LABOUR leader Ed Miliband visited the Conservative held Stockton South, and promised to deliver affordable housing and caps on private rent.
Taking to the stage at Stockton’s ARC theatre, Mr Miliband talked of a “housing crisis” faced by the country as he went on to promise that Labour would remove stamp duty for first time buyers, to help potential home-owners onto the property ladder.
Cutting the stamp duty would benefit nine out of 10 people, according to the Labour manifesto, but the Tories have claimed that this plan is “unfunded”. Mr Miliband hit back at this claiming it would cost £225m a year, which would be paid for through higher earners having an increase in tax.
When the constituency was lost to the Conservatives five years ago, it was the first time since 1997 that Labour hadn’t held the seat. With this in mind, Miliband was quick to show his support for Stockton South’s Labour candidate, Louise Baldock.
Miliband said: “Louise, we all are working with you, because we know what a fantastic job you will do for the people of Stockton South.”
The Stockton South seat was won by only 332 votes in 2010 and clearly Labour are pushing to gain the constituency back. With such a narrow margin, the Labour leader must have placed the area as a high priority.
With the General Election just around the corner on May 7th, Miliband will be hoping that Baldock can help win this seat back and pin down both Stockton South and North as Labour constituencies again, helping Miliband to get one step closer to 10 Downing Street.
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