Miliband launches election battle in ‘fabulous’ Ipswich

Ed Miliband on a walk about in Ipswich during the launch of Labour local election campaign.

Ed Miliband on a walk about in Ipswich during the launch of Labour local election campaign. - Credit: Archant

IPSWICH: Labour leader Ed Miliband praised the “fabulous” town as he launched his party’s local election campaign at the Co-op’s Fore Street offices.

His visit to Ipswich should have been the start of an East Anglian tour but later visits to Cambridge and Stevenage were cancelled as Mr Miliband returned directly to London following the death of Baroness Thatcher.

The Labour leader welcomed the fact that he was able to launch the campaign in Ipswich.

He said: “This is a fabulous town and it is clearly much loved by the people who live in it.”

He was delighted that Labour had won back control of the borough two years ago and was confident that David Ellesmere would win back the parliamentary seat for the party at the next general election.

During his visit to Ipswich he said that while East Anglia is not normally a particularly successful area for his party, these elections were very important for the whole country.

“Suffolk is not a particularly fertile area for Labour, but we are a party for the whole country and it is important that we take the One Nation Labour message to all parts of Britain,” he said.

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Mr Miliband’s party did badly in the last county council elections – it won only four out of 75 seats in Suffolk in 2009 – but he said he was confident it would do much better this time around.

He said: “We are getting a warm welcome in areas that are not normally good for us and I am sure we are in line for a very good result.”

Mr Miliband said councils should have more powers to regulate what businesses opened on high streets across the country.

He said many people were concerned about the explosion in the numbers of payday loan shops, pawn brokers and betting shops that were taking over more and more stores on the high street.

“If a bank closes and someone wants to open up a payday loan shop there, there is no legislation to stop them – even though people often do not want that kind of business taking over high streets and exploiting the most vulnerable,” he said.

He urged people who needed financial help badly to contact their local credit union which is able to provide help.

n What do you think of Labour choosing the town to launch its manifesto? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email starletters

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