elements of the last government's record considered toxic by many strategists.

New Labour was "too timid in enforcing rights and responsibilities, especially at the top, and it was too sanguine about the consequences of the rampant free markets".

He said: "By the time we left office too many people of Britain didn't feel as if the Labour Party was open to their influence, or listening to them," Mr Miliband said.

"For me, the most obvious example is immigration. I bow to nobody in my celebration of the multi-ethnic, diverse nature of Britain. But high levels of migration were having huge effects on the lives of people in Britain - and too often those in power seemed not to accept this.

"The fact that they didn't explains partly why people turned against us in the last general election.

"We have to move on from New Labour, as well as from this Government."

Mr Miliband told the event in central London that if Labour wins the next general election it would have to find ways of achieving change while tackling a lingering deficit.

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