Ed Miliband confronted by disgruntled factory worker: 'They're all leaning towards Ukip'

Peter Baldwin said that the working class man was concerned about immigration and Europe

Kiran Moodley
Friday 20 February 2015 10:12 GMT

A leisurely election tour around a factory turned sour for Ed Miliband on Thursday, when a disgruntled voter confronted the Labour leader and said that many working class people were "leaning towards Ukip".

Peter Baldwin, an electrician at BAE systems, approached Miliband during a visit by the leader to the jet fighter factory in Lancashire.

Baldwin said to Miliband: "At this moment in time I don't feel like voting Labour.

"This morning we sat in the brew room over there...and they are all leaning now towards Ukip. The question on everybody's mind is the referendum. I know what you're going to say. The working class man in here…"

Miliband, who was nodding along as he listened to Baldwin, interrupted the worker to say: "Immigration is the big issue for lots of people. On immigration, what we say is, when people come here they shouldn't get benefits for the first two years and then we should ensure that don’t allow wages to be under cut."

Baldwin responded: "There's too many people here that's why we got all these people out of work".

Miliband then replied: "I think we can actually get low-skilled immigration down if we clamp down on the benefits and stop the employers exploiting people. Part of the problem we've got – not companies like BAE – (but with) other companies, what you end up with is: workers paid less than the minimum wage, 15 people put in their house, and people say, 'Hang on a minute, that can't be right, we've got to do something about that."

Baldwin later spoke to The Telegraph about his meeting with Miliband, describing the Labour leader as sounding like a "public schoolboy", adding that "the Labour Party lost a lot of its values. They have always been the working man's party, they're drifting away from that."

Speaking to the BBC, he added: "Basically they are just not happy with Labour at the moment. The big thing with the working class man is immigration and Europe."

Mr Miliband said he did not believe Ukip was the part of working people.

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