Miliband operation 'not for his voice'

Labour leader Ed Miliband denied today that he was undergoing surgery on his adenoids to make his voice sound more attractive to voters.

Mr Miliband is due to have an operation to remove his adenoids - which lie behind the nose - during Parliament's long break this summer.

But he insisted that the purpose of the procedure was to deal with a condition called sleep apnoea, which causes snoring and disturbed sleep, and not to make his voice less nasal.

Asked during an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today whether he expected his voice to be changed by the operation, Mr Miliband said: "I hope not. I'm having this done for medical reasons, because I suffer from sleep apnoea."

Sleep apnoea causes abnormal pauses in breathing up to 30 times an hour during the night.

Sufferers may not notice anything unusual, but can experience fatigue and problems with concentration during the daytime, while partners sharing their bed will be aware of the problem because of snoring and movement in the night.

"Once this was announced, I discovered that a lot of other people seem to suffer from the same condition, who have come up to me with sympathy - and indeed sympathy for my partner."