Miliband: Gordon is man of substance

CLIMATE change minister Ed Miliband praised Gordon Brown as a man of substance who makes the right decisions on a visit to Hampstead on Friday. The MP, who lives in Dartmouth Park, visited Fitzjohn s School to look at the solar panels that

Susanna Wilkey

CLIMATE change minister Ed Miliband praised Gordon Brown as a man of substance who makes the right decisions on a visit to Hampstead on Friday.

The MP, who lives in Dartmouth Park, visited Fitzjohn's School to look at the solar panels that power part of the school and talk to pupils about going green.

The minister for energy and climate change is optimistic about the forthcoming general election and says the gap in the polls is narrowing because people do not want what the Conservatives are offering.

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"There was the threat of the recession becoming a great depression but we made a series of very big choices to stop that happening," he said.

"Decisions such as nationalising Northern Rock and helping homeowners who have become unemployed. The Conservative party opposed every single measure.

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"We can be trusted with the economy. Every single vote counts and we are campaigning for every vote. This is a choice between a Labour or Conservative government."

He added: "It is very important that people realise and recognise that. The general election will be very close and any vote that is not Labour could lead the Conservative party into government. There are lots of people who do not want David Cameron to be prime minister. And those people should vote Labour."

Mr Miliband emphasised how important it was for Glenda Jackson MP to be re-elected and described her as a hard-working and charismatic politician who deserves another term in office. On the Prime Minister, Mr Miliband said there was a reassessment of him going on among voters.

"People are taking a second look at Gordon Brown," he said. "They are thinking actually he is the person who made the right choices on the big issues that really count.

"He might not be flashy but he is someone with a great deal of substance who makes the right decisions. That is the most important quality in a Prime Minister."

Mr Miliband praised the children at at the school for being clued up about climate change and the environment, and also said the issue would play a big part of the Labour party's manifesto.

"Since the 2005 general election climate change has become a much more important issue," he said. "What is encouraging is when you talk to the younger generation. They know the importance of it and they could teach the adults a thing or two.

"One of the things we have got to do is motivate people and show them a positive way to change the environment, such as insulating their homes and recycling.

"All those things are as important as warning people of the dangers of climate change, which feel a long way off."

Mr Miliband said the future of the economy was linked with the environment and that the two must be thought about together - and that his party is willing to put its money behind it.

He said: "How we rebuild the economy and getting ahead in green issues is incredibly important. What is very encouraging about the debate over the last two years is we have seen a big shift between thinking of climate change as an add-on to something integral."

Meanwhile Mr Milliband revealed he is a regular Ham&High reader and as a child he once featured in a photograph in the paper playing backgammon with his brother David in a competition.

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