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Labour: Government plans 'just another re-announcement'

Michael Dugher MP, Labour’s shadow transport secretary, said:

This is just yet another re-announcement on promised road improvements.

The Government has 'announced' plans for road investment at least three times since 2013. And no additional money has been announced.

We know David Cameron’s record on infrastructure is one of all talk and no delivery. Infrastructure output has fallen significantly since May 2010 and less than a third of projects in the Government’s pipeline are actually classed as ‘in construction’.

If Ministers were as good at upgrading roads as they are at making announcements about upgrading roads, life would be considerably easier for Britain's hard-pressed motorists who have been consistently let down by this Government.

– Michael Dugher

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Labour keeps lead but voters 'prefer' PM Cameron

Despite Labour retaining its lead over the Conservatives in the 40 most marginal seats ahead of the General Election, voters prefer David Cameron to Ed Miliband for Prime Minister, a new ComRes/ITV News Index poll suggests.

The poll also indicates that 10% of Labour voters in the last General Election would switch their allegiance to Ukip next year.

Voters in marginal seats 'prefer a Labour to a Tory government, but favour David Cameron over Ed Miliband as Prime Minister' Credit: PA
  • Voters in marginal seats remain more likely to prefer a Labour to a Conservative government (41% to 36%), but favour David Cameron over Ed Miliband as Prime Minister (44% to 31%)
  • Nearly half of voters in marginal seats (45%) think that Ukip are a serious party, although 39% think they are not
  • 10% of participants who voted for Labour in 2010 now say that they would switch to vote Ukip, along with one in five people (21%) who voted Conservative

Labour 'keeps lead over Tories' in marginal seats

Labour retains its lead over the Conservatives in the 40 most marginal seats ahead of the General Election next year, a new ComRes/ITV News Index poll suggests.

Labour retains its lead over the Conservatives in the 40 most marginal seats Credit: PA

The poll of 1,002 people put Labour down two points since September on 39% and the Conservatives up one at 31%.

The Liberal Democrats and Ukip were also up one at 7% and 18% respectively.

Hunt's former headmaster calls school plans 'offensive'

Tristram Hunt told private schools to help state institutions or risk losing tax breaks. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The headmaster of the shadow education secretary's former school has said Labour's plans to strip private schools of tax breaks worth hundreds of millions of pounds unless they do more to help the state sector could be deemed "offensive bigotry".

In a speech yesterday, Tristram Hunt told private schools to start doing more to help state pupils or risk losing £700 million-worth of tax breaks.

But Mark Beard, head of the independent University College School (UCS) in Hampstead, north-west London, said the shadow cabinet minister should be considering "new, helpful initiatives" to raise standards in state schools..

"Rather than rely on independent schools to solve the issues for the 93% of children who are educated in the state sector, isn't it time for Labour to come up with some new, helpful initiatives rather than espousing what some might deem an offensive bigotry?"

– Mark Beard, University College School

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Lammy: Labour 'culturally adrift' from working people

The Labour party is "culturally adrift" from its traditional core voters, a former minister has warned in the wake of a row over alleged snobbery.

David Lammy (right) with Ed Miliband in 2010. Credit: Jeff Moore/Empics Entertainment

London mayoral hopeful David Lammy said politicians from "liberal, professional backgrounds" were finding it hard to identify with ordinary working people.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Lammy said a heavily-criticised tweet by then shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry was merely a symptom of the party's problems.

"The Labour Party feels culturally adrift, not just from large parts of Britain, but from its own traditional working class base," he wrote.

Large parts of the country feel that Labour not only disagrees with them, they think we disapprove of them too.

A sense of mutual disdain between the mainstream parties and working class England is driving voters away from politics, or towards so-called 'anti-politics' parties such as Ukip.

– David Lammy MP, writing in the Mail on Sunday

Miliband: Labour is still the party of working people

Ed Miliband has sought to diffuse the row over Emily Thornberry's 'white van tweet' by saying Labour remains "the party of working people".

He said he was "furious" when he learned of Ms Thornberry's posting an image of a house festooned with England flags and that it was right for her to resign.

Ed Miliband speaking in the House of Commons. Credit: PA Wire

Writing in the Daily Mirror, Mr Miliband said: "Respect is the basic rule of politics and there is nothing unusual or odd about having England flags in your window. That is why she was right to resign."

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