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He forgot to mention it in his speech ... but Ed Miliband insists the UK deficit is an "incredibly high" priority

It’s one of the “perils” of speaking directly, instead of reading the precise text of a long party conference address, the Labour leader insisted.

LABOUR LEADER Ed Milibands being doing the media rounds in the UK this morning, explaining why he neglected to mention the country’s financial deficit in his party conference speech.

Despite not mentioning it in his hour-long address in Manchester yesterday, the MP insisted this morning that the issue was an “incredibly high” priority.

Journalists raised the issue, after Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne sent this tweet in the wake of the speech…

Speaking to the BBC this morning, Miliband said that it was “one of the perils” of the way he prepares for such speeches.

“I don’t exactly memorise it. I use it as a basis for what I might say, so some of it got left out.”

Asked whether he forgot the passage, he replied:

Yeah, I didn’t do one part of the speech. I added in other bits.

Miliband said he preferred to speak “directly to people” rather than just reading the precise text of a pre-prepared address.

“If I did the speech again today, I’d do it differently.”

Read: David Cameron lets slip that the Queen “purred” after Scottish referendum defeat

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