James Forsyth

Miliband avoids the Scottish question

Miliband avoids the Scottish question
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On the Andrew Marr show this morning, Ed Miliband fended off questions about any post-election deal with the Scottish National Party. He had two lines of defence. First, he said he wasn’t going to pre-empt the election result and that he was fighting to win the election everywhere including Scotland. Second, he was adamant that ‘I’m not doing deals with the Scottish National Party’. But there was no explanation of how he would pilot legislation through the Commons without their support.

listen to ‘Ed Miliband on the Andrew Marr Show’ on audioBoom

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When it came to the economy, Miliband refused to admit that the last Labour government spent too much, saying the financial crisis had caused the deficit not the other way round. But seeing as Labour weren’t running a surplus after a decade of growth, one wonders when they ever would? This is one of the big underexplored issues of this election, when would Labour ever run an overall Budget surplus?

listen to ‘Boris and Ed clash on the Andrew Marr show’ on audioBoom

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At the end of the interview, Miliband sat down on the sofa with Boris Johnson and Marr. Miliband harried Boris on whether or not he supports non-dom status. But Boris fired off a few shots of his own, pointing out that he and Miliband had gone to the same school as him, albeit primary, and warning that the Labour leader would do more damage to the country than he did to his brother. But overall I suspect that Miliband was pretty happy with his performance as he avoided any slip-ups.