Miliband quiet on borrowing

Ed Miliband has refused to be drawn on how his party would pay for measures to alleviate what he calls the "cost of living crisis". Labour has announced policies to force large firms to train more British apprentices and pay the minimum wage.

Miliband's wife steps into spotlight at conference

The wife of Labour leader Ed Miliband, Justine, spoke at a fringe meeting.
The wife of Labour leader Ed Miliband, Justine, spoke at a fringe meeting. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Ed Miliband's wife has told of how she fell in love with her future husband while helping him move chairs around a Doncaster hall.

The mother-of-two also told Young Labour members she is willing to help them in the run-up to the 2015 General Election before joking: "After all you now know I can door-knock, I can move chairs although I guess falling in love at the same time probably gave it a bit of a different dimension."

Miliband's wife Justine added she wanted to speak at the fringe meeting so people know she is "more than a dress" as she pre-empted the potential media coverage of her outfit during her husband's speech on Tuesday.

Labour pay proposals over minimum wage 'unworkable'

CBI director-general John Cridland Credit: PA

Labour proposals to force more lucrative sectors to pay more as part of efforts to "strengthen" the minimum wage have been dismissed as "unworkable" by business.

CBI director general John Cridland said the idea - floated by party leader Ed Miliband - was "based on a completely false premise" and would hit small firms particularly hard.

Mr Miliband questioned yesterday whether banks "cannot afford to pay their cleaners a bit more" as he took to the streets of Brighton to tell voters about his plans to reduce the cost of living.

Mr Cridland said: "A sectoral approach to setting the minimum wage would be unworkable and hit smallest companies the hardest.

"It's based on a completely false premise that all companies working in the same sector operate on the same margins."

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Miliband: Union members should make 'active choice'

Ed Miliband talking to Andrew Marr Credit: BBC/Andrew Marr show

Labour leader Ed Miliband has said he wants union members to have an "active choice" over their membership to his party.

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that he wants Labour to establish links to "individual union members".

He added that there needed to be a strong message sent about MPs with possible conflicting business interests.

Labour plans 'will create 125,000 new apprentices'

Ed Miliband wants a high-wage British economy Credit: PA

Labour leader Ed Miliband leader said large firms will have to train up a British apprentice for every overseas worker they bring to the UK while he would ensure apprenticeships in Britain are "gold standard".

He believes the policy could result in the creation of 125,000 new apprentices over five years because the long-term solution for the UK economy is to develop a highly skilled homegrown workforce.

The scheme would affect foreign nationals brought in under Tier 2 of the points-based immigration system - those who are offered a skilled job to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker.

As part of efforts to prevent the exploitation of workers he also promised a huge increase in the fine for employers who failed to pay the national minimum wage, with the penalty set to rise from £5,000 to £50,000 under a Labour administration.

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