THURROCK candidates for next year’s general election have clashed following Labour’s announcement today that they would not call an in/out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.

Leader Ed Miliband said they wouldn’t call the referendum unless the UK was being asked to transfer more power to Brussels.

Mr Miliband said his party strongly believes the UK’s future is in the EU, and criticised the Tories “damaging obsession” with EU policy.

Labour candidate Polly Billington backed the proposal, saying it would give the country a choice, and not a cooked up distraction.

She said: "I welcome Ed Miliband's commitment to an in/out referendum on the EU if there were any further powers going to Brussels.

“It means we can have a choice on what matters for the country, not a distraction cooked up to deal with Tory splits on Europe, and we can focus now on what really matters: dealing with the cost of living, crisis’s families are struggling with in Thurrock, creating quality jobs for our children and building homes in a community we can be proud of."

However UKIP Thurrock blasted the announcement as “out of touch, weak and undemocratic”.

Thurrock candidate Tim Aker said: “Labour was meant to be about giving working people a voice. Today their leader and their party representatives have told the people they don’t deserve a say on the EU.

“Much like the Tories who abandoned their pledge on an EU referendum, Labour join the Lib Dems and the establishment by not giving the British people a say.

“Only UKIP believes we should have an EU Referendum and tackle the EU’s policies on open borders, high energy prices and the £55m a day the EU costs British taxpayers.”