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Ed Miliband urges No vote ‘for social justice’

Ed Miliband will tell Scots to reject independence in a speech today. Picture: PA

Ed Miliband will tell Scots to reject independence in a speech today. Picture: PA

  • by SCOTT MACNAB
 

Scottish independence: Ed Miliband today launched a passionate appeal for wavering Labour voters to stick with the UK - and insisted a No vote will deliver real change for the country’s poorest.

The UK party leader went on the offensive against the Tories - Labour’s Better Together partners - and admitted he felt a “huge responsibility” about the outcome of the referendum a fortnight today. He hit the campaign trail in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire as polls show Labour supporters are switching to independence in big numbers, leaving the Yes and No camps almost neck and neck in the race for Scotland’s future.

Mr Miliband accepted many Labour traditionalists see a Yes vote as the best way to keep the Tories out - but insisted his party can achieve this in next May’s UK election and deliver real change.

“All of us feel a huge sense of responsibility in this because it’s incredibly important for the United Kingdom and the future of our country,” Mr Miliband said.

“It’s incredibly important for building social justice in Scotland and it’s absolutely true that some Labour voters are thinking how do we get rid of this Tory Government.

“They want to get rid of it and the question is how do you do that - how do you get rid of Tory policies?

“Here’s the interesting thing about the SNP. Take their position on corporation tax or on higher taxes for the wealthiest - they’re a continuation of the things that Tories have been putting forward, not a change.”

The SNP Government has pledged to cut corporation tax by 3p for the county’s biggest firms and so far refused to match Labour’s pledge for a 50p tax rate for high earners.

“If you want real change, if you want a change from this Tory Government, the way to do it, is to vote No and then elect a Labour Government which I believe is going to happen.”

He was joined by Scottish leader Johann Lamont and her deputy Anas Sarwar at today’s event.

Alex Salmond recently described anger among Labour voters over the party’s alliance with the Tories in the official pro-union Better Together campaign as the “fault line” at the heart of the No campaign.

And Mr Miliband said: “People’s antipathy to the Tories is very strong here in Scotland. I think lots of Labour voters, as well as other, are trying to make up their minds about how you get rid of this Tory Government. That is front and centre.

“I know how to get rid of the Tory government. That is to vote No and elect a Labour Government - that’s what I believe is going to happen.”

Google Hangout: The independence campaign so far

 

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