‘If people met Ed Miliband they would vote for him’

Ed Miliband and Ben Cook
Ed Miliband and Ben Cook

Boston Labour activist Ben Cook has lobbied Ed Miliband to come to the town to help sort its issues - and said the party leader is surprisingly charismatic in person.

The 28-year-old lost a two-man hustings event to experienced councillor Paul Kenny by just two votes at the weekend, meaning he narrowly missed out on the chance to bid to become Boston and Skegness MP.

Mr Cook, a shop steward who works at the town’s Asda store, said the experience has not put him off and he has now turned his attentions to becoming a Boston borough councillor in May.

He said: “I am disappointed of course. It’s my home town and I could’ve had a good shot at this election.”

Mr Cook had personally lobbied Mr Miliband to get help for Boston at a GMB conference in June.

The father-of-one made a passionate plea to the leader for help – and even earned a mention in his speech after making an impression.

He told The Standard: “I met him and told him to come and sort it out.

“We’ve got the third lowest average wages in the UK and the highest rents in the East Midlands. Boston is at breaking point.

“I spoke to him and told him how it is. I think he was quite shocked.”

He added: “In his speech he said ‘I spoke to a young man today from Boston who works at Asda and he was telling me how much rents are there and how low the wages are. It’s dreadful’.

“I think he realises how bad it is.”

He said some of the negative comments about Mr Miliband, who gave his pre-election speech to Labour’s conference in Manchester this afternoon, are unfair.

The Boston man, who went to Middlecott School in Kirton, said: “Actually he has got more charisma in real life. People say he has got no charisma but if every person in the country met him then I think they would vote for him.

“I think he is sincere.”

See the October 1 Boston Standard for more from Mr Cook.