UK Politics

Ed Miliband hit by egg on campaign trail in London

Ed Miliband has tried to laugh off being pelted with eggs during a campaign visit in south London.

The Labour leader removed his jacket and told people "these things happen" after being hit by at least one egg in East Street Market, Walworth.

He carried on talking to stallholders and shoppers as the egg thrower was stopped by market security staff.

"This is not the first time it's happened to me, I'm sure it's not the last," says Mr Miliband.

"I'm always looking for new ways to connect with the voters."

Mr Miliband carried on talking to people and posing for photos.

Party criticism

The man who was led away told reporters that it had been an "opportunistic moment".

"They should stop giving favouritism to the banks. They do nothing. The government do nothing. The shadow government do nothing," he said.

"I don't believe him at all. If you are poor, you are considered a burden. All they care about is the banks."

The Labour leader has just returned from his summer holiday in France and was in south London as part of Labour's efforts to attack the government's "cost of living crisis", amid criticism from some in his own party about his leadership.

Backbencher George Mudie told the BBC Labour was not "setting the agenda" while his fellow Labour MP Graham Stringer complained of a "deafening silence" from the shadow cabinet over the summer.

Labour 'has answers'

And Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham told the Guardian that Labour needed to "shout louder" and put its "cards on the table", producing attention grabbing policies by next spring.

But Mr Miliband dismissed criticism and said he was addressing voters' concerns and was offering a "comprehensive alternative" to the government on the economy.

He said he did not accept suggestions that the party's message was not getting through and time was running out.

"What Andy [Burnham] is saying - and Andy is doing a very good job in taking the fight to the government on the health service and the crisis in A&E - is that what we are doing as a Labour Party is setting out how we would change the country.

"Just take this area of the cost of living crisis. Have Labour got answers? Absolutely we have got answers on rail fares, on energy prices, on a fairer tax system.

"They are all the things I believe the country wants and that is what we are going to be talking about in the coming months."

Mr Miliband was hit by an egg in Southampton last year, as he celebrated Labour gains in the English, Welsh and Scottish elections. It is a perennial hazard for politicians on the campaign trail.

David Cameron was hit by an egg in Cornwall the month before the 2010 general election. Former deputy PM John, now Lord, Prescott, famously punched a farm worker who threw an egg at him in north Wales during the 2001 general election campaign.

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