UK a year from Labour government, says Miliband

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The UK is one year away from a Labour government which will “take up the cudgel of social justice” on behalf of Scotland and the rest of the country, Ed Miliband has claimed.

The Labour leader said he has “real confidence” that his party will succeed in the general election next year, as he accused the SNP of trying to “pump up the idea of (another) Tory government in order to make their case”.

Mr Miliband launched an attack on the nationalists’ independence campaign during a visit to Scotland, where he also met with his shadow cabinet team.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, he said: “I am here not just for the referendum campaign, I am here to prepare for, in a year’s time, a Labour government across the United Kingdom.”

He said the Conservatives were not just “disliked” in Scotland, where the party only has one MP, but were also unpopular in parts of England, such as Newcastle and Manchester.

“This is a Tory Party, I believe, that had its high water mark at the last general election and it’s moving backwards,” Mr Miliband said.

“My message to the people of Scotland is I have real confidence about the prospect of a Labour government arriving in a year’s time across the United Kingdom.

“We are just one Christmas away from a having a Labour government which will take up the cudgel of social justice on behalf of the people of Scotland and the whole of the United Kingdom.”

Mr Miliband also restated his party’s position on the prospect of a shared formal currency union in the event of independence.

Asked if such a deal – favoured by the SNP – was ruled out under any circumstances, he replied: “Correct.”

“All of the lessons from the eurozone are that, if we are going to have a currency union, we also need the kind of fiscal union that we have across the UK. That is a sensible economic choice – it is not about the politics,” he said.