Ed Miliband criticised over '£70-a-week' shopping bill

Good Morning Britain presenter Susannah Reid says Miliband himself appeared 'out of touch with reality'

The Labour leader Ed Miliband has been accused of being “out of touch with reality” after he appeared not to know what he – or indeed the average British family – pays for their weekly shop.

Appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Mr Miliband described how disconnected the country’s leadership is from ordinary people who, he said, feel Britain is run “for a few people at the top and not for them”.

He said that Labour would make it a priority to tackle the cost-of-living crisis – yet appeared to struggle when pressed on how much he personally knows about “the actual cost of living for people”.

Asked if he knew what the average household grocery bill per week was for a family in the UK, Mr Miliband said: “Well, it depends how much you’re spending.”

And on the subject of his own weekly shop, the party leader hesitated before saying: “We probably spend £70, £80 a week on groceries at least, probably more than that.”

TV presenter Susannah Reid told him that the average bill for a family of four is actually more than £100, and said: “People will say one of the problems with politicians is they are actually talking about something but out of touch with the reality – and the reality is that it’s much higher than you have quoted.”

Mr Miliband then conceded that he did “probably pay more”, but added: “I am relatively comfortably off, but what I know is that there are deep issues that need to be tackled and we are determined to tackle them.”

Yet after appearing to admit that his estimate had been wrong, in a radio appearance later this morning he said he had actually been referring just to “basic groceries”.

Speaking on BBC Radio Oxford, Mr Miliband said: “Well, I said this morning it was on the basic groceries, the basic fruit and vegetables, about £70 or £80 - the total shopping bill was slightly higher than that, obviously.

“On the basics, I was saying it was about £70 or £80 but the overall shopping bill would obviously be higher.”

The comments were met with anger on Twitter, with one user asking: “Are you out of touch with the cost of living or just a sexist hubby who doesn’t shop @Ed_Miliband??”

A Conservative source said: “It's the same old economic incompetence from the Labour Party that gave Britain the biggest peacetime deficit in history.

Read more: Four in 10 voters think Ed Miliband is 'weird'

“They have no long-term plan to fix the economy and Ed Miliband can't even get the numbers right for his political gimmicks.”

At the same time as many users of social media were criticising Mr Miliband for his TV appearance, a clip of the leader “looking natural” on the show also started to go viral.

It isn’t the first time a politician has been caught out when it comes to knowing the cost of everyday items, however.

In 2012, the Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries criticised her own leadership when she described David Cameron and George Osborne as “two posh boys who don't know the price of milk”.

Last year, Mr Cameron said in a live interview that a loaf of budget supermarket bread cost “well north of a pound” – when at the time it was around 47p.

Nick Clegg was also accused of being out of touch shortly after being elected Liberal Democrat leader when he was wrong about the amount paid out for a state pension.

Challenged by a caller to a local ITV news show about how much pensioners received, the Lib Dem leader said he thought it was “about £30”. At the time the figure was £90.70 a week for a single person and £145.05 a week for a couple.

News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer Mentor for people who have offended

This is an unpaid volunteer role. : Belong: We are looking for volunteers who ...

Business StudiesTeacher

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Supply Business Studies Teacher...

English Teacher

£110 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: English Teacher - CaerphillyT...

Cover Supervisor, Folkestone School - full time and part time

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We have urgent and multiple vaca...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?