Portillo: Red Ed will be next PM

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Former Tory cabinet minister Michael Portillo has predicted that embattled Labour leader Ed Miliband will be the next Prime Minister - by default.

At an Evening with Michael Portillo, he told an audience of 330 people packed into the Milton Rooms at Malton, that the Conservatives will gain more votes but that UKIP will gain at least 10 per cent, opening the door to a Labour-led government with Miliband as Prime Minister.

In answer to a question, the ex-Tory MP of 20 years standing and former Secretary of State for the Defence, said: “I think I would say Miliband would win.”

The comment was greeted with some gasps in the market town audience, especially as the TV and radio broadcaster added that there will not be a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Community.

“I don’t think there will be a Conservative majority, so there will be no referendum.”

The MP whose first significant role was to brief PM Mrs Thatcher on daily press cuttings, added: “The Conservatives will get more votes than Labour but will they be the largest party?”

He said that electoral analysis indicated the Tories had to lead Labour by at least four per cent to clearly win a General Election, and that the rise of UKIP would take 10 per cent of total votes.

He appeared at the Milton Rooms and spoke for two hours without notes on his political experiences, revealing that his father fought against Franco in the Spanish Civil War while his father’s five brothers fought for the Franco forces.

He also entertained the audience with tales of his BBC TV railway journey programmes, which will be extended to the railway network in the US next year, in addition to other programmes he is presenting on Britain’s historic archive secrets.