Labour policy chief Jon Cruddas has been secretly recorded criticising Ed Miliband after he was quoted as saying that his party leader is ‘gamed out every day, every week’ by the media. This comes after his recent outburst that there is a ‘dead hand’ at the centre of the party stopping Miliband from producing bold policy.
Cruddas, who usually refrains from the public spotlight, has been extremely vocal over the past few days (knowingly and unknowingly) and is undoubtedly causing huge issues for his party leader.
Internal criticisms are normal, but the timings of these comments could not be worse, especially after recent polls suggest that Miliband is not only behind Cameron in the approval ratings, but the general public believe his brother would make a better Prime Minister.
The Labour leader has had a disastrous fortnight. His recent announcement that Labour would be increasing spending in the regions in an attempt to boost growth should have been a flagship policy to drum up support, but instead it snowballed into further embarrassment after he dropped a key statistic from his speech after claims they were out of date.
He had originally stated that 80% of new private sector jobs have been created in London, but it later emerged the figures were almost two years old and completely contradicted official government statistics.
The managing director of the factory where Miliband launched the policy told him he believed his new plans would simply create a "bureaucratic nightmare", something David Cameron was keen to pick up on during Prime Minister’s questions.
PMQ’s were also not a fantastic showing for the Labour leader, who repeatedly quizzed the Prime Minister on the NHS. It was nothing more than a war of statistics and Cameron mentioned that under a Conservative government the NHS had come top in a healthcare survey run by an international panel of experts for the first time. Miliband had no response.
To makes things worse, Dennis Skinner the veteran MP, has been voted off the Labour party’s governing body. Skinner is popular amongst the general public and there have been claims that the maverick MP had been the victim of an organised campaign run by the leadership. This has been vehemently denied.
Miliband needs to get his act together sooner rather than later; former Home Secretary David Blunkett has already suggested that if Labour loses the general election in 2015, they could face the next 15 years in the wilderness. If these gaffes at the top of the party don’t stop immediately that’s exactly what is going to happen.
There’s not long to go, the Labour party need to get their act together before it’s too late.