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Ed Miliband Has Visited Russell Brand's Home To Record An Interview

The Labour leader was spotted leaving Brand's flat in east London just nine days before the general election. The comedian and activist has urged people not to vote – but has Ed changed his mind?

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The Labour leader was spotted leaving the comedian turned activist's apartment in Shoreditch, east London, on Monday night, accompanied by his aides and security guards.

A friend of mine lives opposite Russell Brand and snapped this picture of Ed Milliband leaving his house...urm

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A Labour spokesperson said Miliband was doing an interview for Brand's YouTube channel The Trews.

"Ed was doing a media interview like he often does," he said. "We look forward to it being broadcast."

The programme is likely to go up online some time this week. The Trews has more than 1 million subscribers, while Brand's Twitter following has now topped 9.5 million.

The interview follows an earlier YouTube interview in which Miliband appeared alongside twin stars Niki and Sammy.

Brand, a TV comedian and self-styled revolutionary, sparked controversy in 2013 by urging people not to vote.

He wrote in the New Statesman: "I will never vote and I don't think you should, either.

"To genuinely make a difference, we must become different; make the tiny, longitudinal shift. Meditate, direct our love indiscriminately and our condemnation exclusively at those with power."

In a Radio Times interview this week, Brand's former sparring partner Jeremy Paxman branded this "the position of an idiot".

And in January, shadow chancellor Ed Balls called Brand a "pound shop Ben Elton" after Brand called him a "snidey cunt".

The prime minister told an event in Enfield: "Politics and life and election and jobs and the economy is not a joke – Russell Brand's a joke.

"Ed Miliband, hang out with Russell Brand, he's a joke. This is not funny. I haven't got time to hang out with Russell Brand."

But Miliband defended his meeting, saying he was trying to reach the millions of people who weren't interested in the election campaign.

View this video on YouTube

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Miliband insisted that he "profoundly" disagreed with Brand that voting doesn't make a difference.

"I'm going to go anywhere and talk to anyone to take that message out to people about how we can change this country so it works for working people again," he said.

"I say to all of the politicians in this campaign, here is the danger, the danger is that politics is being played in an increasingly empty stadium. If we don't recognise that, if we don't engage in different ways with the people who aren't engaging in this election, then we will have fewer and fewer people voting."

Earlier this month, Brand said he liked Miliband but that the Labour leader was "sort of wonky" and overused people's names "to a ridiculous degree".

View this video on YouTube

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Let's see whether a face-to-face meeting has changed his mind...

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at emily.ashton@buzzfeed.com.

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