Labour leader Ed Miliband is expected to meet US president Barack Obama today.

Reports have indicated that he will have an informal "brush by" with the president, although the meeting in Washington could be in doubt as the president responds to the crises in Gaza and Ukraine.

Mr Miliband has hired the president's former adviser David Axelrod as his election strategist and will hope the US political guru's connection to the White House secures an audience with Mr Obama.

The talks with Mr Obama would take a similar form to David Cameron's 2007 visit to the White House, when then president George Bush had a "drop in" meeting with the leader of the opposition.