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Miliband: Labour business policies help working families

Miliband launched Labour's plan at Jaguar Land Rover's plant in Wolverhampton.

Ed Miliband has warned that the Tory "long-term economic plan" is working for a "handful" of people at the top, while his rival vision would champion the needs of working families.

The Labour leader said:

Nothing more symbolises the current Government's failing plan than seeing the tax gap - between what should be paid and the revenue received - widening, while the number of apprenticeships available for young people is falling.

– Ed Miliband

He said just one in 10 employers in England offers an apprenticeship and there are "six times fewer high quality apprenticeships than in Germany".

Miliband continued:

It is time to match the aspirations of our young people with the high quality apprenticeships they deserve. So today I can announce: under the next Labour government, if you get the grades at 18, you will be guaranteed an apprenticeship.

– Ed Miliband

Government blocks Coventry Gateway development

The multi-million pound Coventry Gateway development which would have created thousands of jobs has been rejected by the government.

There were plans to develop an area of 741 acres around Coventry Airport Credit: PA

Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, turned down plans to develop the 700 acre site around Coventry Airport, that could have created up to 10,000 jobs.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Gateway plans aimed to develop an area of 741 acres to the north, east and south of Coventry airport. Plans for the development included a major new technology and manufacturing and distribution park.

The decision has been criticised by Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Employment, Kevin Maton.

The scheme, put forward by Coventry and Warwickshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership had the potential to provide a real boost to the local economy, and I’m amazed the Minister couldn’t support the plans.

It’s particularly disappointing news, given that the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable was in the area just yesterday talking about the vital role the region and Coventry engineering expertise played in the economy nationally.

This scheme would have helped support further development of this expertise while creating thousands of jobs.

– Cllr Kevin Maton, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Employment

Meanwhile Geoffrey Robinson, the MP for Coventry North West, said: “I’m hugely disappointed by this decision.

"This development had the prospect of attracting thousands of jobs into our city, this is a real slap in the face for our City.”

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Leicestershire Fire Service defer decision on cutting crew numbers

But the fire authority has agreed to a certain number of cut backs at today's budget meeting.

  1. National

Government to crackdown on whistleblower bullying

Legislation on whistleblowers will be fast-tracked in response to a major report into how thousands of NHS staff have been been bullied by colleagues after raising concerns about patient care, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced.

The review, lead by Sir Robert Francis QC, found some NHS staff were driven to the brink of suicide after voicing their concerns.

ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports:

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