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UK Politics

Ed Miliband hits back at brother's criticism

Ed Miliband will today hit back strongly at his brother David's attempt to portray him as preaching to Labour's traditional supporters rather than reaching out to middle-class voters.

As the brothers’ battle for the Labour leadership becomes increasingly bitter, the Shadow Climate Change Secretary will reject David Miliband’s suggestion that he would shift the party back towards Old Labour if he wins the contest.

Ed Miliband will insist that he is seeking a strong mandate for change from the party – a pitch made by Tony Blair when he ran for the leadership in 1994. His allies claimed that he, rather than his elder brother, had successfully made the election about change and was the best “change candidate”. But he will argue this change must be away from New Labour.

Speaking in London, Ed Miliband will say: “We must have the courage to change, the confidence to know that our values, when applied to the challenges of Britain in the modern world, can reconnect with those who have turned their backs on New Labour.”

He will tell Labour: “I am not just seeking your votes. I am seeking a mandate to change – to refound our party in ways which will reach out to those who have lost trust in us.”

He will say: “Whenever a political party has become stuck in its ways there are always those who will fight to stay with what they know. The past can be a powerful anchor. Labour now faces a big, defining choice: whether to linger in the comfort zone of New Labour or whether to change, reach out to those who have lost trust in our party. Only change can win.”

Ed Balls, the Shadow Education Secretary and fellow Labour leadership contender, will today reject Tory claims that Labour are “deficit deniers”. He will accuse David Cameron and George Osborne of being “growth deniers” whose cuts risk pushing Britain into a double-dip recession. Hitting back at Tory claims that Labour “failed to fix the roof while the sun was shining,” Mr Balls will say Mr Osborne is set to “strip out the foundations of the house just as the hurricane is about to hit.”