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Labour leader Ed Miliband visits Gravesend hours after election win

PUBLISHED: 12:44 06 May 2011 | UPDATED: 12:44 06 May 2011

Ed Miliband, Cllr Dhesi and new council leader John Burden in Gravesend today

Ed Miliband, Cllr Dhesi and new council leader John Burden in Gravesend today

Archant

For the third time in as many weeks Labour leader Ed Miliband visited Gravesham - just four hours after his party took control of the borough.

He arrived at Ebbsfleet International before being driven to Gravesend High Street where he was greeted by rapturous applause from victorious councillors and supporters.

His lastest appearance followed success in the crucial bellwether constituency - a barometer for the mood of the country – where Labour overturned a Tory majority of 10 to leave them with 25 councillors to the Conservative’s 19.

Since the general election the whole of Kent had been controlled by Conservatives.

He said: “I want to say a big thank-you to the people of Gravesham for putting their trust back in Labour.

“We fought this campaign on a message of hope.

“The government must listen to what the people are saying. And that is that these cuts are too far and too fast.”

During his hour-long visit he congratulated councillors and met residents and their young families as media organisations descended on the town.

He said: “We have started on the journey. We have got further to go but I believe Gravesham is a symbol of what is to come.”

Mr Miliband also took the opportunity to signal his support for the UK-wide referendum on the Alternative Vote, adding: “I’m hoping for a ‘Yes’ on AV, it will change our politics. But let us see.”

Results on the AV are not expected until after 6pm tonight.

Among those offering their support in Gravesend was councillor Tanmanjet Singh Dhesi, 32, who will become the new mayor of Gravesham.

He said: “It is a great honour that has been bestowed on me.

“This is also a great day for Labour.”

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