Ed Miliband: I would keep the 50p top rate

LABOUR leadership contender Ed Miliband yesterday said he would make the 50p income tax rate permanent if he became Prime Minister.

The former energy minister indicated there would be no return to the pro-business days of New Labour if he wins the party’s top job, despite claiming the 50p rate was a temporary measure while in office.

“I would keep it in place because it ensures a fair contribution from people who earn in a year what many people earn in a decade,” he said.

Miliband’s comments came as nominations for leadership closed, with left winger Diane Abbott winning a surprise place on the ballot paper.

The MP for Hackney becomes the first black person to contest the position, after a raft of late nominations pushed her past the threshold of 33 MPs.

She will fight for the leadership against former foreign secretary David Miliband, Ed Miliband, former children’s secretary Ed Balls and Andy Burnham, the former health secretary.