Miliband says Cambridge is a “divided city”

Rachel Balmer 21 October 2014

Labour leader Ed Miliband last week visited Cambridge ahead of next year’s election and announced that the city’s biggest problem was its divided nature.

This is the Labour leader's second visit to Cambridge of 2014.

Miliband visited Addenbrooke’s with the Labour parliamentary candidate for Cambridge, Daniel Zeichner, where he outlined some of the biggest issues facing the city.

In an exclusive interview for The Cambridge News, Miliband declared that both Cambridge and the country are “divided in terms of income, wealth and inequality.” Furthermore, he said that Cambridge had been “hard hit” by the national housing crisis, pledging to make more money available to build new houses.

 Miliband reinforced that the Labour agenda was relevant to Cambridge, “There’s minimum wage, or housing, or zero hours contracts…that is an agenda I think speaks to the people of Cambridge.”

In September, shadow universities minister Liam Byrne identified Cambridge as a crucial seat for the Labour party in the 2015 election. Labour will rely heavily on students’ votes to win the Cambridge seat and oust the current Liberal Democrat MP, Julian Huppert.

According to The Cambridge News however, Mr Miliband and Mr Zeichner have faced criticism from others running for the Cambridge seat, who have said that they are not the strongest leader and candidate of the party respectively.

Speaking to The Cambridge Student, Publicity Officer for the Cambridge Universities Labour Club (CULC) Rory Weal welcomed Miliband’s visit. “Ed is spot on to identify Cambridge as a divided city. Be it the town-gown division or wealth inequality, Cambridge really is a Tale of Two Cities. But as Ed says it does not have to be so. CULC has been at the forefront of the fight for a more equal Cambridge, from our work on the Living Wage to our campaign against exploitative legal loan sharks.”

“Labour is the only party serious about tackling the endemic inequality that plagues Britain.”

Daniel Zeichner told TCS: “The next election is about a choice between two competing visions: an increasingly right-wing Conservative government that will paralyse our economy in a fruitless and arid argument about our role in Europe, or a Labour Government that tackles the real problems facing people and brings cities like Cambridge together.” He added that he thought many students would back Labour in the next election as they “appreciate that we can’t go on like this: a rich, but divided city, with thousands relying on the food bank isn’t the future they want.”