Big guns return in Labour summit

Labour leader Ed Miliband
Labour leader Ed Miliband
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Labour leader Ed Miliband will be in Blackpool this weekend as the town hosts the North West Labour Party conference for the fourth year in a row.

Mr Miliband (pictured) will be joined by deputy leader Harriet Harman, and front-benchers Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham and Ivan Lewis at the three-day gathering from Friday until Sunday at the Imperial Hotel, North Promenade.

More than 500 delegates are expected in the resort for the conference.

Shadow Secretary of State for Health Mr Burnham will open the conference while Blackburn MP Jack Straw is the speaker at the Conference Dinner on Friday evening.

Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for tourism and leisure, said: “This is the fourth year in a row the North West Labour Party conference has come back to Blackpool.

“We’re very pleased to be welcoming the delegates back to the resort.

“There’s always a real buzz around the town when we attract big conferences and this will be no different.”

Business tourism in Blackpool represents an average of £44m in economic benefit to businesses in the resort each year.

A spokesperson for Labour North West said: “We always receive a warm welcome in Blackpool.

“We are delighted to be returning this year for what is an important conference ahead of the General Election next year.

“As well as policy debate, training and speeches, we will be taking our campaign for the future of the NHS to the streets of Blackpool.”

It is 12 years since Labour brought its main annual conference to Blackpool.