Labour leadership race comes to town

Labour hopeful Ed Miliband visited Hastings this week to rally support ahead of the party's vote for a new leader.

The shadow secretary of state for energy and climate change addressed a crowd of around 150 local members at the White Rock Hotel bash.

He is one of five candidates currently fighting it out to follow Gordon Brown as party leader - and the second to visit 1066 Country after Andy Burnham.

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During a 75-minute session, Mr Miliband told the audience he wants the party to learn from its mistakes and to reconnect with the core voters lost since 1997.

And in a question and answer session which followed his speech, he expressed reservations about renewing the country's Trident nuclear arsenal and attacked the coalition Government's intention to cut public services.

After the meeting, former Hastings MP Michael Foster told the Observer he was backing the younger of the Milibands because of "the fresh approach that Ed could bring to the party".

Ballot papers have already been sent out to party members and unions and the final result will be announced at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester at the end of September.