Ed Miliband hails Labour's successes in local elections


Click to follow
Indy Politics

Ed Miliband today hailed his party's successes in yesterday's local elections as a sign that Labour was "winning back trust" and regaining ground lost in the 2010 general election.

But the Labour leader was careful to avoid sounding triumphalist over the polls - which look set to deliver him more than 700 new councillors - insisting that there was still "more work to do".

Mr Miliband credited last night's results to voters who are suffering due to the recession and do not feel the coalition Government is on their side, and said he was determined "to deliver Britain the change it needs".

Speaking outside his London home, Mr Miliband said: "We are a party winning back people's trust, regaining ground, but there is more work to do."

Mr Miliband said: "I want to thank everyone who voted Labour at the local elections. I want to thank them for placing their trust in us.

"But I also want to say something to those people who voted for other parties and to the many people who did not vote at all.

"I am determined to work tirelessly in the coming years up to the next general election to show we can change this country so it works for you, so it works for your son or daughter who is looking for a job, so it can deal with the squeeze on living standards, and, above all, so Britain changes from a country that works a few people at the top to a country that works for everybody.

"I know that David Cameron promised change and has disappointed people. I am determined that we can deliver Britain the change it needs."

Mr Miliband added: "People are hurting. People are suffering from this recession, people are suffering from a Government that raises taxes for them and cuts taxes for millionaires.

"I think that's what we saw last night. I hope that David Cameron takes some notice."

Mr Miliband said: "People are suffering and we have got to show people that Britain can be better than it is."

With low turnouts indicating voter apathy he added: "What worries me is that there are people who think politics can't change things for them.

"There are lots of people who think that politics can't answer the problems in their lives.

"I'm determined that Labour shows that we can do that, that actually people can put their faith in us.

"More people put their faith in us yesterday than in the elections a year ago, and I'm pleased they've done that.

"But I know we've got more work to do to convince those that didn't vote for us yesterday that actually we can change Britain for them."

One setback for Labour was the ousting of council leader Ian Greenwood by the Respect Party in Bradford, scene of George Galloway's shock by-election triumph in March.

Mr Miliband said: "I'm obviously disappointed for the leader of the council Ian Greenwood who has lost his seat.

"I went to Bradford after the by-election defeat and I said we need to change as a party in Bradford and we needed to show people we could change things so that we we understood why they had voted against us in that by-election.

"What Bradford underlines is there's more work to do there and there's more work to do across the country for Labour.

"I know that. I know that we are a party that lost the general election badly two years ago.

"We are a party winning back people's trust, regaining ground but there's more work to do."

Counting was delayed this morning after a power cut at Alexandra Palace where Mayor of London and London Assembly votes were due to be counted at 8am.

Due to a power cut relating to the refurbishment of the building the count got underway two hours late.

Ed Miliband faces the prospect of Tory Boris Johnson defeating Ken Livingstone to be re-elected as Mayor of London.

"We will see what the results are in London," he said.

But he continued: "Across the country we've seen Labour gaining ground but I know that we have to win people's trust and show people that this sustainable change we have seen is a change that can be continued.

"What I'm pleased about is we will have Labour councils that will show, in action, how Labour can make people's lives better even when there's less money around because money is incredibly tight for the many councils and councillors that have been elected.

"They have got a tough job but I know they are determined to show responsibility and show that, when it comes to the local library, the children's centre, the services, Labour can make a difference.

"That's important locally and it's important to show what we can do as a national party."