August 27 2014 Latest news:
Annabelle Dickson, Political Editor
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Labour leader Ed Miliband has tried to thwart UKIP’s attempts to grab working class votes by claiming the anti-EU party cannot not serve their interests.
During a visit to the region Mr Miliband played up his party’s chances in the European elections in the East this month, adding that he had real confidence about his message.
Launching his campaign with a promise to curb excessive rent increases and impose three year contracts on landlords in a bid to help “generation rent”, he described the costs for tenants as a huge issue across the whole region.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has made a play for the working class vote and is said to be taking votes from Labour as well as the Tories as he surges ahead in the polls for the European elections on May 22.
But Mr Miliband said: “Look UKIP, the Tories, the Liberal Democrats, let them worry about their own stuff, we are going to talk about the positive case. I don’t believe that UKIP can serve working people when they are a party that says they are going to charge people for GP access. I don’t think that is a party for people. Labour would never do that. We have got our own positive case. People can make their own mind up about the other parties.”
But UKIP’s Patrick O’Flynn, the party’s top MEP candidate for the East, said: “UKIP support an NHS that is free at the point of need. The only senior politician I have heard recently pushing the idea of paying fees for NHS care is Labour’s former health minister Lord Warner. In addition, during 13 years in government Labour forgot that NHS stands for ‘national’ health service by turning it into the world’s health service, allowing health tourists who had never paid a penny into the pot to plunder its precious resources. Labour has nothing new to say.”