Ed Miliband mobbed on Manchester visit

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The Independent Online

Ed Miliband braved heavy rain and heckles today as he took a walk around the streets of Manchester.

The Labour leader toured Brown Street and Market Street in the city centre, where many shops and businesses had been damaged by rioters and looters.

He was quickly mobbed by members of the public and a large group surrounded and followed him as he made his way slowly around Market Street.

One man, mistaking the Labour leader for his older brother, shouted: "All platitudes, Dave, as usual. You are all the same."

Standing outside the burnt-out Miss Selfridge store, he told members of the public the first thing that had to be done was to "restore public order".

He said: "Then we have got to look into the causes, why people are going around doing this. And I think there are a complex number of causes."

He said he thought it was "partly about parental responsibility, partly about gangs and some of that culture".

Amid chaotic scenes, Mr Miliband thanked a nine-year-old girl called Jess Reid, from Denton, who had volunteered to help clean up the city centre and the crowd responded by giving her a round of applause.

He then met a group of other volunteers who had rallied to the cause after Jeremy Myers, 34, started the Twitter group cleanupmanc.

Mr Miliband said: "Good to see you. Thank you for coming out. I really appreciate it. This is the real spirit of Manchester, isn't it, rather than the yobs and what they do."

Mr Myers told the Labour leader that the Twitter group, which he only set up last night, already had 6,500 followers and 1,000 people had turned up to help today.

Mr Miliband said: "Well, you have had a fantastic response. Even the rain won't deter what you do."

After the walkabout, Mr Miliband went to meet the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Peter Fahy.