Election 2015

Election 2015: Ed Miliband wanted to be 'happy warrior' in TV debate

Ed Miliband Image copyright Reuters

Ed Miliband hoped to present himself as a "happy warrior" in the televised leaders' debate, according to notes apparently left in his dressing room.

The phrase - originally from a William Wordsworth poem - had previously been used by US President Barack Obama to describe Vice-President Joe Biden.

Other reminders for Mr Miliband, published by the Sun, included an order to remain "calm... never agitated".

Labour said the prompts would be "no surprise" to anyone who watched.

But the Tories mocked Mr Miliband, with Deputy Chief Whip Greg Hands saying: "Am not at all surprised that the Sun has Miliband's debate notes. It was obvious that Ed didn't have them."

The notes include reminders to "relish the chance to show who I am" and talk to the camera to "use the people at home".

Another section includes a quote Mr Miliband used during the programme, telling voters to "use their vote as a weapon to fight for the NHS, by kicking David Cameron out of Downing Street".

A Labour spokesman said: "These notes will come as no surprise to anybody who saw the debate.

"They explain why and how Ed took on David Cameron over the NHS and living standards. They also show how Ed set out a positive vision for the future with Labour's better plan, including on zero-hours contracts, lower tuition fees and rents."

Wordsworth's Character Of The Happy Warrior was written in 1806 and inspired by the death of Lord Nelson.

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