Appearing on ITV’s The Agenda, Mr Miliband appeared to be taken by surprise when singer Myleene Klass tore into his plans for a “mansion tax” on properties worth more than £2 million.
As Mr Miliband sought to defend the policy as a principled way of raising extra funding for the NHS, Ms Klass angrily complained that it would hit “little grannies” living in modest homes in London rather than the super rich he claimed to be targeting.
“For me, what is so disturbing is the name in its own right: ‘mansion’. So immediately you conjure up in your head these Barbie-esque houses ... but in London, which is where 80% of the people who are going to be paying this tax actually live - the South East of England - have you seen what that amount of money can get you? Often it’s like a garage,” she fumed.
“When you do look at the people who will be suffering this tax, it’s true a lot of them are grannies who have had these houses in their families for a long, long time.
“The people who are the super-super rich buying their houses for £140 million, this is not necessarily going to affect them because they’ve got their tax rebates and their amazing accountants. It’s going to be the little grannies who have lived in those houses for years and years.”
Mr Miliband, who initially appeared to be taken aback by the force of her onslaught, fought back saying: “The values of my government are going to be different to the values of this Government.
“I say ‘bring on this debate’. I think it is a principled view that those with the broadest shoulders should pay the biggest burden. I think that is a decent, right principle and that is not happening under this Government.”
However an increasingly exasperated Ms Klass retorted: “Is that your only option? You may as well just tax me on this glass of water. You can’t just point at things and tax them.”
She was supported by fellow guest, former ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer, who said: “You’re going to screw me royally.”
As the row continued, viewers took to Twitter to provide their own commentary, with one writing: “You know it’s gone truly surreal when Myleene Klass goes full Paxman on Miliband.”