Labour’s twin task force hits Leeds

Ed Balls in Leeds.
Ed Balls in Leeds.
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THE twin spearheads of the Labour party have been in Leeds to talk to their supporters and the public.

Within 12 hours of each other the Labour leader Ed Miliband and shadow Chancellor Ed Balls arrived in the city for different appointments.

Ed Balls spoke of how voters are being given the chance to shape Labour’s next General Election manifesto at workshops.

Under the banner “New Politics. Fresh ideas,” a cross-section of voters have been invited to the events to make clear the issues and priorities that matter to them.

The latest took place in Leeds and Wakefield and were led by the shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, Labour MP for Morley and Rothwell.

He told the 60-70 people who attended an event at Leeds Metropolitan University’s Gandhi Hall: “We want to know from you what you think are the three biggest issues that have to be sorted out. What do you think are the big challenges facing our country in the future?”

He later told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “The key thing when you are a political party and you don’t win a General Election you can’t think, ‘we were right and the voters were wrong’.

“We did lots of things right in government but not everything was right.

“The world is changing and we need to hear from people.”

He said job for young people, the need for apprenticeships, wages, bank regulation immigration were among the issues raised at other workshops he had attended.

Labour leader Ed Miliband was rather less expansive about policy when he was guest speaker at a major business awards ceremony at Savile Hall in the city.

But he did take the opportunity in his speech to praise asian businesses as being vital to the economy.

He told the audience: “You show the strength of this region and the strength of the asian community.

“The asian business community make an enormous contribution to our country right across a whole range of sectors and communities. The asian business community has gone from the margins to the mainstream of British business.

“I will do all I can to support your work as it’s been incredibly important as a way to help the next generation to get on.

“The wealth you are creating - I want to thank you for it.”

Mr Miliband said he had sympathy with how asian people had come to Britain and gained success as his parents had come to Britain fleeing the Nazis. He said: “I love this country because of what it has been able to do for me and my family.”

Leeds Civic Hall.

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