Labour Policies

 On this page you will find all things Labour.

Labour Policies

  • Repeal the Health and Social Care Act (otherwise known as the NHS privatisation Act)
  • Build 125,000+ homes
  • Regulate private rents
  • Promote a Living Wage for public sector workers and shame the private sector into following that lead
  • Offer a minimum 33-40 per cent cut in tuition fees
  • Limit rail fare increases to one per cent
  • Reimpose the 50p rate of income tax for the super-rich
  • Impose a mansion tax on the rich
  • Repeat the bankers’ bonus tax
  • Reverse the bedroom tax
  • Scrap Workfare and replace it with a ‘compulsory’ Jobs Guarantee 
  • Offer a VAT cut or a ‘temporary’ VAT holiday
  • Implement the High Pay Commission report in its entirety
  • Scrap Ofgem and bring in proper energy price regulation
  • Break up the banks and set up a National Investment Bank, and
  • Support mining communities and clean coal technology.

What Would Labour Do (in 2015)
From Sunny Hundal @Sunny_Hundal

Lots of people say the Labour party has made no committments about policy or direction for the next (2015) election. Lots also say the Labour party has no idea where its going and say little about its direction. Both statements are untrue

Job Creation

Living Standards


Financial Regulation

Social Security / Welfare

  • A more contributory system

The NHS / health



Ed Miliband's speech to Labour's NPF


Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, in his speech to Labour's National Policy in Gillingham today said:

Thank you very much for that incredibly kind introduction and I suppose I should say to you welcome to the frozen south. Who says there is a North South divide when it comes to the weather? Thank you all for braving the elements to come here today. Congratulations to Peter Hain who is going to be a fantastic chair of the National Policy Forum.

I’m really grateful to you for coming today and I do want to start by saying that we are a party that people are coming to, not moving away from. We’ve had 43,000 members join us since the general election and I think that is an extraordinary achievement. I think it shows people want to be part of our party. We’ve been winning council by-elections up and down this country. In Sandwell two weeks ago we won a council by-election in a seat that had been held by the Conservative Party for the last 36 years.

This is a party where the fight back has begun.

Now I know also that all of us six months on from the general election feel a huge sense of anger frankly about what is happening to our country. We feel a sense of anger about the broken promises that we see, Broken promises from the Liberal Democrats on tuition fees, on VAT. Broken promises on child benefit, on Educational Maintenance Allowances, on a whole host of other things from the Conservatives. You could add your own items to this list of broken promises.

And it’s not just the broken promises. The thing I found out this week is also the arrogance of this government. It came over the issue of school sport. Some of you may not know the difference we made to sport in schools during our time in office. An increase from 25% to 90% in the number of kids doing more than two hours sport a week. A million more children engaged in competitive sport. A network of 200,000 volunteers as part of schools sports partnerships.

Was this something the government decided to carry on? No. It was something that without any consultation they decided to end with the stroke of a pen. That tells you something about the arrogance of this government. The arrogance of never had it so good Lord Young. This is an arrogant government.

But most of all, and this is my theme today, this is a government that is widening the gap between the dreams apparently on offer in Britain today and people’s chances of realising them.

I was in the West Midlands on Thursday, in Birmingham, talking to kids at a college. A college that has around 35,000 young people there. And they were just saying to me look, how are we going to cope with the tripling of tuition fees? How  are we going to stay on in the sixth form when we see the end of Educational Maintenance Allowances? And that is the issue in Britain today.

And it’s not just about the poorest in society, that’s why I make no apologies for talking about the squeezed middle. Because people are feeling squeezed. They were feeling squeezed before this government, they’re feeling much much more squeezed  now  that this government is in power.

So it is about standing up for the hopes and aspirations of people. And that is our mission. That must be our mission, to narrow that gap between the dreams that people can see around them and their chances of realising them.

But the truth is that despite all the things this government is doing wrong the next election is as much about us as it is about them. And that’s the mission I want to talk to you about today. That is the mission we are kicking off today with the policy reviews co-ordinated by Liam Byrne and the process of party reform which Peter Hain is leading.

And I want to talk to you about the principles that will drive that process, the principles that will underline both the policy reviews and the party reform and I say we’ve got to move beyond New Labour. Why do I say we have to move beyond New Labour? Not because the New Labour approach was wrong, it was right in many ways. Social justice and economic efficiency. Creating wealth as well as distributing it. Appealing to all sections of society.

All of those things are right but the truth is we got many thing right in government and some things wrong, we have to face up to that. And also the world has changed dramatically. Our last big renewal was in 1994. That’s why this process of renewal is so important for our party. This is such an opportunity for us.

So I want to talk to you about the five things that I think we need to do.

First of all we have to be a party rooted in people’s lives. Now this might sound like a simple thing but it isn’t a simple thing at all. What is the overwhelming impression that most people have of politics today, of politicians? It is of people distant from them and their lives. People who don’t understand the lives  that they lead, the daily struggle that their lives represent.

I think of the low paid worker I met at an NHS hospital being paid £7.10 an hour but not getting statutory sick pay. I think if the small business owner who told me that actually he did feel that red tape and regulation was a massive problem for him. I think of the person I met in my own constituency who I talked about when I launched my leadership campaign who said that yes he understood that immigration was part of Britain and part of Britain’s history but he felt his mate’s wages were being driven down and he didn’t know why we  didn’t have better  answers.

Being rooted in people’s lives is not about a slogan, it’s not about going out and just saying ‘tell us what we should think’, but it is about saying we need  to be reconnected to the hopes and aspirations of the people of Britain.

That’s why when I think about the policy reviews that we’re going to be undertaking, they’re not about a bunch of experts gathered in a room in London. They’ve got to be about us as a party going out there and talking to people. Going out there and being by people’s side and that’s why your role is so important as members of the National Policy Forum.

Because you are our connection to people. You give us the ability to reach out and  connect. You and the party members, the trade union levy payers up and down this country.

And that takes me to the issue of party reform. Party reform is essential for us and it is about being rooted in people’s lives. Think about the challenge that we face. A hundred years ago when we were founded people’s allegiances to party were much more likely to be inherited rather than chosen.

Today the world is very different. People are much more likely to choose their allegiance rather than inherit it. People are much more likely to wear that allegiance  very lightly. And some people don’t want to accept lock stock  and barrell the idea of joining a political party.

So that is the context for the challenge of party reform. And yet for us as a political party we can’t just be a party with declining membership. That’s OK for the Tories, they’ve got other friends who can help them. Our challenge is different. We need to become a movement again.

How do we become a movement again? First of all you have to have high ideal. You have to show how you’re going to change the country. That’s, part of the process of our policy review. Secondly you’ve got to give a voice to members and this body, the National Policy Forum, has played an incredibly important role in the last few years in our policy making but we all know in our hearts that it can do more and that we can give more of a voice to our members and we will be a better connected party if we did and we have better policy if we did.

But also have to reach out to people. What have you heard on the doorstep when you knock on doors? If you’ve heard it once you’ve heard it a thousand times. “We only see you at election time”. Now that isn’t true of many parties that are represented in this room. But too few of us, too few of our parties are out there asm a campaigning force.

So one or the things that Peter’s review is going to have to do is find ways in which we can become a campaigning force up and down this country, a genuine community organisation not just saying vote for us but saying join with us to change your community.

There’s one other thing which is how you reach out beyond your membership. This is really really important. Some people say look, we should cut off  the four  million people, the nurses, the home helps, the dinner ladies, the engineers, the hard working people who are part of our movement. Frankly at a time when politics is already disconnected, that is the last thing that we should do in my view.

But there is a challenge for us. There is a challenge of engaging those four million people so they do feel part of our movement again and there’s a challenge of going beyond those four million people as well.

Some people will want to join our party. Some people will be trade union levy payers, but there are people beyond that too that we need to make part of our decision making in this country and that is also going to be part of Peter’s review.

And there’s just one other thing. I think given where we are today the idea that each of us has multiple votes in the leadership and deputy leadership election probably should be a thing of the past. But we can change our party and make it better connected top people up and down this country. So that’s the first thing we have to do, be rooted in peoples’ lives.

Secondly we have to change our economy and we have to understand how we need to change our economy.

Now we did great things as a party: we created millions of jobs through our economic record. We used the proceeds of growth to rebuild our public services and tackle poverty. But let’s be honest, the message we heard  at the election was that that wasn’t enough. For the people who were saying where are the industrial jobs of the future going to come from for my son or daughter, that wasn’t enough. For the people who were saying to us how am I going to get on the housing market, how is my son or daughter going to get on the housing ladder, it wasn’t enough. For the person who said ‘I feel like I’m just stuck, I’m stock in a low paid job and I can’t get out of it’, it wasn’t enough. For the small business owner who said look, the banks don’t seem to be helping me, it wasn’t enough.

So our second challenge is to understand that we need a whole new approach on our economy.

Now what is the central insight? For me the central insight is this: New Labour was right to accept the role of the market in 1994, that dynamic markets do help create jobs. But government has a central role to play as well. Government as regulator, government  as influencer, government must play its role. But how should we do it going forward?

We know what the challenge is: to promote a proper living wage in this country. To have the high quality industrial jobs that we need. To reform our banking system  in the way that we know  other countries, Germany and others countries have in the past and created those high paying industrial jobs. And to take action also so there is responsibility on pay throughout our society. All of those things must be part of our policy review.

I tell you this also though. Deficit reduction is important. But deficit reduction cannot be your only economic policy. This government is trying to reduce economic policy simply to deficit reduction and frankly it won’t work. It won’t create the good economy we need in the future. So we need to change our approach on the economy.

Thirdly we need to change our approach not just to markets, but to government as well. We use the power of government to do great things for the country, to build public services, and we should be proud of our record. But we do know that there is am danger that we need to guard against and the danger is this. The danger is that government becomes the answer to everything and the danger also, and many local councillors in this room will know this, that Whitehall knows best. That Whitehall solutions will always be the answer.

Now actually the targets we introduced - the 18 week waiting list target, the 2 week cancer guarantee - made an extraordinary difference to people up and down this country, But sometimes we took targets and audit and indeed reorganisation of our public services too far.

What are the solutions for the future that I am interested in? I am interested in mutual solutions to some of the issues we face in our public services. To community ownership of our public services. To public services where people don’t feel, both users and those working in them, like cogs in the machine which to often they do. And also we have to be the people who stand up for local democracy and local control over public services as well.

And if the relationship between the state and public service is an issue, so is the relationship between the state and the liberty of the individual. Anyone who tells you that there’s no difficult issues between liberty and security in our country today isn’t telling the truth because there are big challenges that we face.

But we know  we also got the balance wrong and some of the good things  we did like CCTV were undermined by some of the things where we went wrong like 90 days. We need to be the people who stand up for liberty. We need to be a party that has liberty at its core. We were founded on one of the most important liberties – the right to join and form a trade union and we need to remember that liberty is part of Labour’s  soul as well. So we need to change our attitude to government.

But fourth we also need to think about not just the relationship of the individual to the market and the relationship of the individual to government but also the thing that probably matters most to all of us in this room, the relationships between individuals. People within communities.

Now it sticks in our throat when David Cameron tries to claim that he’s the man for the big society. Because he has an old fashioned view about the big society. His is essentially a view that says look, if government gets out of the way then society will prosper. None of us believe that. Because the evidence doesn’t support it. When you look up and down this country the voluntary sector has been stronger than it’s ever been before partly because we had a partnership with government.

But we didn’t get it all right and there is a lesson for us in this too. The way I think about it is this. Often we saw problems in communities and we thought the answer was a programme or a policy. Now sometimes the answer is a programme or a policy, like the New Deal for Communities which did great things or Anti-Social Behaviour Orders which took seriously a problem that hadn’t been taken seriously in the past.

Part of our job as a Labour Party, because we were founded from communities, is to think more deeply about our communities and what makes them successful and indeed unsuccessful. And where does that take me to? That takes me to some really difficult but really important issues.

Can you really be a vastly unequal society and have the kind of social solidarity that we all believe in? Inequality has an impact on the kind of community you build. Can you really be an economy where people work 50, 60, 70 hours a week doing two or three jobs and then say let’s nurture strong family life? It’s much much harder to do. Can you really be a society where high streets get taken over sometimes emptied of people by out of town shopping centres? It’s much harder to nurture that sense of community.

We need to be people who stand up for those traditions, those institutions that people values in communities. It’s not social conservatism to say the local Post Office, the local pub is an essential part of the fabric of community life.

So we need to think really hard in our policy review about how we are the people who stand up for strong communities and strong society and I tell you this, we’ve got to take that term ‘Big Society’ back off David Cameron.

There’s, one other thing which is the way we do our politics. This is fundamental. Harriet Harman our deputy leader led a massive change in our politics before 1997, the role of women in our politics. It is one of the many many things that we should thank her for, for the work she does for our party.

How we make our politics look like the country we seek to serve remains an incredibly important issue for us. And look, I tell you this: I won’t rest until we have proper gender equality in our party because it is fundamental to who we must be as a political party.

But there’s something else  which is about the way we do politics. Let’s be honest, politics is in incredible disrepute, as are politicians. And this government is making it far worse because they’re breaking their promises in the most casual way, as I said at the beginning, that you can imagine.

So the challenge for us is going to be to inherit a politics that is frankly a politics that people don’t believe. Now what is the answer to that? The answer for me is that we have to be the people who under-promise and over-deliver, rather than the people who over-promise and under-deliver.

It is so important this. We’ve got to talk about the big problems our society faces but we can’t pretend that there are easy solutions and we can’t pretend we have solutions when we don’t.

Modest in our promises, ambitious in what we want to do for the country. That must be our watchword.

And there’s a counterpart to this idea of not making promises  you can’t meet in the short-term, and that’s being the people who talk about the long term issues our country faces even when it’s not the most popular thing to do.

That’s why I said climate change must be at the core of everything we do. Because I know that the way my kids will judge me is on this basis. Were you the last generation not to get it or the first generation to get it? That’s why at the heart of our economic review that Alan Johnson will be leading is the issue of sustainability. And we’ve got to take this seriously and it’s not just about, in case you wondered, going off to the North Pole with some huskies. It’s got to be about a serious engagement about how our policy agenda needs to change and how climate change needs to be at the core of it.

So look, we know the scale of challenge that we face. I know that we have to change in order to win.

We’ve got to change in terms of the way we are rooted in people’s lives, and you are essential to making that happen. We have to change in the way we think about our economy, the way we think about government, the way we think about community and indeed in the way we think about politics too.

I do want to say this to you. There is no shortcut or quick fix to this. We shouldn’t mistake the anger we feel at what the coalition is doing to the country for a sense that it isn’t as much about us as it is about them. The strategy that says ‘wait for them to screw it up, simply be a strong opposition’ is not a strategy that is going to work for us. We need to do that hard thinking of our own and we need to understand that.

I have to say though I have a huge sense of optimism about what we can achieve. See, I think that actually what people see in Britain is a sense that this coalition is widening that aspiration gap, widening that gap between what people want to see for themselves, their families, their communities and what is possible for them to achieve. And in a way that is the ca ll we must answer.

If you think about New Labour before 1997 and after, we became the vehicle for people’s hopes and aspirations. That’s what I am talking about. That’s what we’ve got to do again.

And we’ve got to understand that people’s hopes and aspirations aren’t just for themselves. Yes of course they want to get on, yes of course they want to earn and own, but they also want to live in a strong, a fair and equal society, just like the values we have. But we need to show  to them that our values are their values.

Let me end on this point. I have big ambitions for this party and this country because we are the idealists in politics. We are not the people like David Cameron who somehow says look; all I can promise you is an age of austerity. All I can promise you is a sense frankly of pessimism about what is going to happen to your communities, to the jobs of the future.

We are the idealists and the optimists. That is what gets us up in the morning, that is what motivates us  as people.

We’ve got to go out though and show that and prove that to people. Every day of every week of every month between now and that general election.

We have to show again we are the people who are the idealists. We are the people who are the optimists. We are the people who can represent the hopes, the dreams, the aspirations of the British people.

I can’t do that on my own. The Shadow cabinet can’t do it on its own. We need you.

So please join us on this journey. Join us on this journey which makes us once  again the people’s party. The party of people’s hopes and aspirations. Back on people’s side, back in power making for the fairer, the more equal, the more just country we believe in .


The Labour Party

The Labour Party Ed Miliband is launching 'Fresh Ideas. New Politics' to coincide with today's National Policy Forum. From views on current Government policy to new ideas you may have - we want to hear from you. Sign up now to have your say -


Alexander forces IDS to correct the record (again) on Housing Benefit

Douglas AlexanderDouglas Alexander MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, correcting Iain Duncan Smith for the second time in a week, said:

“Yesterday, the Prime Minister got it wrong on Disability Living Allowance and today Iain Duncan Smith has had to admit that some of the Government’s claims on Housing Benefit don’t stand up to scrutiny. 
“Last week, in response to my letter questioning his grasp of the facts, Iain Duncan Smith conceded within hours that he had got it wrong.  In response to a further letter from me this week, he has now had to take the unusual step of having to issue a Written Ministerial Statement to make further corrections to his and other ministers’ statements. 
“This Government should not be trying to make sweeping changes to the benefit system based on half understood figures and inaccurate claims.”


Speech on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women - Harman

Harriet Harman
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP gave a keynote speech outlining Labour’s priorities on international development and how women and girls can work together around the world to promote women’s rights and tackle inequality:

I’d like to thank ActionAid for providing me with my first opportunity since being appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for International Development to set out why I see this role as so important, and how I and my team will be working with you over the time ahead.

The last 25 years has seen real progress in tackling world poverty - 500 million fewer people living in poverty despite the rapid growth in the world’s population.

But we must not take that progress for granted. Not when 1.4 billion people still live on less than .25 a day and 900 million people around the world will go to sleep hungry tonight.

We only have five years l eft to meet the Millennium Development Goals. The global financial crisis, rising food and fuel prices, together with recent natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti and the floods in Pakistan, make meeting them even more difficult.

We must not let the momentum slide.

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and it is particularly appropriate for me to be able to be here at ActionAid, because of the work that you have done on this issue and because of the outstanding role that you, Joanna, have played on this.

Next Wednesday is World Aids Day and we are only days away from the start of the Cancun Climate Change Summit.

All these dates are reminders of the development challenges we still face in tackling women’s and girls’ inequality, in fighting disease and in tackling climate change.

International development is of the greatest importance, in practical terms, for the lives it saves, here and now, an d for the future for the peace, prosperity and opportunity throughout the world to which it contributes.

And for Britain and our place in the world. Saving the lives of 50,000 pregnant women and a quarter of a million new born babies. Any set of priorities and values must see that as important.

Some said “but you’re in opposition – just leave the government to get on with it. You should focus on something that matters here in this country.” I thought they were wrong on both counts.

The government cannot just be left to get on with it. They have, indeed, promised to keep to Labour’s pledge to commit 0.7% of Gross National Income to Aid, from 2013. But there are all too many on their backbenches, and no doubt in the Treasury too, as well as people who write in the Daily Mail and the Sun, who regard that promise as wrong, when it was entered into, and even more wrong at a time of drastic cuts in public spending.

So those in the government, inclu ding Secretary of State, Andrew Mitchell, who want to keep that promise – they need our help. Many of our backbenchers are far more committed than theirs to that promise that was in the manifestos of all three parties. So we will strongly support it.

And I would argue, too, that though this is an international department, it is of great importance to a great many people in this country. Not least my constituents.

In this country we have a great tradition of international aid. Oxfam, set up in Oxford, Save the Children, which for a long time was based in my constituency, Cafod, Christian Aid and Action Aid – which are respected world wide. In this country, in churches and community groups up and down the country, people work together to raise money to tackle emergencies and foster development.

And there are many people in this country who came, or whose family come, from Africa, or South Asia, from countries which are still struggling with poverty and who care passionately about the prospects of people in their homeland. It is wrong to think that because the government has embarked on a rash programme of spending cuts, people no longer care about those for whom our aid means life or death.

And I was also motivated to take on this role because I think as a woman, its important to play my part in an agenda which is of such importance to women and girls in the developing world.

So I am proud to be doing this job. I hope that I can play my part, in opposition, to supporting the development agenda and hope before too long I can perform that role from government.

I’m grateful to have the chance today to say how much I look forward to working closely with you, and what I see myself and my team – working closely with you – doing in the months and years ahead.

I see one of our biggest commitments, and I would say major achievements, over 13 years of government was on international development:

We set up the Department of International Development with a Secretary of State at the cabinet table.

We trebled the Aid budget and committed to reach 0.7% from 2013.

We ended the tying of aid to commercial interests.

Through Jubilee 2000, at summits in Gleneagles and in London we put dropping debt and increasing aid at the centre of the international agenda.

We want to see all that progress taken forward… not slip back. My first preference would be to be in government delivering this agenda… But my close second preference is to see this government delivering on that agenda. And we will work with them to help them do that.

We should not be lulled into a false sense of security just because the government are committed to the 0.7%.

We have to campaign in support of it. One cast iron way to reassure ourselves that we have succeeded in securing the commitment to the 0.7% is for the target to be written into law.

When we were in government we prepared a Bill and it had “pre-legislative scrutiny” and attracted cross-party support. It is a small bill - only four clauses, and it is all ready t o be taken forward. The government have said they will bring it forward but so far there is no sign of it in their timetable for government bills. So we will continue to press them on this.

And if they do not bring it forward as a government bill it must surely be one of the top candidates for a Private Members Bill.

With an existing commitment from the government and strong support from the opposition it has every chance of making it to the statute book.

And we need to continue to campaign to show that aid matters and remains a priority. This campaign will need to be in Parliament, and amongst the aid agencies and all those in every community who support our development aid.

The commitment is there in the manifestos of both the Tories and the Lib Dems, and it is in the coalition agreement. But that guarantees nothing.

Hardly a day goes by without their performing a dramatic u-turn. We don’t want to risk this being the next promise abandone d. And we want to make sure that the money spent is genuinely on poverty reduction, and it is not diverted for other purposes. So we will be holding them to account for how development money is spent.

But overseas aid is not just what is done, importantly, by government. It is also what is done by individuals.

We have great heroes of international development - like Bill and Melinda Gates, like Bono and Bob Geldof. The leadership and inspiration they provide cannot be overstated.

But there are also the hundreds of thousands of people up and down this country who send money back to their family or their village, in their country of origin. I call them the “hidden heroes of international development”. People living in my constituency who come from Sierra Leone, Nigeria or Ghana who are living here and working hard. Sometimes doing more than one job, like office cleaning. As well as paying their taxes and providing for their family, they also send money back to their home country.

When we were in government we worked to make that easier – including helping transfers using mobile phone technology.

But I think we can and should do much more to support remittances. It is right that we help those who are giving. Especially as often it is those on low incomes. It is right that we recognise and support what they are doing. And we want to work with you, with the diaspora communities, and with the financial services sector to develop a new policy on remittances.

I think that as Labour’s team on international development, we also have an important role in supporting the development of the new UN Women’s Agency. Gordon Brown played a key part in getting it set up and it is now headed by the brilliant Michelle Bachelet – who was Chile’s first woman president.

The UK was one of the countries that were instrumental in establishing the new agency and it is right that we continue to support it. A key focus o f the Millennium Development Goals is women’s health and girls' education; and the agenda for women and girls is central to the government’s development agenda.

The new government is committed to the Agency, but with a men-only DFID ministerial team and a men-only Foreign Office ministerial team there is a limit to how they can contribute to women and girls' empowerment. This is something they really must sort out.

We are challenging them to ensure that they make some changes and ensure that at least one of the DFID ministers is a woman. It really is not good enough for Britain to be sending a men-only team around the world talking about the empowerment of women and girls in developing countries. The government must walk the talk. Patriarchal politics has no place in 21st century Britain.

Hitherto, countries working together has been the responsibility of men. Men leaders, men Finance Ministers, men Foreign Secretaries. There was no alternative – as th ere were only men in government. But now across the world there are strong women everywhere, in parliaments and in governments– and now is a real chance to make progress on supporting women; by women working together internationally.

With the new UN Women’s Agency we have the forum to do that. One of its most important roles is to back up women representatives. Who will fight hardest for the maternal health care of the woman in the village of Northern Nigeria? The woman in the Nigerian state legislature. Who will fight hardest for the woman in the village in Bangladesh to be able to keep her daughter in school? The woman in the Bangladesh Parliament.

When I meet my sisters in the Parliaments of Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania – as I have over the years – I admire their determination, I see their progress and I believe they are they best hope for the women and girls in their countries. The UN Women’s Agency will back them up in their work.

It will be import ant for all women in every country in every continent. But it is essential for the UN too. It will show that the progress and change for women and girls in all our countries is mirrored by progress in change in the UN itself. The creation of UN Women must serve to be testament to the UN’s commitment to women and recognition that empowering women is essential for development. It will send a powerful signal to women struggling against the odds that the UN is indeed on their side.

And in the way it works, it must serve to help the women who are coming forward on international work. It can draw on the involvement of the women who are now there – as they weren’t some years ago – in every country’s UN mission.

And it must show women themselves making the decisions by having an executive board dominated by women. We cannot have succeeded in the struggle to have a new UN Women’s Agency only to discover that its governing board is men. That would be to contradict everything that it stands for. And the executive board should reach out beyond women in the UN missions and women in governments, and include women in civil society organisations.

UN Women also needs the resources to deliver for women and girls on the ground through its own programmes. It cannot work just through influencing other UN agencies. The UK government says it cannot set out its contribution until their aid review is over. That simply isn’t good enough. Decisions are being made now and we must play our part up front.

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and we are calling on the government to make a ministerial appointment of a woman to carry on the work that Glenys Kinnock was doing when we were in government – a role you campaigned for. She led the UK’s work on tackling violence against women overseas and she did a great job. The first time such an appointment had been made in the UK. That was important leadership and the government must continue it.

This is against a background where the UN Population Fund reported that one in three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or abused; and when in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is more dangerous to be a woman than to be a soldier.

Violence against women and girls is not only a violation of their human rights but it undermines development when girls fear the journey to school, men won’t let their wives work and women are afraid for their safety if they stand for election.

If we are going to achieve the Millennium Development Goals we need to invest in women and girls.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity today to have spoken of my concern on the fragility of the 0.7% promise, mapped out some of my thoughts on the Women’s Agency and touched on the issue of remittances.

Along with my shadow ministerial team, Mark Lazarowicz MP and Rushanara Ali MP, we will also be focussing on o ur other 3 priorities:

Trade, tax and global growth strategies which help developing countries.

The role of development in conflict prevention and in conflict affected states.

And making sure that the needs of developing countries are at the heart of the battle on climate change.

There is huge commitment, passion and expertise amongst my Labour colleagues in Parliament on these issues. We will be working as a team and with you as we determine to make sure that the UK continues to be an international leader in helping the world’s poorest lift themselves out of poverty.

Government has ducked the big decisions to provide the country with a world class transport system - Maria Eagle

Maria EagleMaria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, responding to today’s announcement on rail investment, said:

“Passengers will be bitterly disappointed that the government is implementing massive increases in rail fares now but delaying the delivery of new trains to ease overcrowding and electrification to speed up journeys. The benefits of much of today’s package are nearly 10 years away for many commuters.

“There is still no news on the delivery of replacements to our outdated intercity fleet or electrification of the Midland Main Line and Great Western Mail Line beyond Bristol into Wales. The reality is that behind all the spin and re-announcing of projects previously agreed by Labour, the government has ducked the big decisions needed to provide the country with the world class transport system it needs and passengers deserve.”

David Cameron should make Howard Flight apologise - Alexander

Douglas AlexanderDouglas Alexander MP, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, speaking today on Howard Flight's comments, said:

"These shameful but revealing comments cast serious doubt over David Cameron's judgement in personally appointing Howard Flight to the House of Lords only a few days ago.

"Last week one of the Prime Minister's senior advisers told us we'd never had it so good and now his latest hand picked Peer comes out with these comments.

"Instead of dithering for hours as he did with Lord Young, David Cameron should take swift action and make Howard Flight apologise."

How the PM got it wrong at PMQs - Alexander

Douglas AlexanderDouglas Alexander MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said following Prime Minister's Questions today:

“The Prime Minister, after a word in his ear from his Chancellor, got it flat wrong today.

“He was asked about his own government’s plans to cut mobility support for people in care homes but confused it with separate reforms he is proposing to the Disability Living Allowance.

“Labour’s position is clear: we want to work with the government to reform Disability Living Allowance and introduce a new gateway as set out in the Budget. But when the Chancellor went back in his Spending Review and scrapped mobility support for people in care homes, we are clear that goes too far and is a punitive measure that could leave people in care homes more isolated.

“It is clear that neither the Chancellor or the Prime Minister understand either the detail of their own plans or the impact of these changes. The Prime Minister should get a grip of the facts and explain why he intends to leave 30,000 disabled people living in residential care £2,500 a year worse off.”

Coalition's Royal Mail plans threaten thousands of post offices - Denham

John DenhamJohn Denham MP, Labour's Shadow Business Secretary, commenting on fresh reports of post office closures today, said:

“The government’s talks about stopping post office closures but its actions show the opposite. They recently blocked Labour’s plans to enable the Post Office to offer banking services – a Peoples’ Bank. This is a huge missed opportunity to help sustain the Post Office network in the future. And the Government’s privatisation of Royal Mail will threaten thousands of post offices for years to come.

“Post offices can’t survive without the business that they get from Royal Mail but the coalition is determined to sell Royal Mail without legislating for any long term commitment to post offices.”

Fares rise hits passengers hard - Maria Eagle

Maria EagleMaria Eagle MP, Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, said in response to the coalition's rail announcement today:

“The government has hit rail passengers hard by reversing the decision Labour took in government to force train companies to apply price controls to fares individually. Now many commuters will see their fares go up by more than 10% on some routes, just as they are facing the squeeze from wage freezes, a VAT rise and cuts to tax credits and child benefit. There’s even worse to come next year thanks to the government’s decision to start hiking rail fares by 3% above inflation every year just to fill the gap left by the reckless level of their spending cuts.

“In opposition the Tories said that an increase in rail fares of this amount would price people off the railways and the Liberal Democrats pledged to cut fares. There is now a real danger that the outcome of these rises will be more congestion as commuters get back in their cars.”


I completely condemn North Korea's aggression - Cooper

Yvette CooperYvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, commenting on the situation in Korea today, said:

"I completely condemn North Korea's aggression and the loss of life from this attack.

"While North Korea continues to act like an international outsider, all other countries must stand together to show its behaviour is unacceptable.

"North Korea is in clear breach of UN Security Council resolutions as it continues to test missiles and to enrich uranium.

"Rather than putting the needs of its people first and joining the international mainstream, its actions indicate it would rather face further isolation and tougher sanctions."

Stephen Pound becomes Shadow Northern Ireland Minister

Stephen PoundA Labour Party spokesperson said:

"Stephen Pound MP has taken on the post of Shadow Northern Ireland Minister following Eric Joyce's resignation. Mark Hendrick MP has taken on the role of Opposition Whip, replacing Stephen Pound."

Police Minister’s claim that “there is no such link” between police numbers & crime levels “astonishing” - Coaker

Vernon CoakerVernon Coaker, shadow policing minister, said in response to the Policing Minister Nick Herbert’s claim that “there is no such link” between police numbers and crime levels:

“It’s astonishing to hear a Conservative Policing Minister claim that there is no link at all between police officer numbers and the level of crime.

“The coalition government is finding it increasingly difficult to justify to people why policing is such a low priority for them. Cutting police funding by twenty per cent will mean fewer police officers and PCSOs and undermine the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour in all our communities.

“Of course the level of crime is affected by lots of things, but is it absurd to pretend that the number of police officers doesn’t make a significant difference in preventing and tackling crime. It is no coincidence that under Labour police numbers rose and crime fell, even during a recession.”

New survey: Police Forces shut door to new recruits - Balls

Ed BallsAlmost every police force in England and Wales has shut its doors to new recruits, research published by Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Ed Balls reveals today.

A survey of police force recruitment websites and hotlines shows that 39 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales have frozen recruitment of officers completely. 2 confirm that they are not currently accepting applications and one force is only currently seeking an internal transfer. One force, Surrey, says it is ‘seeking to hear from like minded individuals who are interested in a police career’, but is only currently advertising vacancies for PCSOs.

Several police forces explicitly state that the recruitment freeze is a direct result of the Spending Review. The survey is being published as Home Office figures uncovered by Ed Balls show that almost 6,000 police officers retire or resign each year. Shadow home secretary

Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, Ed Balls said:

“To deal with the speed and scale of the government’s twenty per cent funding cuts almost every police force has already been forced to take the drastic measure of stopping all new recruitment.

“This is an early sign that the spending review will hit frontline policing hard. Around 6,000 police officers retire or resign each year, but if deep cuts mean they can’t be replaced with new recruits then I fear we’re going to see the thin blue line stretched to breaking point.

“The Home Secretary’s claims that the cuts will not affect frontline policing are becoming more laughable by the day. With the biggest cuts being demanded by the government in the first two years, forces are finding they cannot protect frontline policing by making long-term efficiency savings.

“The 1500 police officers Greater Manchester is set to lose are just the tip of the iceberg. Every police force in the country has been put in an impossible position by this government’s reckless cuts.”

Response to NATO summit - Cooper & Murphy

Yvette CooperShadow Foreign Secretary Yvette Cooper said:

"We strongly support the Afghan forces taking the lead in 2014.

"But it's important that work is done to ensure that date is achievable, which means increased efforts in political reconciliation and more inclusive Afghan security forces and local government.

"We will also be pressing the UK Government to ensure that British troops who remain in Afghanistan in a training role have the right security conditions to do their job. The safety of our forces must be paramount."

Shadow Defence Secretary, Jim Murphy said:
“Rather than argue about a date which has been set,we obviously support the aim of Afghan Security Forces taking the lead in 2014, we now need to see a plan for progress to improve conditions on the ground.

“Nato must set out detailed plans to train and develop Afghan security forces as it is they who will have responsibility for the country when we leave.

"Security must be driven by a corruption-free and accountable Afghan Government; economic activity must be increased through an economic plan; and we need real progress on a political settlement.

“Long-term security is crucial to ensure Afghanistan can never again be an incubator for extremism and the Afghan people can enjoy freedom and democracy, but also to guarantee protection for any non-combat residual British forces in training and mentoring roles.

”On the announced ‘missile shield pact’ and challenges facing the Alliance, Jim Murphy said:

“This is a vital summit for the future of Nato and I in particular welcome the new phase of co-operation with Russia.

“The Nato-wide missile defence system will increase protection for all Alliance members and ensure collective action on shared threats.

“The key challenge for Nato in Lisbon is to define its purpose in a 21st century security landscape and outline how it will be as important in our children’s lifetimes as it was in our parents’.”

Iain Duncan Smith should come clean on his use of statistics - Alexander

Douglas AlexanderDouglas Alexander MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, today wrote to Iain Duncan Smith, urging him to come clean on his use of statistics after reports that figures he claimed in the House were supported by the ONS were actually from

Douglas Alexander said:

"Iain Duncan Smith should be more careful about his use of statistics.

"We want to have a grown up debate with the government about their policies but that requires confidence in the statistics used by the DWP.

"He should now come clean and identify once and for all the true source of these statistics."

David Cameron is wrong to protect his friend Lord Young Denham

John DenhamJohn Denham MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, commenting on David Cameron’s refusal to sack Lord Young, said:

"David Cameron is wrong to protect his friend Lord Young. Lord Young's comments show he is not fit to be a senior government adviser and David Cameron's point blank refusal to fire him shows how out of touch his government is. This government are the same old Tories.

"It is shameful that the government's own appointed ambassador to small business could express such crass, insensitive and ignorant remarks at a time when small businesses up and down the country are suffering and the government fails to get bank lending going. That David Cameron doesn't see this is a misjudgement on a par with billing the taxpayer for his vanity photographer."

A&E waiting times jump since coalition scrapped targets - Healey

John HealeyJohn Healey MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, said in response to Pulse's finding that A&E waiting times have jumped after the coalition scrapped Labour's targets:

“These latest figures show a worrying jump in A&E waiting times since the coalition began scrapping Labour's NHS performance targets. It’s early days, but these waiting times will add to concerns about the strains the NHS is facing. This jump in A&E waiting times shows that now is the wrong time for Andrew Lansley to embark on an untested £3 billion top-down NHS reorganisation at a time when all efforts should be going into patient care.”

The government’s immigration cap is the worst of all worlds - Sutcliffe

Gerry SutcliffeGerry Sutcliffe, Shadow Home Office Minister, commenting on the report of the Migration Advisory Committee said:

“The government’s immigration cap is the worst of all worlds. It does very little to control immigration but is bad for business and scientific research at this critical time for our economy.

“The government needs to go back to the drawing board and rethink the whole policy. Instead of an arbitrary and inflexible cap, the new points based system Labour introduced allowed us to manage migration without damaging the economy.

“If the coalition won’t listen to British businesses or the science community then the Migration Advisory Committee’s conclusions about the likely impact of the cap on our economy ought to make the government think again.”

OBR says Cameron's VAT jobs tax will slow growth - Johnson

Alan JohnsonAlan Johnson said in response to the OBR's supplementary forecast information today that the coalition's VAT rise will reduce the level of real GDP in 2011/12:

"David Cameron promised he wouldn't raise VAT because it hits the poorest hardest. He broke that promise. Now the independent OBR has told us the impact of David Cameron's very own jobs tax - slower growth and fewer jobs."

Decisions were stitched up in Whitehall to meet the government's spending plans - Murphy

Jim MurphyJim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, responding to leaked documents from the Ministry of Defence in today’s Daily Telegraph, said:

“There will be real surprise that the government didn't consult our allies, didn't consult our forces and didn't consult the public.  Decisions were stitched up in Whitehall to meet the government's spending plans, not our nation's security needs.

“As a result the morale of our brave personnel has been badly damaged.

“We all know the Defence Review created big gaps in our defence


Broken promises on funding and reorganisation putting the NHS under strain - Healey

John HealeyLabour has today highlighted how the government is breaking its promises on NHS funding and reorganisation, at a time when the service is showing signs of strain.
John Healey MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, said:
“David Cameron said before the election that he would protect NHS spending and in the Coalition Agreement went further by promising to guarantee health spending increases in real terms in every year of the Parliament. But his government is now breaking its promises, double-counting £1 billion a year in the Spending Review as both money for the NHS and money to paper over the cracks in social care.”
“And this time of all times, the last thing the NHS needs is a big internal, high-cost and high-risk reorganisation. David Cameron ruled out reorganisation before the Election; as did the Coalition Agreement. But that was before the Health White Paper plans. Promise made in May, broken in July; promise made by David Cameron, broken by the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.”
“The NHS is showing signs of strain. Patients waiting more than 13 weeks for diagnostic tests have trebled in the last year; 27,000 frontline staff jobs are being cut and two-thirds of maternity wards are so short-staffed the Royal College of Midwives warns mothers and babies can’t be properly cared for. This is not what people expected when they heard David Cameron promise to protect the NHS.”


Loophole could see 3,000 most experienced police officers forced to retire - Balls

Ed BallsEd Balls MP, the shadow Home Secretary, today warned that over 3,000 police officers with more than thirty years experience could be affected by a legal loophole that allows officers to be made forcibly redundant for reasons of ‘efficiency’.

Home Office figures unearthed by Ed Balls show that 3,260 police officers have over thirty years service and could therefore be affected by part A19 of the Police Pensions Regulations.

Mr Balls has this afternoon written to Home Secretary Theresa May asking what guidance she plans to give to police forces and authorities on the use of the regulations, how many police forces she is aware intend to use them and what consideration she has given to the impact of losing a disproportionate number of highly experienced police officers.

Ed Balls said:

“People are rightly concerned that twenty per cent funding cuts being demanded by the government will see fewer police officers and undermine the fight against crime.

“But it is very worrying that the scale and pace of the coalition’s cuts mean that we could lose thousands of the most experienced officers in the country.

“This would be madness, but the government is putting police forces in an impossible position. A number of forces have already said they may have to take this drastic action, but with big cuts on the way I fear this could be just the tip of the iceberg.”


The government is removing protection for those on the lowest income - Cooper

Yvette CooperYvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Women and Equality Minister, commenting on Theresa May’s plans to axe a key measure in the Equality Act, said:

“This is a shocking decision which gives the lie to the government’s claim that “we’re all in this together”.

“Just as cuts are about to strike, the government is removing protection for those on the lowest income who are likely to be hit hardest. It makes a mockery of any pretence these cuts will be fair.

“Independent experts such as the Institute for Fiscal Studies have already said the Budget and spending cuts will hit the poorest hardest. But now the government is making it worse by removing any obligation on local councils, police or other public bodies to consider the impact on the disadvantaged before they implement the cuts.

“At a time when the police, local councils, schools and other organisations are making cuts of up to 25%, this is a license to abandon the hardest pressed in society.”


Cameron and Lansley caught breaking promises by Royal College of Midwives - Healey

John HealeyJohn Healey MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, said in response to the Royal College of Midwives' criticism of David Cameron and Andrew Lansley for backtracking on a pre-election pledge to increase the number of midwives:

“David Cameron and Andrew Lansley promised to protect the NHS and match Labour in increasing midwife numbers. Yet today they’ve been caught out breaking those promises by the highly respected Royal College of Midwives. Add to that the Government’s double counting on health care funding and reckless plans for a massive, top-down reorganisation and it’s clear that Cameron and Lansley’s promises on the NHS are starting to unravel."


Impact of the Coalition Government on School Sport

Tessa Jowell"I have grave concerns "- Darren Campbell, Olympic Gold Medallist

Labour Shadow Cabinet Ministers Andy Burnham, Ivan Lewis and Tessa Jowell will this morning host a Select Committee style hearing into the future of school sport and the London 2012 Olympic sporting legacy. Olympic athlete Darren Campbell will be joining representatives from the school sports movement to react to recent developments in school sport.

Two weeks ago, the Coalition Government decided to cease funding for, and effectively dismantle the infrastructure responsible for supporting school sport in this country. Through ending support for School Sport Partnerships, they are stripping away the very bodies that have transformed school sport and were entrusted to deliver so much of the Olympic legacy promise made to the international community and the people of this country.

In schools, a decade of progress under Labour was yielding real results, giving young people in state schools the same sporting opportunities that have long been enjoyed in private schools.

Olympic Gold medallist Darren Campbell, said:

"The transformation we have seen in school sport in recent years is allowing millions of young people across the country to take part in more sport than ever before. I have grave concerns that cutting the funding for the School Sport Partnership network will have a hugely negative impact on the sporting opportunities that are available to our young people."
Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Education Secretary, said:
"In 1997, Labour inherited a school sports system in the doldrums. We changed all that to ensure that every child had the opportunity to take part in high quality sport, including competitive sport. All this is now under threat.

"Just when we are working to inspire young people across the globe through our International Olympic and Paralympic Legacy, our own children are being let down. It's good that David Cameron is supporting our World Cup bid in Zurich, but he needs to pay more attention to the damage his Government is doing to the grassroots of sport here in the UK."

Tessa Jowell MP, Labour's Shadow Olympics Minister, said:

"Five years ago, when London won the bid for the Olympics, we made a promise to the international community and the people of this country - to transform a generation of young people through sport.

"With the eyes of the international community on London, the Coalition Government are placing this legacy in danger, in clear contradiction to everything that the Olympics should mean for our country."

Ivan Lewis MP, Labour's Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, said:

"At a time when we are preparing to host the Olympics and fighting an obesity crisis, this dismantling of support for school sport is perverse and short-sighted.  Parents and young people will feel badly let down by the threat of reversing the historic progress over the past decade in levels of participation, including the resurgence of competitive sport. It will hit disadvantaged young people the hardest and makes a mockery of our commitment to deliver an Olympic legacy."

Earlier today, the senior Shadow Ministers visited a school in Walthamstow that has seen its BSF funding that was focused on improving sports facilities cut, its specialist sports status taken away and will now lose further support for sport as the £162 million School Sports Partnership programme disappears.


Cameron should have known not to bill the taxpayer for his photographer - Dugher

Michael DugherMichael Dugher MP said in response to the news that David Cameron's personal photographer and film maker will be taken off the Civil Service payroll

"I welcome the Prime Minister bowing down to public pressure. The Prime Minister should have known from the start that it's wrong to bill the taxpayer for his vanity photographer.

"But today's flip-flop raises more questions. If it's wrong to charge taxpayers for Andrew Parsons or Nicky Woodhouse then why are so many other Conservative party workers being hired via this sharp practice as so-called civil servants?"


"David Cameron is playing the spectator not the statesman on the international stage" - Cooper

Yvette CooperYvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, speaking ahead of the Prime Minister's Mansion House speech, said:

“David Cameron is playing the spectator not the statesman on the international stage. The reality of the Prime Minister’s foreign policy so far is a shrivelled role for Britain in the world at the expense of British interests.

“David Cameron chose to stand on the sidelines at the G20 and he has no strategy for global economic co-operation despite the risks to British jobs and growth. His political strategy of focusing on severe and rapid domestic cuts is blinding him to the seriousness of the world economic problems, and the wider foreign policy challenges Britain faces.

“Britain has fantastic assets, networks and values the world needs. People fighting against poverty, fighting for human rights, and fighting with our allies for a safer and more secure world need a strong British foreign policy engaged at all levels. The Prime Minister is letting that slip away.”


Greater Manchester Police are being put in an impossible position - Balls

Ed BallsEd Balls MP, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, said in response to reports that Greater Manchester Police is planning to lose 1500 police officers and 1400 civilian staff – around a quarter of its staff – over the next four years:

“Job losses of this scale go beyond what both the Police Federation and KPMG have so far estimated the spending review will mean for police officer numbers. But Greater Manchester Police are being put in an impossible position by a government which is imposing twenty per cent cuts in funding.

“Every police force in the country is now having to work out the implications of the deep and immediate cuts the Home Secretary has demanded. But by front-loading the cuts in the first two years, the Tory-Lib Dem government is making it even more difficult for forces to protect the frontline by finding long-term efficiency savings.

“People are rightly concerned that cuts of this scale and speed will undermine the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour and take reckless risks with the safety of our communities.”

Sign our petition now


Join Labour's New Generation

Ed Miliband was elected Labour leader in September, 2010, pledging to restore trust in the Labour party.

In his acceptance speech, Ed said "a new generation has taken charge of Labour. It’s a new generation that understands the need for change—in our party and in our country." Ed added in his first leader's speech three days later that Labour under his leadership will be devoted to making Britain "more prosperous, more equal, more fair and just".

Ed's vision for the future is based on his values—values of family, fairness, community and decency at work. Ed has said many times that he learned these values from his parents during childhood; having both fled the Nazis during the second world war, they taught their son "never to walk by on the other side".

Labour's youngest ever leader upon his election, Ed was born in North London in 1969 and attended his local comprehensive school, Haverstock. He went to primary school for a time in Leeds, which is when he became a Leeds United fan. Ed's childhood heroes included Alex Higgins and Geoffrey Boycott. He saw Boycott complete his one hundredth century at Headingly in 1977. Ed's encyclopedic knowledge of the Boston Red Sox developed early—when he lived in the States as a child while his dad was working there.

Ed graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and obtained a Masters degree from the London School of Economics.

Before entering parliament, Ed worked briefly as a journalist and later with Gordon Brown and the Labour government. Elected to represent Doncaster North in 2005, he served in the Labour government from 2007 to 2008 as Minister for the Cabinet Office and as Secretary of State for Climate Change between 2008 and 2010.  Ed has stressed that tackling climate change is a central task for Britain and the world, and an issue that will be at the heart of his leadership of the Labour Party now and in the future. As Climate Change Secretary, Ed led the British delegation to the Copenhagen summit and worked to ensure that a global agreement was established.

As Labour leader, Ed has pledged to bring a new type of politics to Britain. He will oppose the coalition government where it is doing the wrong thing for Britain, but will support it when it is acting in the country's best interests. Ed's priority is to take Labour back to power so that the party can serve Britain again—and create a fairer, more just society.

Ed lives in his Doncaster constituency and in North London, close to where he grew up, with his partner Justine and their one year old son, Daniel. They are expecting a second child in November.



MP for Doncaster North, 2005 - present
Leader of the Opposition, 2010 - present
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, 2010
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, 2008 - 2010
Minister for the Cabinet Office, 2007 - 2008

Ed's partner is Justine Thornton, an environmental lawyer
Ed and Justine have a one year old son, Daniel. They are expecting a second child in November

Ed's favourite TV shows are Dallas and Desperate Housewives


Join Labour's New Generation

Join now
Share on Facebok
Post to Twitter


Why I'm joining...

Why I'm joining...

 Help shape
progressive future.
Join now


More Separate Labour Entries frome Labour Shadow Cabinet Below

Quote from ed Miliband's Scottish Speech

Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband In

 "And what about the Lib Dems?

What did they used to say?

The progressive alternative to Labour.  

It has taken Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander just five short months to undermine 150 years of the Liberal tradition.

Remember what they said: Vote for us to keep the Tories out.

Have they no shame?

Now they have become the cheerleaders for the worst things the Tory government does.

The VAT rise? Send out a Lib Dem.

Child benefit cut? Put up a Lib Dem.

Housing benefit slashed? Get me a Lib Dem.

No wonder Nick Clegg is choosing his desert island discs.

And let’s make sure that coming soon to an election near you is a new hit series:

I’m a Liberal Democrat, get me out of here.

And as they face the prospect of electoral meltdown, what do they do?

They try to rig our electoral boundaries.

Get this, the government that claims to care about localism is now saying local identity doesn’t matter when it comes to boundaries - unless you happen to be Charles Kennedy whose constituency gets a special opt-out.

We all care about endangered species in the Highlands and Islands, but we draw the line at Lib Dems.

Talking about endangered species, what about the Scottish Tories. What about them?"

To Rread The Whole Speech Click Here:  Ed's Speech To Scottish Labour Party Conference___________________________________________

Labour joins cross-party group to oppose constitutional changes

RoseLabour joins forces with DUP, Plaid Cymru and the SDLP to oppose rushed Parliamentary Voting Systems and Constituencies Bill

Labour’s Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband MP, DUP Parliamentary Group Leader, Nigel Dodds MP, Plaid Cymru Parliamentary Leader, Elfyn Llwyd MP, and Mark Durkan MP, on behalf of the SDLP, have written a joint letter to the Prime Minister asking that he delay the Report Stage and Third Reading of the Parliamentary Voting Systems and Constituencies Bill so that the House of Commons is given the first opportunity to debate and scrutinise the combination of the AV referendum with elections to the Welsh Assembly, Northern Ireland Assembly and Scottish Parliament as well as allow for proper consultation of the devolved administrations.

This cross-party letter demonstrates the strength of opposition to the needlessly rushed timetable for a Bill that will break the convention that the House of Commons scrutinises all electoral legislation before the unelected Upper Chamber.

Ed Miliband MP, Labour’s Leader of the Opposition, said:

“Mr Cameron is showing a worrying level of arrogance towards constitutional convention by riding roughshod over proper parliamentary scrutiny of this constitutional Bill.”


The Government is giving up on growth - Denham

John DenhamJohn Denham MP, Labour's Shadow Business Secretary, responding to the Government’s Local Growth White Paper, said:

“Just when action to promote jobs and growth is essential, the Government has shown it has no real plan for regional growth.

“The Regional Growth Fund is a pathetic fig leaf to cover the absence of any plan for growth. Regional funding has been by cut at least two-thirds, all key decisions are being centralised in Whitehall, the new Local Enterprise Partnerships are a shambles and leave areas of the country with no effective development organisation, and the voice of business is being ignored on everything from planning to investment and to skills.”

“Regional funding has fallen from £1.4bn a year to £1.4bn over three years and is now expected to pay investment in transport and housing that previously enjoyed dedicated budgets.”

“It is clear that the Government has no plan for growth.”


Labour steps up campaign against cutting housing benefit for people out of work for 12 months

Douglas AlexanderFollowing Ed Miliband's challenge to David Cameron at PMQs – Labour is stepping up its campaign against cutting housing benefit for people out of work for 12 months.

Today Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Douglas Alexander wrote to thousands of Labour Party members urging them to join the campaign.

Tomorrow he will hold a summit with representatives of housing organisations and charities to hear their views and he has also spoken to Lib Dems MPs in the last few days.

Douglas Alexander MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to David Cameron's response to Ed Miliband at PMQs, said;

"David Cameron further raised the stakes and divided his coalition today by confirming his policy to punish those who can't find work by cutting the cash they get to help with housing costs.

"Although he is clearly not listening to the Lib Dems we are ready to work with all sides of the House to defeat these unfair plans.

"Ed Miliband told David Cameron it was time to listen – now I'm telling Lib Dem MPs it's time to talk and work together to force the government to think again."


The Government has a plan to cut one million jobs, but no plan to support the private sector - Johnson

Alan JohnsonShadow Chancellor Alan Johnson MP responding to the latest GDP figures said:

"Today's figures show that growth has slowed in third quarter of this year.

“They also show that momentum remains from Labour's support for the economy - especially the construction sector.

“The risk going forward is that the Government has a plan to cut one million jobs, but no plan to support the private sector in replacing them.

“Yes the deficit needs to be reduced - but it needs to be at a pace that the private sector can manage."


This is no real plan for growth - Denham

John DenhamShadow Business Secretary John Denham MP responding to David Cameron’s speech at the CBI conference today, said:

“Today's flimsy re-announcement of existing plans shows just how big a gamble the Tories are taking with their plan to cut one million jobs across private and public sectors. 

"Most elements of the plan - Crossrail and other transport schemes - had already been announced by Labour. High profile investments - like technology innovation centres which are based on Labour proposals.

“For all their talk about a new approach to promoting growth and jobs, Vince Cable's own department – the so called 'department for growth’ – has lost half its capital spending and a quarter of revenue spending, more than most other departments.  Regional economic growth funding has been cut by two thirds and it is now expected to pay for key transport and housing programmes as well.

“And business will now have to pick up the costs of training hundreds of thousands of employees a year.

“This is no real plan for growth.”


Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband's speech to the CBI

Ed MilibandCheck against delivery

It is a privilege to have the opportunity to address the CBI Annual Conference as Leader of the Labour party.

I want to pay tribute to the work that the CBI does as the voice of British business and I want to pay particular tribute to Richard Lambert.

He has been an outstanding advocate on many issues for progressive business sense.

As befits a party that lost the election only five months ago and a leader beginning his fifth week in charge, I am not here to give you my manifesto for 2015, but to set out our direction for the future, and begin the process of engagement we need with you, the wealth creators and entrepreneurs of Britain.

New Labour’s insight in the 1990s was to recognise that we needed to be a party that understood wealth creation as well as its distribution, that we needed to be for economic prosperity as well as social justice and that solving our society’s problems could not be done without a partnership between government and business.
With Alan Johnson as Shadow Chancellor, John Denham as the Shadow Business Secretary and Douglas Alexander as the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, we intend to carry forward all of these New Labour insights.

Enterprise and job creation are fundamental to the good economy and good society and I will lead a party that understands that at its core.

The argument I want to make today is that because the world has changed so much since the 1990s and because we need to learn lessons from success and failure, what it means to be pro-business in the 2010s is different to what it meant back then.

The result of the financial crisis is that we have a deficit we need to cut, but the lessons are much deeper.

In tackling the deficit, we need to recognise the fundamental weaknesses in our economy that led to it and which we need to put right if we are to have a stronger economic future.

Let me start with the deficit.

I want to be clear: if we had won power in May, there would have been cuts.

We will therefore be selective about the cuts we will oppose and will support.

On welfare, we have said that we will work with the government on reforms to Disability Living Allowance, sickness benefits and other areas where there is genuine reform.

We will support reforms which bring greater value for money.

Now, this audience will know that we have a difference with the government on the pace and scale of deficit reduction. We do believe that a four year timetable for halving the deficit would be a better approach.

And, I do fear that the path the government is pursuing is a gamble with growth and jobs.

They have a programme which will lead to the disappearance of a million private and public sector jobs but no credible plan to replace them.

And their refusal to accept that a deficit reduction plan has to be sensitive to changing economic circumstances needlessly makes the British economy a hostage to fortune.

Time will tell whether they turn out to be right.

But my wider point is this - we don’t just need to pay down the deficit in a way that ensures growth now: we need to understand the causes of the high deficit and the deeper lessons about our economy to prevent a recurrence of the financial crash and build a strong economy for the future.

There is a view that the deficit arose solely because of spending choices made in the last decade.

In fact, the deficit was 2.4% of national income in 2007/8, broadly the same level as public sector capital investment.

It was what happened next that led to led to a deficit of over 10%: a combination of the loss of 6% of our national income, and the tax receipts that went with them; the consequent rise in benefit spending; and the discretionary decisions to stabilise the economy.

Not everything the last government did was right, but if we misread history we will fail to tackle the big structural issues we face in our economy.

There are important lessons to be learned about why the deficit went up so significantly and we need a wider plan for our economy which understands these deeper lessons.

Without profound change in the way we manage our economy, we are at risk of at best, sleepwalking back to an economy riddled with the same risks as we saw before the recession hit.

First, a new system of financial regulation which avoids a repeat of the crash and creates a banking system that works better in the interests of our economy.

Second, a new approach to industrial policy so we have a more balanced economy.

And third, we need to do more to create an economy which by supporting everyone to make a decent living, whether in employment or a by starting a small business, creates a more stable platform of economic growth.

First, on financial regulation.

British political debate in the last thirty years has been dominated by debate about the dangers of excessive regulation.

Government should always be vigilant about the substance and implementation of regulation.

But as is now widely recognised, the financial crisis revealed the real dangers of the opposite.

If government fails to play its proper role, businesses suffer.

The financial services industry in Britain is a major employer and it is important that it remains strong.

But over time, support for financial services led to competitive deregulation as countries sought to extract comparative advantage.

We need policy-makers and regulators who recognise that we need stronger rules but also that we need a culture that balances the need to support financial services with the need to protect our wider economy.

And, change shouldn’t just be about reducing risk but also about increasing opportunity.

We must also use this moment to tackle the historic problem that we have long faced in the British economy: our financial services industry is a great employer but does not do enough to support small business and industry.

As Richard Lambert said in a speech earlier this month: “One constant complaint I hear from SMEs around the country is that decisions which affect their business are not being taken by people who know anything about it. Instead, they are referred up to the centre, where loan requests are decided against a set of box-ticking benchmarks.”

This has been a decades-long problem and business as usual will not tackle it.

That is why I hope the banking commission and indeed the government looks radically at the structure of the banking system but also at the case for new models of ownership in the banking sector.

Both Richard and Paul Myners have suggested the case for greater public involvement in helping to finance the small business sector, for example through a new small business bank, like the ICFC created after the Second World War.

Others have made the case for mutuals and for public/private structures of banking ownership, as we make decisions about the stakes we have in the banks.

All of these issues should be on the table if we are to get the banking system our economy needs.

Secondly, we should learn the lessons of the financial crisis: that we need to more fundamentally reform our economy if we are to broaden our economic base.

The truth is that over time, Britain became over-reliant on the financial services sector - for jobs and for tax revenues. Financial services became the goose that laid the golden egg.

This is why, in part, the deficit went up so much in the UK after the financial crash happened.

Until late in its time in office, I believe our government did not do enough to support other sorts of industry in this country.

Scarred by the failed exercise in picking winners decades ago, government has been too afraid to support the industries of the future.

Under governments of both parties, we let other countries steal a march on us and I fear the same may happen again: from creative industries to green manufacturing to bio-sciences.

Despite all the talent in engineering and work in our universities, I fear Britain still suffers from an anti-manufacturing bias.
The way to support British businesses who want to lead in the industries of the future isn’t for government to do nothing.

Government action can make a difference, and government inaction can make life harder.

Where do we need to do better?

In finance as I have already said.

As Energy Secretary, I was constantly struck by the risk aversion in relation to new green industries compared to say, construction.

And in the absence of commercial finance, sometimes government needs to step in.

For example, the decision to withdraw support from Sheffield Forgemasters risks our traditional problem: bought by Britain, made elsewhere.

We need to do better in public procurement, where we do not yet do enough to get bang for our buck when it comes to supporting British business.

We need support for infrastructure that provides a platform for new industries, from ports for the wind industry to broadband and high speed rail.

And we need to make sure we have the right skills base, growing the pool of talent in Britain which can attract new industries.

All too often, British success is undermined by one or more missing elements. Too often poor public policy or a lack of action leads to failure.

As an opposition, a focus on the future sources of prosperity and growth will be at the heart of our policy review.

Nobody should pretend these are easy questions to answer but we must not ignore them and continue with business as usual.

Third, we must address a deeper and perhaps the most challenging lesson of the financial crisis.

We went into it with an economy in which rising living standards for too many lower and middle income families, depended on high levels of personal debt and rising asset prices.

Why was this?

We were successful as an economy at creating jobs but not good enough at creating and sustaining well-paying, high productivity jobs.

Indeed globalisation - trade and immigration - had the effect of squeezing out middle-income jobs, and holding down wages in a number of sectors in our economy.

And while for individual companies, this had benefits, for too many families they had no option but to take on higher levels of debt to sustain their standards of living.

In the world after the credit crunch, this is not a credible route to sustaining higher living standards or overall demand in our economy.

So the long-term task we face is to move towards an economy in which good quality jobs attract rising salaries, alongside rising productivity, both for the good of those families and the prosperity of our economy.

This requires the kind of broader industrial base I talked about

earlier, but it also requires a shift away from Britain’s competitive advantage being in low paid, low skilled jobs.

As the last government and many of you have rightly said, this depends on having a better skilled and higher productivity workforce.

Government must play a role in this: sometimes through direct support for training, but that does not always make it happen.

We therefore need to find new ways of rewarding those employers who invest in their workforce.

So I have suggested, for example, tax cuts for those employers who pay the living wage as an incentive to develop the skills of the people who work for them.

We also need to do more to support people and local communities to take control of their own economic future.

That means much greater emphasis on small business.

There have been and still are too few in British politics who speak up for small business.

The change Tony Blair brought to our party rightly made us more open to the business community, but we have not yet done enough to understand the real importance of small business as a way of liberating individuals and creating the economy we need.

I want our party to stand up for small business and entrepreneurs.

And I look forward to working with you to help create this high wage high productivity economy in Britain.

Our country faces some big choices in the months and years ahead.

We can accept an analysis that nothing matters bar deficit reduction.

But I fear that is a gamble with growth and jobs.

Even more importantly, it does not address the deeper risks and flaws in our economy.

To think this is the best we can hope for is a deeply pessimistic view.

I believe we need to take a different and more optimistic approach – an approach that sees deficit reduction as a start not an end and is willing to learn the profound lessons of the crisis.

My view is that it is only this that truly serves the interests of British business.

It is only this that will insulate business from the risks that are part and parcel of the financial services industry.

It is only this that will actively support the creation of British industries that can lead in the global economy of tomorrow.

It is only this that can combine fairness, prosperity and economic stability.

That is what I believe it means to be pro-business in the wake of the financial crisis.

It is the pro-business approach I will adopt.

I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead.

Thank you.


Government needs to produce the full detail of their plans on pensions so that people can make an informed judgement - Alexander

Douglas AlexanderDouglas Alexander MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Minister, commenting on the Government’s proposed changes to the state pension, said:

“Of course we are prepared to work with the Government to try and build a stronger state pension with better entitlements for women but the Government needs to produce the full detail of their plans so that people can make an informed judgement.

“Already, thanks to Labour, people are guaranteed a minimum income of £132 a week and by the time the measure floated today would be implemented, uprating will have raised that minimum income to around the same level.”

“What I would be worried about is the Government using headlines like these to try and hide the fact that pensioners will be hit hard, without any compensation, by January’s VAT rise and last week’s changes that hit pensioners who have saved for their retirement.”


A really concerning early sign of the impact of the Spending Review on policing in our country – Ed Balls

Lancashire Constabulary today that all Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in Lancashire have been told their jobs might be disestablished on March 31st 2011 following funding cuts announced in the Spending Review, said:

“This is a really concerning early sign of the impact of the government’s Spending Review on policing in our country.

“The government’s plan to cut police funding by 20 per cent will be impossible to achieve without major cuts to the number of police officers and PCSOs in every part of our country. By failing to fight the corner of the police in the spending review negotiations, the Home Secretary is taking big risks with the safety of the public and our communities.

“PCSOs are valued by the public for the vital role they play in keeping our communities safe and tackling anti-social behaviour. That’s why before the election Labour pledged funding to keep both the 16,000 PCSOs we now have and the record number of police officers.”


Clegg's rubbishing of the IFS will convince nobody - Ed Miliband

Ed MilibandEd Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said in response to Nick Clegg's attack on the independent Institute of Fiscal Studies:

"Instead of trashing the Institute of Fiscal Studies, the Deputy Prime Minister should be owning up to the truth. This was a spending review driven by ideology, hitting lower and middle income families the hardest. We have consistently warned about the consequences of cutting too far and too fast. The unedifying spectacle of Mr Clegg rubbishing the IFS will convince nobody of the government's case."


Iain Duncan Smith in Conservative comfort zone - Alexander

Douglas AlexanderIain Duncan Smith seems sadly to have retreated into the Conservative comfort zone of blame and disdain.

Today Douglas Alexander MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responded to Iain Duncan Smith’s recent comments that unemployed people should ‘get on a bus’.

"Iain Duncan Smith still doesn’t seem to understand that to move people from welfare into work requires there to be work available.

"The Conservatives are cutting jobs, cutting help for childcare, cutting working tax credit that makes work pay and even cutting support for buses.

"Like Norman Tebbit before him, Iain Duncan Smith seems sadly to have retreated into the Conservative comfort zone of blame and disdain."


IFS confirms children hit hardest by Spending Review

childrenGeorge Osborne’s Spending Review continued to unravel today as the Institute for Fiscal Studies took apart his claims to be fair and progressive.

"It's now clear children have been hit hardest by this Government. And it's a double whammy. At home, they lose the most from George Osborne's tax and spend changes. And at school, children will see the money available for their education cut."

“This regressive spending review is a blow to families in the squeezed middle. Far from investing in our children's future as the Chancellor claimed, the spending review cruelly takes away hope and life chances from young people from less well off backgrounds.

"At home, families will shoulder a huge burden, with cuts in child tax credit, child benefit and the child trust fund.

"While at school, children and young people will suffer the coalition’s cuts to further education, the Educational Maintenance allowance that helps poorer pupils stay in school after 16, and to school capital.

"Children who have lost out can see that claims of 'we're all in this together' bear as much resemblance to reality as the High School Musical show it comes from."

Angela Eagle MP, Labour's Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:

"George Osborne's smoke and mirrors have well and truly unravelled. On any measure his plans hit the poorest hardest. And the IFS have all but called him a liar for his ridiculous claim that he is cutting less than Labour planned."


Osborne's job cuts could cost taxpayer £8bn - Johnson

You can also tell us what you think, and let us know your ideas, at - click here to tell us now.
rth paying" - Alexander
Douglas AlexanderDouglas Alexander MP, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary responding to pictures of the Chief  Secretary to the Treasury holding documents showing nearly half a million jobs would be lost under the coalition's plans, said:
"The Tories and the Liberal Democrats still seem to think unemployment is a price worth paying. They are planning to put people out of work far faster than the private sector can create jobs for them to go to.

“The risk is that this will make reducing the deficit even more painful, as more and more money is spent on higher unemployment bills."

Angela Eagle
Angela Eagle MP, Labour's Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury has responded to a report by PricewaterhouseCooper which forecasts that nearly half a million jobs will be lost in the private sector because of Government spending cuts.

She said that:

“Today's report from PwC will be very worrying for those people already concerned about the future of their jobs and is yet another warning about the risks the Coalition Government is taking with the economy.

“And this isn't just about the public sector. The report is very clear that by cutting at this reckless pace the Government will hit the private sector hard, before it is fully back on its feet. The Government should not be taking this gamble with the economy.”

Browne revie

Andy BurnhamAndy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, commenting on David Cameron’s speech to Conservative Party Conference, said:

“This was probably David Cameron’s most old fashioned Party conference speech yet, packed with rat-a-tat lists that don’t stand up to scrutiny and some rather unconvincing attacks on Labour.  David Cameron didn’t take responsibility for the decisions he has got wrong since taking office and tried to dismiss genuine concern about child benefit cuts with a single throw away line.  The party faithful may be happy but meanwhile David Cameron seems intent on squeezing hardworking families and making them pay for his government's cuts."

You can also tell us what you think, and let us know your ideas, at - click here to tell us now.

Instead of boosting jobs and growth the government is making 
it reform
Yvette Cooper

“Labour introduced tax credits and the Future Jobs Fund to support work and make work pay. But so far the government is cutting support for jobs and the unemployed. Welfare to work won’t work if there are no jobs for people to go to.”