Ed Miliband says that producing the Liam Byrne’s letter left in the treasury is David Cameron’s “regular prop”.
The note is haunting him in this debate though. He is asked why on earth people should trust a Labour minister who thought that leaving a note like that was a joke. She says that if someone in the corporate world sent that note they would be fired, so why should people trust Labour again?
He says Ed Balls takes getting the deficit down extremely seriously. It is on the front of Labour’s manifesto.
Asked about whether he accepts that the Labour government made mistakes on the economy last time around. He says he does not. He uses the example of Barack Obama, who he says have a deficit not because of what they spent on schools and hospitals but because of a global financial crisis that was not the fault of one government.
It’s useful sometimes when normal people ask politicians questions. One man puts it plainly. If I spend too much in a week, I can’t afford to buy a pint. We got to the end of a 13 year government, he tells Mr Miliband, you can’t tell us you didn’t overspend.
Ed Miliband using his famous memory here to remember not only his own questioners, but also David Cameron’s questioners. Calling on “Jenny” and telling her that the leader of the Conservatives didn’t answer her questions.
Miliband says he will not do a deal with SNP. He’s pushed by members of the audience – surely he may have to make a deal?
“I do and I am the leader. We are not having deals.”
“If the price of a labour government was a coalition of a deal with the SNP – not going to happen.”
This is actually probably quite a strong statement, one he may be held to after May 7. He is saying there will be no coalition with the SNP and there will be no “confidence and supply” with SNP – so that means a minority Labour government if he doesn’t manage a majority.
David Cameron talked about a “darkened room” of coalition negotiation. Mr Miliband clearly enjoys this comment, or as he puts it “I don’t like the idea of that image… for a range of reasons.”
The audience, probably like many voters, don’t seem to buy it – they are asking him to tell them the truth about who he might make a deal with because it would earn him respect.