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Miliband faces Labour rebellion on welfare cap vote

Ed Miliband has vowed to support the Government's plans for a welfare cap. Credit: PA

Ed Miliband faces a rebellion of Labour MPs today and claims he is "playing politics" as the Government moves to write into law a cap on overall welfare spending.

The Labour leader has ordered his MPs to back the plans, which would cap welfare spending at £119.5 billion in 2015/16, in the Commons lobbies but it is thought 20 to 40 of his MPs could vote no.

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Miliband: Budget a 'missed opportunity'

Ed Miliband has hit out at the Government, telling ITV's The Agenda that George Osborne's Budget speech last week was a "missed opportunity".

Ed Miliband addressing the Scottish Labour conference last week. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Labour leader also rejected claims he was too academic in his approach and said ideas were important in politics.

Also on the panel were the comedian David Baddiel, the founder and managing director of JoJo Maman Bébé, Laura Tenison and the journalist Sarah Vine.

The Agenda with Tom Bradby is on ITV tonight at 10:35pm.

Ed Miliband to appear on The Agenda tonight

The Labour leader, Ed Miliband will appear on The Agenda panel tonight Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The leader of the Labour party, Ed Miliband, will join ITV's political editor, Tom Bradby on The Agenda tonight.

Also on the panel will be the comedian, David Baddiel, the founder and managing director of JoJo Maman Bébé, Laura Tenison, and the journalist, Sarah Vine.

They will be discussing paternity leave, the political landscape after the Budget and the rise and demise of West End musicals.

The Agenda with Tom Bradby is on ITV tonight at 10:35pm.

Get involved in the debate during the show using the hashtag #theagenda and follow us @agendaitv.

Ed Miliband backs pension flexibility after Budget

Ed Miliband has attempted to clarify Labour's position on the coalition's radical pension reforms, insisting he backs looser rules.

But Mr Miliband said the party wanted to "scrutinise the detail" before committing to support the changes in Parliament.

Labour leader Ed Miliband Credit: PA

The comments came after the Opposition was criticised for a muddled response to George Osborne's Budget proposals, which would stop pensioners being forced to buy annuities and allow them to cash in funds.

Read: Pension reforms based on 'highly uncertain assumptions'

"We're in favour of greater flexibility when it comes to pensions," Mr Miliband said in an interview.

"These are complex proposals. We need to scrutinise the detail and we need to have some clear answers from the Government on some of those questions."

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Miliband: Osborne ignored living standards

The Chancellor spoke for almost an hour but failed to mention that people's living standards have fallen under the Conservatives, Labour leader Ed Miliband claimed after the Budget.

He told the Commons: "Living standards down, month after month, year after year.

"Since the election working people's living standards - £1,600 a year down. You are worse off under the Tories.

"Their 2010 manifesto promised 'an economy where people's standard of living rises steadily and sustainably'.

"But they have delivered exactly the opposite.

"And today you simply reminded people of the gap between your rhetoric and the reality of people's lives.

"Living standards falling for 44 out of 45 months under this Prime Minister, unmatched since records began. No amount of smoke and mirrors can hide it."And we already know the answer to the question millions of people will be asking in 2015 - are they better off now than they were five years ago?

"The answer is no. Worse off, much worse off, worse off under the Tories."

Osborne 'needs to show understanding' in Budget

Speaking ahead of today's Budget Ed Miliband has said he wants to see "understanding" of the pressures families are facing from George Osborne.

See more: Labour release Budget poster on 'cost of living crisis'

The Labour leader said:

"I hope we don't see complacency from the Chancellor today because so many families across the country are incredibly hard pressed.

"They are seeing their wages falling, they face 24 Tory tax rises since 2010. What I hope we see from the Chancellor is an understanding of the difficulties families are facing and response to make life easier and better for them."

Latest updates: Osborne to deliver penultimate Budget before election

Tony Benn's praise for Miliband in interview last year

Alastair Stewart speaking to Tony Benn last October Credit: ITV News

Last October, Tony Benn spoke to ITV News presenter Alastair Stewart about energy prices and Labour leader Ed Miliband (a "man of principle") among other subjects.

Watch the interview here

Political correspondent Carl Dinnen on Tony Benn's life as a radical figurehead of the left

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