General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's 'Milistone' shows his lack of seriousness, says Nick Clegg

Exclusive: The Deputy Prime Minister called it the 'great Milistone around his neck'

Labour leader Ed Miliband unveils Labour's pledges carved into a stone plinth in Hastings
Labour leader Ed Miliband unveils Labour's pledges carved into a stone plinth in Hastings

Ed Miliband’s pledge to erect an 8ft stone monument to Labour’s manifesto in the Downing Street garden shows the “lack of grip and seriousness” in the Labour leader’s team, according to the man who could be partnering him in government in a few days’ time.

Nick Clegg branded it the "great Milistone around his neck" in an exclusive interview with The Independent, saying it revealed the Labour leader was out of touch with the challenges of the country.

Mr Miliband said the decision to inscribe the 8ft- 6ins-high piece of limestone with Labour’s key manifesto pledges was part of his effort to rebuild the public’s trust in politics – a dig at the Liberal Democrat’s infamous U-turn over his pledge to cut tuition fees before the 2010 election.


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Mr Clegg, asked whether he could have done with a similar tombstone to make sure he kept to his manifesto promises post-2010: “That is about the very last thing I would have emulated from Ed Miliband.

“It just shows such lack of grip and seriousness that they think some great tombstone is all you need to do to face the difficult challenges that the country faces.”

His comments came as Westminster councillors cast doubt over whether the tombstone would be granted planning permission.

Conservative councillors, who outnumber Labour councillors on the relevant planning committee by three to one, will decide whether the council grants permission for Labour's political gesture to go ahead.

Robert Davis, the Tory who chairs the planning committee and the council's cabinet member for the built environment told The Independent Mr Miliband’s plan would face a number of obstacles.

“The fact is the committee who would make the decision comprises of three Conservatives and one Labour member so you could probably guess without me having to tell you the likely way the decision would go,” he said.

“It would require planning permission, a listed building consent, and as [10 Downing Street is] a very important historic listed building he would have to consult Historic England.”

Nick Clegg has branded the Labour leader's stone monument the “great Milistone around his neck”

The stone was widely mocked on social media after Mr Miliband unveiled it, with Twitter users comparing it to something out of political satire The Thick Of It, and said it could be interpreted as Labour’s “tombstone” if it lost.

But Mr Miliband defended his decision, saying: "It's to remind working people in this country I'm absolutely serious about changing how this country works."

The pledges on the stone read: “A strong economic foundation”, “higher living standards for working families”, “an NHS with the time to care”, “controls on immigration”, “a country where the next generation can do better than the last” and “homes to buy and action on rents”.

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