Ed Miliband has told Russell Brand that it is a “combination of politics and people” that bring about change.
The British Labour leader said progress comes from people demanding change, politics responding and then people pushing for that change to carry on.
He made the remarks during a surprise late-night visit to the comedian-turned-activist’s London flat on Monday.
In the interview, posted on Brand’s YouTube channel The Trews, Mr Miliband said: “People make change, but it’s a combination of politics and people.
“How does progress come? Progress comes from people demanding change, politics responding, not all the way, and people pushing for that change to carry on.
“But without the politics, without Government, the change doesn’t happen. That’s what happens in democratic society.”
At the end of the chat, Brand said Mr Miliband had demonstrated he understands the way the country feels by giving him an interview.
He said: “I think we learnt a lot about Labour, we learnt a lot about Ed Miliband.
“It’s not a perfect interview but personally I found it a very interesting experience.
“I think it says a lot about Ed Miliband, he understands the way the media works right now, the way the country feels at the moment, the way that people feel, that he was prepared to come round here and talk to us.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron has denounced Mr Miliband’s meeting with Brand as a “joke” and also said his rival was a joke to hang out with Brand, who has urged people not to vote.
But Mr Miliband insisted he wanted to take the argument about voting directly to Brand, adding that he wanted to talk to people who think politics is a waste of time.
He told ITV’s This Morning: “I’ve done something which indeed some people will find controversial.
“The reason I’ve done it is because I think there are lots of people who are not going to vote in this election, who think it doesn’t matter, who think who you vote for doesn’t matter.
“Russell Brand has said that in the past. I thought it was right to take the argument to him. I think voting makes a huge difference.”
He added: “I think there’s a huge choice at this election and I think in a way politicians kind of often stay in their comfort zone and only talk to people engaged in politics.
“I think it’s right to reach out of the comfort zone and talk to people who are saying, well it doesn’t matter, it’s a waste of time, because that’s what lots of people think.”
Asked about the meeting during a campaign event in central London this morning, he said there were seven million people who were not registered to vote.
He said: “You’ve got millions more people who may well not vote, who are not watching frankly, who are not watching, not listening and are planning not to vote, and therefore I will do anything and engage with anyone to try and persuade people to vote.”
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls defended his leader’s decision, saying it was really important for politicians to be interviewed by “all sorts of people on all sorts of broadcasts”.
“So be it” if the Labour leader doing an interview with Brand helped get the message out, Mr Balls told the BBC.
In a short clip released in advance of the full interview, Mr Miliband told Brand that a Labour government would take on tax avoidance by multinational companies.
He said many voters shared his “outrage” over multinationals that use complicated tax arrangements to minimise the amounts they pay, and assured him: “We’ve got to deal with that.”
Mr Miliband insisted: “It can be dealt with, but you’ve got to have a government that is willing to say there’s something wrong with this and we are going to deal with it.”