UK Politics

Miliband: 'One Nation' speech got under Tories' skin

Ed Miliband
Image caption Mr Miliband will give what aides describe as a highly personal speech

Labour leader Ed Miliband has said a speech in which he promised his was the true "one-nation" party got "under the skin" of the Conservatives.

Mr Miliband used the slogan, created by 19th Century Tory Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, several times during his annual conference speech.

At a meeting of Labour MPs on Monday, he stressed the need to keep promoting the party as that of "the many".

David Cameron has rubbished Mr Miliband's "one-nation" claims.

The prime minister accused Labour of "preaching" the message, while "practising class warfare".

'Quandary'

MPs returned to Westminster on Monday following a break for the party conference season.

Addressing the Parliamentary Labour Party, Mr Miliband said: "After three weeks of the party conferences one thing is clear: Labour has defined the central question of the next election - who can make us One Nation.

"We put the Tories in a quandary. We got under their skin because they know if we define this election as a many-versus-the-few election they are on the wrong side of the argument.

"It's a stark contrast to the sink-or-swim society offered by the Conservatives, which is not only unfair but offers answers that won't work."

He added: "They have not changed themselves and they have not changed the country. They are the party of old answers."

In his conference speech, Mr Cameron said: "We don't preach about One Nation but practise class warfare. We get behind people who want to get on in life".

Labour, he said, was a "party of one notion: more borrowing".

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