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Ed Miliband appeals to 'centre ground' Tories

The Labour leader Ed Miliband has made an appeal to Tories claiming he represents the "centre ground" of politics.

Labour leader Ed Miliband. Credit: PA

I want to reach out to Tory voters, to Liberal Democrat voters, to Ukip voters, to non-voters… to people who feel that David Cameron can’t answer the challenge of our time, who worry about our place in the European Union, who really think to themselves, ‘we can do a lot better as a country’.

Who is going to stand up to tax avoidance? Who is going to stand up to energy companies? Who is going to stand up to banks? That is absolutely something I think will appeal to Tory voters.

– Ed Miliband

In an interview the the Observer, he said: “I am a politician of the left, but I am positioned where the mainstream of politics is positioned. I am on the centre ground of politics."

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Labour and SNP 'close to post-election deal'

Sturgeon offered Miliband a vote-by-vote deal to help him become Prime Minister. Credit: PA

Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon are "at the altar, and preparing to sign the register" on a post-election deal, according to Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson.

In a letter to party supporters she said: "In the last few days, we've now seen hard evidence that this nightmare scenario is now all too real.

"Another poll of Scottish seats on Friday showed that Scottish Labour is now a sinking ship, and is losing voters to the SNP. In truth, there is no way back for them.

"Their weakness means that one thing has become near inevitable: if Ed Miliband is in the position to form a government on May 8th, he will need the SNP's support to push him over the line.

"I said at the turn of the year that Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon were halfway down the aisle towards a deal.

"The truth is that they are now at the altar, and preparing to sign the register. It's the only way Labour can get in to power."

Miliband admits Labour 'got it wrong' on immigration

Labour leader Ed Miliband pledged to introduce new measures and border controls to limit the number of immigrants coming into the UK as part of his election campaign today. He also pledged to get tough on employers who exploit migrant workers. The plans were dismissed by Ukip as a "diversion", whilst Cameron spent the day celebrating a Sikh festival with his wife Samantha.

Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports.

Polls split between Labour and Tory electoral lead

Two polls from the Sunday Times and the Observer have reached contradictory conclusions - with a YouGov survey putting Miliband three points ahead, whilst an Opinium survey put Cameron four points ahead.

Ed Miliband taking part in Thursday's BBC debate. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The Observer poll, carried out by Opinium, found that Labour's support had dropped two points to 32%, while the Conservatives remained on 36%.

Support for Ukip was found to have risen 2 points to 13% according to the survey, while the Liberal Democrats also gained by one point to 8%.

The poll of 1,995 adults took place on 16 and 17 April, with the BBC "Challengers' Debate" falling inbetween those dates.

A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times revealed Labour were three points ahead.

Ukip's third position with 13% remained consistent in both of the polls.

Tories claim Sturgeon would 'pull the strings' in new ad

The new Conservative Party billboard unveiled today.

Nicola Sturgeon would "pull the strings" in the event of a deal between her party and Labour, the chairman of the Conservatives has claimed as he unveiled the party's latest poster campaign.

The billboard depicts Sturgeon as a puppeteer and Miliband as a dummy, with the words "more taxes, more borrowing, more debt." underneath.

Speaking on the poster's launch, Grant Shapps said: "Labour are collapsing in Scotland. This means the only way that Ed Miliband might crawl through the gates of No10 now is if he’s carried there by the SNP.

"Nicola Sturgeon would pull the strings and demand weaker defences, more spending and unaffordable welfare hand-outs. It would be a disaster for taxpayers."

Miliband has publicly rejected the suggestion of a deal with the SNP despite consistent overtures from the Scottish Nationalists, with Alex Salmond today putting renewed pressure on the Labour leader to consider a coalition.

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'Everyone in Britain should know how to speak English'

Everyone who settles in Britain should be able to speak English, Ed Miliband has said.

Ed Miliband speaking in Wirral this afternoon. Credit: ITV News

Outlining his key immigration policies, Mr Miliband told an audience in Wirral: "Everyone in Britain should know how to speak English. Sometimes, we’ve been too timid about this but it is something we should expect from everyone who comes here."

Mr Miliband said this "especially" applied to people working in the public sector, adding that "nowhere is that more true than in our NHS".

He said a Labour government would legislate to ensure all healthcare professionals can speak English to a "sufficient standard" so they can care effectively for patients.

Miliband on immigration: Labour 'got it wrong' in past

Ed Miliband has admitted Labour "got it wrong" on immigration in the past, but claims his party has "listened, learned and changed".

Ed Miliband, the Labour leader. Credit: ITV News

"We were wrong not to ensure there were maximum transitional controls when new countries joined the European Union in 2004," Mr Miliband said.

"And the reason we were wrong is that working people were seeing dramatic changes in their communities that were not planned or properly prepared for.

"And we won’t make that mistake in future."

Farage: Labour's immigration plan is a 'diversion'

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has dismissed Labour's plan to tackle immigration enforce strong borders and tackle the exploitation of workers as a "diversion".

Mr Farage said: "It's a big diversion. Labour will talk about anything but open borders. It was the Labour government that opened up the door to 10 former communist countries to have unlimited access into this country. That's the debate that Ed Miliband simply won't have."

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