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European elections 2014: Ed Miliband urged to support EU referendum after UKIP victory

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: May 26, 2014

By Peter Slee

Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley and Broughton, is pushing Ed Miliband to support an EU referendum.

Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley and Broughton, is pushing Ed Miliband to support an EU referendum.

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Ed Miliband has been urged to throw his support behind a referendum on the EU after Ukip stormed to victory in the European elections.

Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley and Broughton, said letting the people have their say on the issue was the "minimum" response required to the poll in which Labour narrowly beat the Conservatives into third place.

He told the BBC: "While these elections were about Europe and there was certainly some protest vote, there were also some people voting against the direction this country is going in Europe.

"Unless we have a policy response to that, which has to be as a minimum to give people a referendum, then we are going to lose votes.

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"It is a very unattractive policy to say vote for us but we can't do anything about your major concerns because Europe won't let us. So I think we have to improve our offer on Europe. We can't just keep saying this has been a major wake-up call."

He also criticised the organisation around Mr Miliband and claimed it was "elitist and arrogant" to keep saying the party would simply carry on along the path to greater integration in the EU.

"At the moment I believe we can do much better if we tighten up our organisation around Ed Miliband and we change some of our policies so we have more resonance with the electorate," he continued.

"I think it is very elitist and arrogant to carry on saying we will just go the way that Europe is going with ever deeper integration. That isn't what people I represent want. It is not what people in the UK want.

"So all I want to do is improve the Labour party's position for the next general election. We have to have some policy and organisational changes."

Bassetlaw MP John Mann wrote on Twitter that the Labour party would ignore Ukip at its "peril", adding: " Labour drew false comfort before 1992 'just one more push'. It would be foolish to repeat that error."

But s hadow business secretary Chuka Umunna said Labour had done well last night.

He told Sky News: "This was a disastrous result for the Tories coming third it looks like, the worst ever result for them.

"The Liberal Democrats wiped out in certain places like in my own borough in Lambeth in London.

"Actually, I think we can be confident, we can be pleased with our progress. It's not in the bag, we can't say that at all, we have to keep working to build on the support we have already won amongst the British people.

"We are approaching the big one next year with humility."

He added on the BBC that he was "not at all" interested in becoming Mr Miliband's successor.

"I backed Ed's leadership campaign before anybody thought he could become leader of the Labour party because I thought he was the one best qualified to become prime minister," he continued.

"That is still the case and any talk of the soap opera nonsense you get around this place is totally self-indulgent. What everybody is focused on in the Labour party is ensuring we have Ed Miliband as our prime minister this time next year so we can deliver a better tomorrow."

With only Northern Ireland left to declare, Ukip had secured 24 MEPs out of the 73 UK seats available, representing an an increase of 11 on 2009.

Labour had won 20, an increase of seven and the Conservatives 19, a loss of seven. The Liberal Democrats were beaten into fifth place by the Greens, returning just one MEP.

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7 comments

  • neathguard  |  May 28 2014, 1:44PM

    If the UK has a referendum on Europe, you should vote on whether you think the UK should be an independent county or not. Your decision should not be based on whether you are better off in or out, The same applies to,Scotland,. If you are worse of in an independant Country that's just tough, if you are better off good luck to you.

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  • Francis_Dunn  |  May 27 2014, 10:24AM

    bettysenior, Your links are just self-referencing so I can't be bothered to waste time on them.

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  • bettysenior  |  May 27 2014, 10:03AM

    Francis_Dunn http://tinyurl.com/p9cf4ls http://tinyurl.com/q3qsjft http://tinyurl.com/oslou8b http://tinyurl.com/ovfseco All members and fellows know that they are either members or fellows as they all send a communication to accept initially and a conformation letter is sent to them on receipt of this acceptance.

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  • Francis_Dunn  |  May 27 2014, 8:59AM

    bettysenior, I well aware of the TTIP thank you. Also, I'm well aware that Farage doesn't give a hoot about the NHS and neither does Tory MEP Dan Hannon who toured the USA rubbishing Britain's health service. I find it odd that you mention Nature Magazine.

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  • bettysenior  |  May 26 2014, 9:34PM

    Thanks for the observation and keep believing the press that you apparently read. They never tell lies now do they? Are you living in the real world? It appears that you do not know that prestigious magazine like Nature work for big pharma and advise that you read a little more about what the real world is really like - not a nice place really. But the NHS is definitely under threat from the private US healthcare industry if the EU-USA trade pact is signed up to by our politicians. But I suppose that you believe main-stream media and the EU is a great big honest and beneficial project. But being part of the EU that means all those using the NHS will eventually end up paying (making a land for the rich and what our politicians wish to build in reality). A great deal of people do not know this though. So enjoy the NHS for as long as you can, but where privatisation is definitely knocking on the door now with this so-called 'free-trade' agreement to be signed by our politicians and vast US corporations just waiting to carve it up - http://tinyurl.com/kczq589

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  • Francis_Dunn  |  May 26 2014, 5:44PM

    bettysenior, I wonder how many members of the World Innovation Foundation, that you link, know that they're members? According to sources, all economies are heading for disaster.

  • bettysenior  |  May 26 2014, 4:40PM

    This EU project will not bring hardly any prosperity for 90% of the people of Europe including the UK (indeed economic decline has been the case for nearly 10-years now in real terms taking inflation into account - basically has been going the same way as Japan with 20-years of economic stagnation), but just for the 10% rich as usual (that's why the politicians are leading us down the garden path as the servants of the mighty corporations). Indeed the cost to the EU taxpayer is astronomical and where every one of the 751 MEPs can receive €615,660 a year and look forward to a lump sum pension pot of €303,195. That's times 751 of course and where it is a mere drop in the ocean of the total cost of the EU. Some main-stream media outlets have said incredibly up 1000 billion Euro a year ! http://tinyurl.com/kczq589

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