UK & World News
Labour Conference: Miliband On His PM Dream
Ed Miliband heads for Labour's conference in Manchester later, where his aim is to convince voters he has what it takes to be Prime Minister.
Boosted by opinion poll leads over the Tories of around 10%, the Labour leader will spend the week attempting to sell himself as well as his party's policies.
After a rocky start as leader and criticism from Labour MPs, Mr Miliband now leads a party confident of returning to power at the next general election.
Today, before the conference gets under way on Sunday, Mr Miliband will face an hour of questions from readers of the Manchester Evening News at a public meeting.
After a set-piece TV interview tomorrow, he makes his big conference speech on Tuesday and then will answer questions from Labour delegates on Wednesday.
He is expected to try to spell out to voters who he is and define his character as he prepares to face a Tory onslaught on his personality between now and the general election.
On policies, Mr Miliband is expected to concentrate on Labour plans to improve living standards, including proposals to protect consumers from being ripped off by energy companies.
He is also likely to outline a tougher stance on immigration and welfare than Labour has proposed in the past and admit that his party made mistakes in these areas in government.
Mr Miliband's other task over the coming days is to avoid potential splits and disagreements with his combative shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, who speaks on Monday, which Labour's opponents will be looking for.
Labour also faces potential embarrassment from its paymasters the trade unions, with a motion submitted by public sector union Unison condemning the pay freeze for public sector workers.
Mr Balls was heckled at the TUC earlier this month when he called for pay restraint and said striking over public sector pension reforms would bring a return to the 1980s.
In Manchester, the unions will be pressing Labour to support better rights for their members and to scrap employment measures such as having to pay to take a case to an employment tribunal.
Amid predictions of another hung parliament after the next election, Labour's conference is also likely to see overtures to the Liberal Democrats from senior party figures throughout the week.
But under attack from left-wingers Denis Skinner and Ken Livingstone at the party's national executive committee last week over his exchanges of texts with the Lib Dems' Vince Cable, Mr Miliband revealed: "They've taken my mobile phone away."