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Ed Miliband calls for electric car revolution but admits he doesn't own one

Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband MP spoke to today’s Good Morning Britain about vaccine passports for hospitality and his desire for an electric car revolution as he admits he doesn’t own one himself. 

First discussing vaccine passports and his view on them for hospitality, he said: “I think we need to be pretty cautious about this. I think what the PM did yesterday was show us the dangers of making up policy on the hoof. We’ll obviously look at what the Government comes forward with but on the pubs issues, whole sets of questions come up. Why should we pass the buck to the landlords to make these decisions, what about people like pregnant women for example, who are currently being advised not to have the vaccine, what if the vaccine hasn’t been rolled out to young people yet… questions abound about this and I do think there is a bit of a distinction between foreign travel – where it may be necessary because other countries ask for it – and these other issues. I tend to think, persuasion is much better than compulsion. Let’s get as many people vaccinated as possible and then if Government wants to come forward and say this is why further restrictions are necessary, here’s the evidence, fine. But I think it’s slightly indisciplined what the Prime Minister did yesterday.”

Asked what he’d do, he said: “We’d be led by the scientists. The fundamental thing here is we’d be led by the scientists. If the scientists are saying it’s safe to open pubs and indeed restaurants, that’s what we should be doing.”

Put to him that scientists say vaccines save lives, so perhaps this is the way to go he said: “I don’t think that’s really the thing that’s going to persuade people to get the vaccine. We’ve done brilliantly in this country in rolling out the vaccine and people taking up the vaccine and that’s the key thing is the campaign of persuasion. That is the biggest priority. If the Government’s got evidence that this is necessary for people to go to hospitality venues, let’s look at that evidence. That isn’t quite what the Prime Minister said yesterday. Indeed, if it was necessary, why would you be leaving it up to individual landlords? If this was a public health measure, you wouldn’t be saying it’s going to be landlord discretion, you’d be saying, this is the government’s view, this is what’s safe. So there are many, many unanswered questions about this. And I’m not going to make up policy on the hoof. I’m going to listen to what the Government says, but they’ve got a lot of questions to answer.”

Speaking about vaccine rows with the EU, he said: “It’s in all of our interest for people everywhere to be vaccinated. We don’t want, if you like,  vaccine nationalism from any country. I haven’t liked what the EU’s been saying during this crisis in terms of these issues. I don’t think they should be making threats, I don’t think threats are good from any side. I feel moderately encouraged that overnight there’s been a joint statement from the UK and the EU dialling down the temperature and that’s got to be what’s necessary. We’ve done very well in relation to vaccines and the vaccine roll out and that’s a good thing. We want the EU to be able to vaccinate as many of its citizens as quickly as possible as well. It’s in their interest, it’s in all of our interests.” 

On the UK flag being set to appear on every government building, he said: “Keir Starmer wants to be the Prime Minister of this country, I don’t find it remarkable that he appears in front of a Union Jack.”

And speaking about his push for more people to buy electric cars, Miliband was asked if he owns one: “I haven’t yet – it’s a work in progress. We were on our way to buying one before lockdown. It is going to happen, I promise you. I have bought an electric bike, but it’s on its way.” 

Put to him that he’s pushing for everyone to have an electric car and doesn’t have one himself, he said: “I’m pushing to make it accessible. I’ve definitely been in an electric car. It’s the way we’ve got to go for climate reasons. This change is coming, this change can benefit this country. I want to be part of that change. Like other consumers, there are barriers and we’ve got to break down those barriers.”

He added: “I don’t know which vehicle he [Keir Starmer] drives. Lots of people are getting them, we’ve got to make it accessible. This absolutely makes the point.”

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