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Ed Miliband: "no greater example" of community action than Coin Street

London SE1 website team

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband visited the Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre on Monday to make a speech on "responsibility in 21st century Britain".

Ed Miliband at Coin Street
Ed Miliband at Coin Street
Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre

Thanking Coin Street Community Builders and its executive director Iain Tuckett for hosting the event, Mr Miliband said: "If we're talking about community action and how we build a sense of solidarity in our society, there can be no greater example of that spirit in action than Coin Street."

Mr Miliband addressed an audience of South London community activists and politicians.

Kate Hoey MP, Lambeth Council leader Steve Reed, Southwark leader Cllr Peter John and London Assembly member Val Shawcross were all in attendance.

The Labour leader used the speech to redefine his party's view of rights and responsibilities. "We will be a party that rewards contribution, not worklessness," he said.

"If you believe in wealth creation and the welfare state like we do, we must acknowledge the only way to protect both of them is through responsibility.

"We must be once again the party of the grafters."

During the question and answer session Mr Miliband also spoke approvingly of Cllr Reed and Lambeth's cooperative council initiative.

Since it was built the neighbourhood centre has become a favourite venue for politicians to launch new initiatives outside the Westminster village but close enough to ensure a high turnout of journalists. Gordon Brown and David Cameron have both made multiple visits to the centre.

Mr Miliband is no stranger to the work of Coin Street Community Builders: five years ago he was guest speaker at a dinner to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the redevelopment of Oxo Tower Wharf.

In the last month the Labour leader has made two other major speeches on the South Bank at the Royal Festival Hall.

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