Labour’s Ed gets a grilling

Labour leader Ed Miliband addresses the audience at the Isa Money Centre
Labour leader Ed Miliband addresses the audience at the Isa Money Centre

There was standing room only as Labour leader Ed Miliband held a question and answer session at the Isa Money Centre in Muirhouse.

Mr Miliband was joined by Scottish labour leader Johann Lamont and shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran as he pushed his party’s anti-independence message.

He fielded a range of questions relating to social justice including the bedroom tax, energy prices and the 50p tax rate, the NHS, pensions, trade unions, lowering the voting age, the health of the Labour party and of course independence.

Mr Miliband reiterated several times that he feels Scotland would be stronger remaining part of the union, particularly if he becomes Prime Minister in next year’s General Election.

In an exclusive interview with the Times & Speaker he said: “I really enjoyed being in Muirhouse, I thought I received a lot of brilliant questions and got a really warm reception.

“It is important to have this debate and to air all the issues, so I was delighted to be able to support the local MP Frank Roy and MSP John Pentland, who I think are doing a brilliant job, as the Better Together campaign picks up momentum leading up to the referendum.

“We will be going round the country and will no doubt find that some people are still making up their minds and want questions answered, as they are doing here, but I’m confident about the case we are making as I think Scotland remaining in the United Kingdom is the right choice.

“I don’t have a vote in the referendum, but I care passionately about what happens so there is no doubt Scotland will be seeing a lot more of me as I give all the backing I can to Johann Lamont as we get nearer to September.”

Motherwell and Wishaw MP Frank Roy had been encouraging Mr Miliband to come to his constituency for some time and was delighted it finally happened.

He was particularly happy the event took place in a building named after such an iconic Labour politician as Isa Money, who was the first female councillor in the area.

He said: “I am very proud that the leader of the Labour party in the United Kingdom has come to a community centre in Muirhouse to talk to ordinary people about the referendum campaign.

“I thought it went really well and I’m very grateful to the churches, the schools, the organisations and everyone else who turned out for making it such a fantastic success.

“The Isa Money Centre was bursting at the seams and that just shows how eager people are to get involved and discuss the issues surrounding independence, especially with someone like Mr Miliband.