Election 2015 England

Hen party bride-to-be says Miliband 'has my vote'

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Media captionThe hen party had their photos taken with the Labour leader (Chester Chronicle footage)

The bride-to-be whose hen party enjoyed an impromptu visit from Ed Miliband says she will vote Labour on 7 May.

Nicola Braithwaite was enjoying tea and drinks with friends at Chester's Westminster Hotel when the Labour leader's bus battle arrived outside.

Video footage of the event showed the women chanting "Selfie! Selfie!" and "hashtag Ed" before Mr Miliband posed for pictures at the door of his coach.

Later Ms Braithwaite, a solicitor, said Mr Miliband definitely had her vote.

The group from Knutsford had met for drinks in the hotel bar when they spotted Mr Miliband's battle bus outside.


Image caption Nicola Braithwaite poses with Ed Miliband in a photo tweeted by her sister Kathryn

In an interview conducted by email with the BBC's Callum May, Ms Braithwaite said: "We went out to get a picture and I was invited onto the bus to meet him. He was lovely and we had a brief chat then I left and he came to the door to see all of the others."

Another of the group, Anna Heaford, told LBC Radio that she thought Mr Miliband had been "intimidated". "I think he was kind of intimidated by the cackle of all of us screaming at him," she said.

Ms Heaford said there was a woman "who looked quite ferocious" in Mr Miliband's entourage.

"I heard her saying to security, 'have you got this under control?'"

The hen party then took to Twitter to share their excitement about the meeting.

Memorable day

Ms Braithwaite said: "Maybe he'll make the big day!"

Her sister Kathryn added: "Only my sister can have a pic with @EdMiliband @UKLabour #ed #henparty."

Samantha Steele described the event as the "ultimate selfie", while Ms Heaford joked: "The stripper has just arrived for @nicolab13 hen do....! #EdMiliband."

Ms Braithwaite, who is due to marry her partner Howard Clayton, an architect, in June in Lancashire, said: "He didn't believe me at first but finds the whole situation funny and is glad that my hen do was a memorable one."

Ms Braithwaite, a family law solicitor, lives in Knutsford, Cheshire, where the Conservative candidate is the chancellor, George Osborne.

She said Mr Miliband definitely had her vote. "I don't agree with the legal aid cuts and therefore won't be voting Conservative," she added.

Anna Yearley, Mr Miliband's political secretary, tweeted: "Definitely the best part of our day - Ed & the hen party."

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