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Embattled UK Labour leader promises not to "shrink from the fight".

LONDON, Muharram 20, 1436, Nov 13, 2014, SPA -- British opposition leader Ed Miliband vowed on Thursday not to "shrink from the fight", in a make-or-break speech after a week of media reports that his Labour Party could ditch him just six months before a general election, Reuters reported.

Under pressure after some of his own lawmakers criticised his leadership and polls showed few Britons think he has the stature of a prime minister, Miliband focused on inequality in a country where wages have failed to keep pace with inflation.

"No vested interest, whoever they are and however powerful they are, from banks to energy companies, should ever be able to hold our country back," Miliband told an audience in London, mostly comprised of enthusiastic supporters.

"I am willing to put up with whatever is thrown at me, in order to fight for you," he said. "That's my duty, that's my responsibility ... Not to shrink from the fight."

Britain needed to ditch its "zero-zero" economy, he said, complaining that some of the poorest were stuck on "zero hours contracts" - jobs with no guarantee of a minimum amount of work - while some of the richest paid zero tax.

His performance appeared more assured than some recent outings, including a much-criticised party conference speech in September in which he forgot to deliver an entire section on the economy.

Opinion polls show some of left-leaning Labour's policies, such as a pledge to freeze household energy prices, have proved popular. But with Miliband's personal popularity at an all-time low, polls also suggest Labour's chances of victory would be improved if he stepped aside for someone else.

On Wednesday, an Ipsos-MORI survey which gave Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives their largest poll lead over Labour in four years found just 13 percent thought Miliband would make a plausible prime minister.

Miliband was last week forced to dismiss as "nonsense" reports of a party leadership coup. Newspapers quoted anonymous Labour lawmakers saying they want him replaced.

-- SPA

20:06 LOCAL TIME 17:06 GMT

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Publication:Saudi Press Agency (SPA)
Date:Nov 13, 2014
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