Labour leader: politicians need to do more to win voters' trust

Ed Miliband at a question and answer session in Harlow Credit: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire

Labour leader Ed Miliband has admitted politicians need to do more to win back people's trust during a visit to Essex.

Speaking in Harlow, where his party seized control in last week's council elections, he said he wanted to "reach out" to the more than two-thirds of voters who did not turn out to cast their ballot.

Mr Miliband said he was happy with Labour's result but admitted: "I know we have a lot more to do to rebuild that trust."

Pointing to figures showing that 71% of people in Harlow did not vote on Thursday, he said: "I want to reach out and understand why you don't trust any politicians, why you don't believe any of us can answer the questions that you are facing in your life."

The Labour leader said aspiration was being "blunted" by the coalition Government and insisted his party could "make a difference", adding: "We can offer people change."

His comments, at a question-and-answer session with members of the public, came ahead of an expected appearance in Essex by Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

"What people want from them is answers not excuses, not excuses blaming something else, not excuses blaming the eurozone, but answers about why they promised change and things have got worse not better," he said.

Mr Miliband said Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg needed to learn from the election results, in which the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats each lost hundreds of council seats, that "economic failure with unfairness piled on top is not the answer".

He admitted that Labour "didn't do enough on housing" and imposed "too many reorganisations and reforms" on the NHS during its time in power. But he insisted that the coalition Government was not doing enough on key issues like house-building and the economy.

Mr Miliband also said he would create a British Investment Bank, backed by public and private money, to increase lending to small businessesLabour leader Ed Miliband was in Harlow today celebrating victory in one of the local election battlegrounds where his party seized control.