Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Miliband ambushed by egg thrower

A man throws eggs at Labour leader Ed Miliband during a campaign visit in East Street market in Walworth, south London

Ed Miliband has been pelted with eggs during a chaotic campaign visit to a street market, being struck on the head and shoulder when a man in the crowd hurled a volley of eggs at him.

The man, wearing a fluorescent jacket was hurriedly seized by security officers at the East Street market in Elephant and Castle, south London, and bundled away.

At least one journalist in the large media party following Mr Miliband also took a direct hit while others were splattered with egg.

The Labour leader appeared unperturbed by the attack carrying on with his visit, chatting to shoppers and stallholders, after aides removed his stained jacket.

"This is not the first time it's happened to me, I'm sure it's not the last," he said. "I'm always looking for new ways to connect with the voters."

Posting on Twitter, he later wrote: "Thanks to all at East St Market for the warm welcome today. Can recommend it for easy availability of eggs."

As he was led away, the man, who gave his name as Dean Porter, told reporters that it had been an "opportunistic moment", saying: "They should stop giving favouritism to the banks. They do nothing. The Government do nothing. The shadow government do nothing."

While Mr Miliband brushed off the incident, he could not avoid questions about the growing murmurings within his own ranks over his leadership and the slide in Labour's opinion poll lead over the Conservatives.

He bluntly dismissed shadow health secretary Andy Burnham's warning that the party's message was not getting through and that it was running out of time to make an impact before the general election in 2015.

"I don't accept that," he told reporters. "What Andy is saying - and Andy is doing a very good job in taking the fight to the Government on the health service and the crisis in A&E - is that what we are doing as a Labour Party is setting out how we would change the country."

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