GALLERY: Ed Miliband visits Stevenage for People’s Question Time and Lister Hospital tour
- Credit: Archant
Ed Miliband outlined his plans for the forthcoming general election today at a question and answer session in Stevenage.
The Labour Party leader took questions from members of the public at a packed People’s Question Time event, one of a series of weekly meetings which will be held around the country until May.
He spent the majority of the 90-minute session tackling questions about the NHS and what he would do to protect it if he wins the general election in May.
Speaking at Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre in Lytton Way, the MP for Doncaster North said he was planning on creating a mansion tax to fund more doctors, nurses and midwives.
He said he thought Prime Minister David Cameron’s plans would “shred the NHS” and that he would “dread to think” what it would be like if the Conservatives won another five-year term in government.
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However he would not be drawn into commenting on the closure of QEII Hospital’s A&E department in Welwyn Garden City or overcrowding at Stevenage’s Lister Hopsital, which he visited afterwards.
Other questions, none of which were preselected, dealt with pensions, the stigma around mental health, education, staying in the European Union and university tuition fees.
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Mr Miliband said his party would fight to save the Green Belt by creating a “brownfield first” policy ensuring developers could not just sit on their brownfield sites and push housing into the Green Belt.
He also revealed he was in favour of the high speed railway project HS2 and wants to lower the voting age to 16, which he would do by summer 2016 if elected.
About the Conservatives economic recovery, he said: “It is a recovery for the few and not for the many.
“The Conservatives say it is as good as it gets – rubbish. This is not as good as it gets.
“We are Britain and we can do far better than this.”
Speaking about the question and answer session, he said: “It has been brilliant and I enjoyed the questions, I wanted to do as many as possible.
“It was a fantastic Stevenage welcome.”
Mr Miliband also backed Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor who is contesting the town’s parliamentary seat for Labour.
He said: “I think should would be a brilliant member of Parliament.”