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Obama and Miliband 'affirmed US-UK ties'

The White House said Barack Obama and Ed Miliband "affirmed the strong ties that bind the United States and the United Kingdom" during their brief meeting at the White House today.

President Obama joined National Security Advisor Rice’s meeting today with Mr. Ed Miliband, leader of the United Kingdom’s opposition Labour Party.

Mr. Miliband was meeting with Ambassador Rice to discuss issues of shared concern, including the situations in Ukraine, Israel/Gaza, and Iraq.

– White House statement

Read: Miliband stakes his claim as an international statesman

Miliband and Obama hold 'warm and friendly' talks

Barack Obama spoke with Ed Miliband and Douglas Alexander at the White House.
Barack Obama spoke with Ed Miliband and Douglas Alexander at the White House.

Ed Miliband has met with US President Barack Obama at the White House, conducting what the Labour leader called "warm and friendly" talks.


I've just had warm and friendly talks with President Obama discussing Ukraine, Gaza, Europe and the economy.


Britain in Europe working in partnership with America is the best way to promote stability and prosperity across the globe.

Read: Miliband stakes his claim as an international statesman


Miliband: 'We have moved on from New Labour'

Ed Miliband will mark out a "new direction" for the Labour Party today as he tells a major party event that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown "did not do enough" to fix fundamental problems with the economy.

In a sign that he is trying to distance himself from previous Labour leaders, Mr Miliband will say: "We have moved on from New Labour. And we are not going back to old Labour."

Speaking at the National Policy Forum in Milton Keynes, Mr Miliband will argue Labour "did great things in Government to redistribute resources" but failed to tackle problems such as inequality and low rates of pay.

He will say a Labour government would instigate a programme to build "a wholly new economy, fit for the 21st century".

Read: Miliband: No return to Labour's big-spending approach

Miliband: No return to Labour's big-spending approach

Labour leader Ed Miliband will tell the party's national policy forum that the party cannot revert to its traditional high-spending approach to social and economic problems if it wins next year's general election.

Labour leader Ed Miliband says the party must be 'more ambitious' in addressing the UK's problems. Credit: PA

Mr Miliband will tell activists at the three-day event in Milton Keynes that higher spending is not the answer to the country's issues, as "you and I know we won't have the money".

"Higher spending is not the answer to the economic problem that we together have identified. Unless we fundamentally reshape our economy, we will only be able to compensate people for inequality and unfairness," Mr Miliband is expected to say.

He will also argue that Labour must be "more ambitious" in reforming areas including banks, energy markets, skills, housing and pay.

Ed Miliband: Strikes 'a sign of failure on all sides'

Labour leader Ed Miliband said the industrial action taken by public sector workers today was "a sign of failure on signs".

Read: Poll suggests Britons split on public sector strike action

He said: "We don't support the strikes because they are a sign of failure on all sides.

"I think the Government bares a share of responsibility for another reason too; they promised low paid workers a £250 pay rise and it didn't happen, they've demonised teachers and I'm not going to demonise public sector workers."

Watch: Gove claims teachers have 'no excuse' for going on strike


Labour will 'give control of business rates to councils'

Labour will give control of business rates to local councils so they can collect the revenue themselves, rather than it being redistributed from the current central pool, Ed Miliband is expected to announce.

In his speech, the Labour leader will say:

The next Labour government will ensure city and county regions, like this powerhouse economy in Leeds, get control of business rates revenue so that any extra money raised here ... can be invested here.

I know the next Labour government cannot solve every problem by pulling levers in Whitehall.

We can only do it by working with, harnessing the energy, the ideas and the dynamism of great businesses, cities, county regions.

– Ed Miliband

Miliband calls for 'regional economic powerhouses'

Leading figures in the Labour party will call on local councils across England to work together to create "regional economic powerhouses" in a bid to smooth out the "vast" wealth inequalities in the UK.

Read: Miliband: More regional powers if Labour win next election

Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband pointed to Greater Manchester council as a template for his "regional powerhouse" idea. Credit: PA

In his speech in the northern city of Leeds, Ed Miliband will urge local authorities to mimic the system used in Greater Manchester, where numerous councils combine to former a super-council.

The embattled Labour leader hopes this technique of governance will help tackle entrenched problems of poor skills, infrastructure and economic development.

Miliband's call for a de-centralising of power to the regions comes from a series of recommendations made by the former Labour transport secretary Lord Adonis.

Adonis said his aim was to promote "a smarter, not a more expensive, state".

Read: Councils' 'financial blackhole'

'Utter humiliation' for PM over Juncker, says Miliband

Ed Miliband tore into the Prime Minister over his actions.
Ed Miliband tore into the Prime Minister over Juncker. Credit: PA

David Cameron returned from the European Council as a failure and suffering "utter humiliation" after Jean-Claude Juncker was nominated to be the new Commission president, Ed Miliband claimed today.

The Labour leader tore into the Prime Minister after Mr Cameron reported to MPs on the summit, which saw European leaders vote 26-2 in favour of Mr Juncker.

Mr Cameron insisted his actions represented standing by a point of principle and had made it clear Britain would not back down on issues of importance.

He said he was 'not prepared to budge' on his stance on Juncker added: "It's a bad day for Europe."

Ed Balls pledges to keep low corporation tax rate

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is to set out how Labour would help nurture British business by maintaining the lowest rate of corporation tax in the G7 group of major industrialised nations.

At a speech in London, Mr Balls will say: "The last Labour Government left Britain with the most competitive rate of corporation tax in the G7 and we are committed to maintaining that position."

Ed Balls is setting out how business taxes would look under a Labour government. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/Press Association Images

However he will also argue that a further cut in corporation tax next year is not "the right priority", instead committing Labour to a freeze on business rates that would affect 1.5 million business properties.

He will say the aim of Labour's business tax approach will be to make the UK "a great place to do business, not simply a cheap place to shift their profits".

Read: Policy chief blasts Miliband's 'cynical' reforms

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