Miliband holds out hand to Lib Dems


Labour leader Ed Miliband has appealed to disenchanted Liberal Democrats

Labour leader Ed Miliband has appealed to disenchanted Liberal Democrats to work with him against the coalition Government.

He called on Lib Dems concerned that their party’s alliance with the Tories was shifting Britain “to the Right” to submit ideas to Labour’s policy review.

Shadow minister Liam Byrne would be working with former Lib Dem policy director Richard Grayson on the project, Mr Miliband said.

He identified the economy, electoral reform and issues surrounding social mobility as areas in which many Lib Dems shared similar interests to those of Labour or even the same interests.

“To those who are reluctant to abandon ship but are concerned about the direction of their party, I invite them to work with us on issues of common interest,” he said at a Westminster press conference.

Labour’s policy review would be asking for ideas from outside the party who “share our values, specifically from the Liberal Democrats”.

“I have asked Liam Byrne to work with Richard Grayson to draw up areas where our policy review can be informed by submissions and ideas of Liberal Democrats who want to contribute,” he said.

“To Liberal Democrats who fear their deal with the Tories is shifting the gravity of British politics to the Right, I invite them to work with us against the direction in which this Government is taking Britain. I look forward to hearing what they have to say and working with them.”

Asked whether he would share a platform with Mr Clegg in campaigning for the Alternative Vote (AV) ahead of the referendum planned for next May, Mr Miliband said he would not rule it out. “I think we can fight elections, as I am determined to do, against Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives, but also say there is an issue about changing our politics,” he said.

However, he also stressed that those wanting to introduce AV must avoid it becoming a referendum on Mr Clegg. “There is a danger of that, and if it becomes a referendum on Nick Clegg, I think given the way things are, we are going to have trouble winning it,” he said.

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