December 11 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 23, 2013
Labour will not take back the keys to Number 10 without winning back the East, party leader Ed Miliband told activists, warning candidates they face the fight of their lives.
Norwich South, Norwich North, Great Yarmouth and Waveney are among the seats the party “has to win back”, senior Labour figures said at a reception on the eve of their party conference.
Prospective candidates and party members from across the region were told: “To win this election we need the right policies and you will see us putting those in place this week, but we need something else. We need all of you.
“We know we took a drubbing in the Eastern region at the last general election. We know a Labour government goes through the Eastern region. If we do not get the votes and the seats in the Eastern region we are not going to have a Labour government.”
All the candidates for the key seats have been selected, with Clive Lewis standing in Norwich South, Jessica Asato in Norwich North, Lara Norris will be hoping to win Great Yarmouth and former MP Bob Blizzard will try to recapture Waveney.
Mr Miliband said: “We are in the fight of our lives and we are going to win the fight of our lives because the future of the country depends on it.
“We are going to fight for the people paying the bedroom tax and we are going to end the bedroom tax.
“We are also fighting for the low- paid workers across the country.”
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls agreed that the party had not done well enough at the last election. He said: “Our problem at the last election was that we didn’t win that argument with Labour voters particularly in the Eastern region. Since 2010 we have been making good progress winning back councils.
“We will only win if we have the right long-term plan and that does not mean making promises we can’t pay for. I think that in the Eastern region immigration was a particular issue and also house price inflation and getting on to the housing ladder.”
Mr Miliband’s wife Justine was also drafted into the East of England reception where she spoke and offered to help campaign in the region.