Ed Miliband has denied he took an electoral risk by becoming the first Labour leader since Neil Kinnock to address one of the country's most traditional trade union events.
Around 100,000 people were expected to attend the Durham Miners' Gala, also known as The Big Meeting.
Mr Miliband took to the balcony of the County Hotel as Labour leaders of the past have done for decades, watching some of the 80 or so miners' banners and around 50 brass bands parade past.
Afterwards he addressed the large crowd on the old Racecourse, where he hit out at the bankers, Rupert Murdoch and "the rip-off" of Britain's energy companies.
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The 41-year-old father of six died last Thursday - a week before he and the band had been due to begin touring in North America.