Labour could bar migrants from claiming out-of-work benefits for more than six months, Ed Miliband suggested as he insisted immigration to the UK could be brought down without leaving the EU.

Mr Miliband indicated that he was considering extending his existing pledge to double the wait from three months as he campaigned ahead of next week's European elections.

With Ukip on course according to some polls to win the election, the Labour leader again sought to distance himself from the party's past approach on immigration, saying it would "never again turn our backs on people" who were concerned about the issue.He used a campaign speech in North Wales to take on the eurosceptic party, which has put immigration at the heart of its campaign to withdraw Britain from the EU.

Loading article content

"Now some people might be asking: can we really deal with these concerns and stay within the European Union? My answer is yes," he told workers at the Airbus factory in Broughton.

Mr Miliband said in March that he wanted a six-month limit. Asked about his plans on BBC Radio 4's The World At One, he said: "We should make the amount of time before people can claim jobseeker's allowance longer, at least to six months, possibly longer."