Page last updated at 12:03 GMT, Sunday, 9 November 2008

'Game on' for Labour - Miliband

Miliband: 'You've seen a government reacting decisively'

Foreign Secretary David Miliband says there "is a sense that it is game on" in the Labour Party after their Glenrothes by-election victory.

He told the BBC it was a "signal moment" in British politics and claimed the opposition were "falling apart".

Mr Miliband also rejected suggestions that he had sought to lead a coup against Gordon Brown during the summer.

William Hague said Labour were "kidding themselves" if they thought Glenrothes signalled "some great change of mood".

Mr Hague, shadow foreign secretary, told Sky News: "That's certainly not what I see out there, even with people I've talked to in the street this morning, and it's certainly not what's shown in a widening Conservative lead in the opinion polls today."

He added: "People know that Gordon Brown left this country the worst prepared for recession of all the major economies."

At the start of the summer, amid long-running large Conservative opinion poll leads, Mr Miliband was seen as positioning himself as a ready replacement for the PM.

A Tory cardboard cut out of David Miliband
The Conservatives used the Miliband banana picture at their conference

But he endured a difficult Labour Party conference, with his speech receiving a lukewarm reception - and his most notable coverage being a photograph of him holding a banana.

Asked about the picture of the banana on the Andrew Marr Show, Mr Miliband said he was holding it because it was his breakfast, adding that worse things could happen and he did not take such things too seriously.

He also said that he had never supported any murmurings against Gordon Brown's leadership, saying that Mr Brown had the right values, right insight and now had "the bit between his teeth" in tackling the global challenges.

He said Mr Brown was the right leader "last year... this year... and next year".

Mr Miliband's comments came amid recent signs that Mr Brown and Labour had been showing improvement in opinion polls - after Conservative leads of more than 20 points in some summer polls.

But an ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph suggests that the Conservatives still have a 13% lead over Labour- 43% to 30%, with the Lib Dems on 18% - which the paper says would translate into an 80 seat Commons majority.

ICM interviewed 1,005 adults by telephone on November 5 and 6.



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