POLITICS

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio Tells Labour Not To 'Nibble Around The Edges'

24/09/2014 16:01 BST | Updated 24/09/2014 16:59 BST
Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Mayor of New York City Bill De Blasio (left), with Labour leader Ed Milliband, before he addresses the Labour Party conference in Manchester.

Ed Miliband today won the glowing endorsement of New York mayor Bill de Blasio who told the Labour Party Conference that he would be a "prime minister for Britons with second jobs not just those with second homes".

The Democrat received a rapturous welcome from Labour delegates after flying in from the United States today to make the near hour-long address.

"Ed, your agenda is a blueprint of what a fairer, more prosperous, stronger United Kingdom will look like. That is not only why you must win, that is why you will win," he said.

The mayor told the conference hall how his had been an unlikely victory, coming from far behind in the primary contest to win New York by a landslide last year and end two decades of Republican rule. He said he won by refusing to just "nibble around the edges" of the status quo, but go for "bold progressive change".

As Labour launches into the general election campaign, de Blasio said: "People will see your willingness to take action versus their inaction, versus their top down policies. Those policies aggravate the wounds of the people - I would argue the most painful might be the Conservatives' tax policy.

"Instead of giving working families the leg up they deserve, guess what: they give huge tax cuts to the wealthiest, in the vague hope the money would magically trickle down to everyone else. We are familiar with this approach in our country - it's called typically voodoo economics."

In a strong endorsement of Miliband's address to conference yesterday, de Blasio added: "I would argue the consistency of your agenda will be your calling card - the plan outlined yesterday is unmistakably clear and authentic. It should be proudly promoted as such.

"I don't think people are governed by fear when they see a real solution. When you give them something bold, when you give them something consistent, when you show it is authentically who you are. Hope triumphs over fear."

Posting on Instagram after the speech, Miliband said he and deputy leader Harriet Harman had met the mayor backstage before the speech. He said: "He talked about how they're tackling inequality in New York. Lots for us to learn from each other."