ED Miliband gave his backing to Labour’s local election bid in Sheffield when he turned up in the city on the first day of the campaign.
The Doncaster North MP and Labour leader had a tour of the new building at Castle College, Granville Road, then sat down with students for an informal chat, asking about their courses and their aims.
One student told him: “One thing that’s a worry is whether there will be a job at the end of it.”
And a dental technology student added: “I was lucky to find an apprenticeship - I was taken on by the NHS. But the programme I’m on is having to come to an end due to lack of funding.”
Mr Miliband said: “What I heard was the fear and anxiety I have heard in large parts of the country. The Government should have worked out how best to create jobs, protect people like students, and then look at the deficit.”
The politician also spoke about his proposal to his partner Justine Thornton, describing her acceptance as the happiest moment in his life after the birth of son, Samuel.
His visit to Lib Dem-run Sheffield - a key target - came just hours after he launched the party’s local election campaign in Birmingham.
Giving a ringing endorsement of his party in the city, he said: “I’m very proud of the Sheffield Labour group. They have a very clear message about how they would protect the voluntary sector and Sure Start centres and create apprenticeships.”
Sheffield Central Labour MP Paul Blomfield said: “It’s a great vote of confidence Ed has come to Sheffield.”
Another big Labour name, Tessa Jowell, launched her party’s campaign yesterday to win Chesterfield from the Lib Dems.