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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

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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

Ed Balls: Jon Cruddas 'excited' by Labour reforms

Ed Balls said policy chief Jon Cruddas was "excited" by the party's agenda despite him claiming that Labour was stopping bold reforms in favour of "cynical nuggets of policy."

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/

The shadow chancellor told the BBC's Andrew Marr show: "I talked to Jon a couple of days ago and he's not frustrated, he's excited about his policy agenda.

"He's frustrated by the way in which one report of 250 pages gets reduced down to one headline."

He added: "Jon Cruddas, with me and Ed and others, has been working for years on big reforms, they're going to come out in the next few months, people will see the policy review he has led has been a big deal."

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

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Cruddas comments come as Labour reveals UK vision

Jon Cruddas, Labour's policy chief, said the party was parking bold reforms in favour of "cynical nuggets of policy" as Labour prepares to set out its vision for rebuilding Britain through reforms of the state and big business.

Jon Cruddas or parking bold reforms in favour of "cynical nuggets of policy|" Credit: REUTERS/Stephen Hird

The party will reverse a century of centralisation by diverting £30 billion of funding to create "powerhouse" English cities and counties, Ed Miliband has said.

As well as pulling together plans on tackling "broken markets", changes to the welfare system and a crackdown on tax avoidance, it will lay out the results of former transport secretary Lord Adonis's review on growth polices.

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

Policy chief blasts Miliband's 'cynical' reforms

Labour's policy chief has hit out at the leadership for parking bold reforms in favour of "cynical nuggets of policy" designed to appeal to the press and focus groups.

Jon Cruddas has warned that the top of the party wields a "profound dead hand at the centre" that blocks plans, according to the Sunday Times (£).

Labour's policy chief Jon Cruddas Credit: PA

A recording of the head of the party's policy review made at a meeting of the left-wing Compass group captured him attacking recently announced Labour plans to cut Jobseeker's Allowance for 18 to 21 year olds as "punitive".

Mr Cruddas warned the "clock is ticking" but raised fears that interesting ideas were "not going to emerge through Labour's policy review".

Miliband praises Armed Forces' 'huge contribution'

Ed Miliband has paid tribute to the "huge contribution" made by the Armed Forces.

His tweet comes as Armed Forces Day is being celebrated across Britain.

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Today we recognise the huge contribution the men & women of our Armed Forces have made to Britain. Thank you. #ArmedForcesDay

Read: Miliband says returning Armed Forces 'should be treated with dignity'

Ed Miliband shrugs off Gordon Brown comparison

Ed Miliband appeared to be taken aback when ITV News correspondent Emily Morgan compared his leadership to that of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Mr Miliband's position is under scrutiny after a recent poll showed half the public think he should be replaced before the 2015 general election.

Read: Ed Miliband would make a 'great Prime Minister'

Completely ignoring the question, he said "thanks, I am glad I called on you" and went on to speak to another journalist.

Mr Miliband was asked questions after announcing plans for the Job Seekers' allowance to be "replaced with a new youth allowance" for 18 to 21-year-olds in a bid to increase their skills.

Read: Under-21s to lose benefits 'until they learn key skills'

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