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Ed Miliband Calls On Premier League Teams To Offer The Living Wage During Facebook Q&A

In a Facebook Q&A, Miliband also said that his perfect Sunday would involve no work and spending time in the park with his family.

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Ed Miliband has today called on Premier League teams to pay staff the 'living wage.'

Facebook: edmiliband

"The living wage is an incredibly important idea - for the country, where people are angry at the inequality they see; for families, who need to do more than just get by; and for business too," he said.

"I read recently that Hearts and Manchester City are now paying the Living Wage and I would urge every Premier League club to become a living wage employer."

The living wage refers to the minimum salary an individual must earn to help them afford the basic costs of living. it is currently set at £7.85 in the UK and £9.15 in London.

This is the first time any Labour politician has made a statement calling on all UK clubs to offer the living wage. Previously shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan has called on London clubs to pay staff the Living Wage and individual MPs have put pressure on individual teams.

Miliband made the statement during a question and answer session on his Facebook page. He was responding to a question that cited a Survation poll for GMB, which showed that 84% of football fans believe clubs should pay their staff a living wage.

The Facebook Q&A took place at the end of a day when MIliband had launched what some commentators referred to as a "political fightback."

Both Miliband and the party had seen a slump in polls after rumours emerged that he was facing a crisis of confidence within the party.

In a speech on Thursday, the party leader attacked a "zero-zero" economy created by this government, which he referred to as the zero taxes paid by the wealthy and zero-hours contracts many are forced to sign by employers. He also published a post on Medium, in which he attempted to create a distance between himself and David Cameron.

I thought that was a good speech from Miliband. He seemed passionate and talked more about Labour values than himself.

Isabel Hardman@IsabelHardmanFollow

I thought that was a good speech from Miliband. He seemed passionate and talked more about Labour values than himself.

11:58 AM - 13 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The 7 bits of EdM's speech that show he'll go down fighting: my analysis for @Independent http://t.co/FyhtdjEB2P

John Rentoul@JohnRentoulFollow

The 7 bits of EdM's speech that show he'll go down fighting: my analysis for @Independent http://t.co/FyhtdjEB2P

2:25 PM - 13 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Miliband responded to a number of questions during his Q&A session on Facebook, with topics ranging from his perfect Sunday (which he said would involve no work) to education policy (where he attacked Michael Gove).

One person, Erica Justice Williams, asked him what one question he would ask other party leaders. He said:

To David Cameron, I'd ask: How can you justify having cut taxes by hundreds of thousands of pounds for millionaires?
To Nick Clegg, I'd ask: How can you be trusted on any promises you make given your broken promise on tuition fees?
To Nigel Farage, I'd ask: Why don't you admit that your real agenda is the privatisation of the NHS?

And when asked about his stance on tackling immigration, he brought up his own background. He said:

I'm the son of immigrants and I think immigration benefits our country, but I know there are real concerns about its impact. We have to make sure public services are properly funded to withstand the pressures they face, but it is also the case that key services like our NHS rely on staff who have come to work from abroad.

A Labour government will take action on immigration, tackling the undercutting of wages, ensuring people have to contribute to the country before they can claim benefits and making sure that people learn English. What I won't do is make false promises on immigration, as David Cameron has, that I can't keep as Prime Minister.

He also responded to concerns about TTIP, saying that the Labour party was "committed to protecting the NHS from any EU-US trade agreement".

But critics pointed out that an examination of the party's performances in opinion polls shows a steady decline from January, suggesting that it was not the recent leadership crisis that has sparked a drop in polling but, rather, a general lack of confidence in the party.

A spokesperson for the Conservative Party called Miliband a "zero-zero leader - zero support within his own party & zero plans for the economy or securing a better future for Britain."

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

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