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Miliband: I won’t be drawn into Fitzpatrick segregation issue’

PUBLISHED: 13:16 03 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 05 October 2010

ENERGY Secretary Ed Miliband refused to be drawn into the controversy over East London MP Jim Fitzpatrick’s call for legislation banning segregated audiences. He was addressing a mixed audience of Bangladeshis at an East End community centre this-morning following his recent tour of Bangladesh and India

EXCLUSIVE By Dean Valler

ENERGY Secretary Ed Miliband refused to be drawn into the controversy over East London MP Jim Fitzpatrick’s call for legislation banning segregated audiences.

He was addressing a mixed audience of Bangladeshis at an East End community centre this-morning about climate change following his recent tour of Bangladesh and India.

But Tower Hamlets councillor Abdal Ullah, who was chairing the public discussion at Stepney’s Redcote community centre, blocked a question from the East London Advertiser seeking Government clarification over Poplar MP and Government minister Fitzpatrick’s call for segregation to be outlawed.

Mr Milliband went onto another topic, then came back to the issue and told the paper’s reporter: “I am not going to answer the previous question—we are here to discuss climate change.”

REFUSED

He then declined an interview with the paper afterwards, leaving for a Cabinet meeting due this-afternoon.

Cllr Ullah said later: “I was not surprised he didn’t answer the question on segregation.

“We have a mosque here in this community centre and I want to point out this has been a mixed meeting.”

There were men and women including elders and youths in the audience, all from the Bangladesh community.

Mr Miliband left with Douglas Alexander, the Overseas Development State Secretary, to join other ministers for Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s roving’ Cabinet meeting being held at 1.30pm at the 2012 Olympics site at Stratford.


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