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Miliband says NHS is Labour's big focus

On the day that the Conservative Party unveiled their election manifesto, Labour has used the east to launch its attack, criticising David Cameron's failure to include the NHS at the top of his election pledges.

Ed Miliband was in Stevenage where he made it clear that the NHS is Labour's priority.

The health care system is likely to be a big election issue after a bleak start to 2015 for our health services...

  • Addenbrooke's in Cambridge was named as one of the worst performing for A&E waiting times in our region.

  • Major internal incidents were declared at Addenbrooke's and Peterborough City Hospital, with black and red alerts at others.

  • The private company running Hinchingbrooke in Huntingdon pulled out of its contract for the NHS Hospital.

Today Ed Miliband said Labour would turn around the fortunes of the NHS with more resources.

Click below to watch a report from Matthew Hudson:

Miliband claims UK less safe outside EU

Politicians who recommend leaving the European Union risk making the country more vulnerable to terrorism, Ed Miliband has suggested during a Q&A in Stevenage.

Ed Miliband Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Labour leader, who was in Paris yesterday to show solidarity after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, said cross-border co-operation over security was crucial.

Speaking at an event with voters in Stevenage, Mr Miliband reiterated that he wanted the UK to stay in the EU.

"Think about terrorism and counter-terrorism. We are much better working across borders to do that," he said.

"Think about our economy... I just think we are much, much better working within the EU than not."

Asked afterwards whether Mr Miliband thought the Paris attacks had strengthened the case for staying in the union, a senior Labour source said: "It's certainly his belief that security is one of the issues where working across the EU shows its obvious benefits.

"We all remember from 7/7 that the European arrest warrant (EAW) played a vital role in bringing those suspects back to Britain. The EAW has been a very useful tool in dealing with security issues since it was introduced."

Pressed on whether that meant politicians who wanted Britain to leave the EU were endangering people, the source said: "I wouldn't back away from that interpretation.

"I think security is an important part of what the EU does."

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Miliband holds Q&A in Stevenage

Ed Miliband has been taking part in a Q&A session with an invited audience in Stevenage.

Ed Miliband answering questions in Stevenage Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Labour leader spoke for around 80 minutes this morning, answering questions from the group of pre-selected people at Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre.

Audience at Q&A session Credit: ITV News Anglia

Stevenage is a target seat that Labour wants to win back in the General Election.

Network Rail faces hefty fines after train disruption

A quieter scene at Peterborough station yesterday Credit: ITV News Anglia

Network Rail is facing a multi-million pound fine after overrunning engineering works caused thousands of trains to be cancelled on one of the busiest days of the year.

An investigation has been launched after the "unacceptable problems" which caused King's Cross to close. The East Coast mainline runs from King's Cross, through Stevenage and Peterborough to Scotland.

Network Rail's managing director Robin Gisby apologised for the mayhem saying he was "deeply sorry" for the disruption.

He added: "We've had an army of 11,000 engineers out over Christmas Day and Boxing Day at 2,000 locations nationwide.

"Over 90% have been completed and handed back to-time but I realise this is no consolation for the thousands affected today."

He said Network Rail would pay compensation to train operators, but would not say whether affected customers will be in line for pay-outs.

In July this year the firm was fined a record £53.1 million by the rail regulator for "shortfalls in performance".

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Department for Transport: Disruption 'extremely disappointing'

Railway workers on the tracks outside King's Cross today. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The Department for Transport has called today's rail disruption "extremely disappointing" and appeared to point the finger at Network Rail for failing to meet deadlines for engineering works.

A spokesman for the Government department said passengers will be "rightly annoyed" by the delays and cancellations to services including East Coast, First Hull Trains, Grand Central and Great Northern.

"This was essential work but passengers need to be able to plan and rely on Network Rail meeting its deadlines for having the network back in service.

"The department is in contact with Network Rail to understand what went wrong and if lessons can be learned for the future."

Thousands of rail passengers suffer disruption

The scene at Peterborough train station this morning Credit: ITV News Anglia

Thousands of rail passengers in our region faced disruption after one of the country's busiest train terminals ground to a halt.

East Coast trains which runs from King's Cross through Stevenage and Peterborough to Scotland cancelled dozens trains due to overrunning engineering works.

As King's Cross came to a standstill it led to a quieter scene at Peterborough this morning with a reduced to and from the station. Passengers were advised to delay travelling until Sunday or Monday.

Network Rail has apologised to customers for the delays.

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Passengers 'frustrated' by festive travel disruption

David Sidebottom, passenger director at the independent watchdog Passenger Focus, said: "Investment in maintenance and improvement is necessary, and we passengers understand that.

"But overrunning works that disrupt already-limited festive travel are frustrating.

"Our research is clear: passengers want to be kept on the train wherever possible, they want to know before buying a ticket if part of the journey will be by bus, and they want plenty of staff on hand to signpost where to go and what to do.

"We will be looking to see that operators and Network Rail are doing all in their power to alert passengers, to help them make alternative arrangements and to make it easy for them to claim refunds or compensation."

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Network Rail confirms King's Cross cancellations

A view of the front of King's Cross station. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Network Rail confirmed that trains to and from King's Cross would be cancelled tomorrow due to the overrunning engineering works.

The railways operator said that the work was part of a £200 million Christmas investment programme.

It is one of 300 projects being undertaken over the holidays across 2,000 sites up and down the country by some 11,000 railway engineers.

A spokesman said: "What has happened is really regrettable and unfortunate, but it is a small part of a massive amount of engineering investment taking place over Christmas."

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Delays expected if travelling to or from King's Cross station

King's Cross Station Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Train services in and out of London King's Cross station have been cancelled tomorrow because of overrunning Network Rail engineering works.

Sources said that the station would effectively be closed throughout the day due to delays to works north of the station.

East Coast Trains said customers would need to start or finish their journey at Finsbury Park in north London, with at least one change of train.

A reduced service to and from the station will go ahead as planned on Sunday, with trains leaving up to 20 minutes earlier than normal from King's Cross.

East Coast spokesman, Paul Emberley, said: "Network Rail has apologised to passengers for the inevitable delays to their travel plans on Saturday as a result of the overrunning engineering works.

"East Coast is particularly sorry too for the inconvenience to its customers as a result, on what we know is an already very busy travel day immediately following the Christmas break.

"For customers intending to start or finish their journey at King's Cross, consideration should be given to deferring travel plans to either Sunday or Monday.

"We're working hard over the holiday period to make the necessary adjustments to our timetable as a consequence, and to provide as much information as we can."

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