Ed Miliband promises a better future under Labour

Labour leader Ed Miliband said voters faced a “competition between two visions of the country” at May’s election on a visit to Nelson and Colne College this afternoon.

Mr Miliband was in a relaxed mood as he answered questions from an audience of 175 people who were a mixture of Labour Party members and floating voters.

Topics varied from energy and the environment to education and employment right through to the NHS, immigration, Europe and global trade policies and relations.

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The Labour leader said there was a choice between the Conservative plan where wealth from a “few at the top” would “magically trickle down to everybody else” or his idea that only “when working people are doing well, every day people are doing well, that we can succeed as a country”.

Mr Miliband dismissed the theory that people were feeling the benefits of an economic improvement saying “the recovery might have reached the City of London but it hasn’t reached most kitchen tables”.

He also vowed to protect the NHS, clamp down on tax avoidance from both businesses and individuals, scrap MPs from having second jobs and promised to give the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds.

Earlier in the day, the Labour leader visited BAE’s Samlesbury site to launch the party’s North West regional economic plan.