Miliband to back up One Nation vow

Labour leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester

Labour leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester

First published in National News © by

Labour leader Ed Miliband is set to take to the airwaves to drive home his claim to be the true inheritor of the "One Nation" tradition of British politics.

In a bravura speech without notes to Labour's annual conference in Manchester on Tuesday, Mr Miliband made a bold grab for the centre ground by claiming that his party represents the One Nation beliefs first enunciated by Victorian prime minister Benjamin Disraeli and long associated with the Tory centre-right.

Conservatives dismissed the speech as a sign that Mr Miliband had not learnt the lessons of Labour's past mistakes. But it was well-received by supporters and commentators, and prompted bookies William Hill to make him 10/11 favourite to be next prime minister.

Mr Miliband will return to the stage in Manchester to field questions from delegates, and he will use a round of TV and radio interviews from the conference to continue his drive to introduce himself to voters.

After deputy leader Harriet Harman's admission at the weekend that many voters still do not know who Mr Miliband is, a large portion of Tuesday's speech was devoted to explaining his background and the part it played in developing his political "faith".

Memories of his past as the son of refugees from Nazi persecution and his education in a north London comprehensive drew a contrast with the home counties upbringing and Eton education of David Cameron. Mr Miliband said his childhood had given him an understanding of the value of the One Nation spirit shown by Britain during the Second World War and the period of rebuilding that followed.

"I do believe in that spirit, that spirit of One Nation," Mr Miliband said.

"One Nation: a country where everyone has a stake. One Nation: a country where prosperity is fairly shared. One Nation where we have a shared destiny, a sense of shared endeavour and a common life that we lead together. That is my vision of One Nation, that is my vision of Britain, that is the Britain we must become."

Mr Cameron had forfeited his right to claim that "we are all in this together" because of the way he has governed since 2010, the Labour leader said.

Denouncing Mr Cameron's Government as a "miserable shower" who had allowed state borrowing to rise, destabilised the NHS and cut taxes on millionaires while increasing them for pensioners, Mr Miliband said: "If the medicine isn't working, change the medicine ... (and) change the doctor too."

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