Underfire David Miliband refuses to step back from the brink
Gordon Brown’s allies rounded on David Miliband last night, accusing him of egotism, misjudgment and of damaging the party by setting out his vision for Labour’s future.
MPs close to the Prime Minister denounced as self-serving a newspaper article in which Mr Miliband laid out, without a single mention of Mr Brown, how Labour could beat the Conservatives.
In urging MPs to find the confidence to make Labour’s “case afresh”, Mr Miliband was widely interpreted as preparing the ground for a leadership bid. At the very least, his intervention has ensured that Mr Brown will remain dogged by speculation over his future throughout the summer and into the autumn.
A Labour MP close to Mr Brown accused the Foreign Secretary of handing the Tories a priceless political advantage. “David had the opportunity to close this story down today. I am appalled that his judgment has been so clouded by ego that he has failed to do so. He says his intention is to turn Labour’s fire on David Cameron, but it has had precisely the opposite effect.”
Times Online points out the problems he faces, specifically that he really supports Government action:
The final question over Mr Miliband concerns who he really is and what he stands for. From behind the usual politician’s phrases, some answers peeked out. His years at Mr Blair’s side have made him a reformer, but one who believes firmly in government action. His article yesterday asserts the need for “government to act as a catalyst”, describes “the political creed of the Labour Party” as “combining government action and personal freedom” and suggests that social justice and better public services are inconsistent with deregulation and lower spending. His confidence in the State is striking.
Here is the video via PlayPolitical: