Thursday News Review

The Blair effect

One of the candidates, Andy Burnham, said that he was saddened that Mr Blair had chosen the day voting in the contest opens to reignite his battle with Mr Brown, through his memoirs. Mr Burnham said that he had ?huge respect? for Mr Blair and everything that he had achieved for the Labour Party. ?But I am saddened that he has chosen this day of all days to publish his book,? he said. ?Labour should be looking to the future. Labour needs to leave all this behind. Members are fed up with it. Most are not Blairites or Brownites, Old or New Labour. They are just Labour. – The Herald

The contenders for the Labour leadership have gone head to head on Channel 4 News with all five attempting to distance themselves from Tony Blair’s legacy on the day the former prime minister’s memoirs went on sale. The five hopefuls were united at least by their squabble over Tony Blair’s book, with David Miliband – widely dubbed the “heir to Blair” – calling for unity as the debate became heated. – Channel Four

The condemnation came as voting began to elect a new leader, months after Labour was ousted following 13 years in power, with former foreign secretary David Miliband tipped to succeed Gordon Brown over his brother Ed Miliband. One by one the five leadership candidates used the publication of former prime minister Mr Blair’s explosive memoirs to argue that it was time to leave the past, and particularly Mr Blair and Mr Brown, behind. In what the Brownites called ?Blair’s final revenge? he attacked his successor’s record, accused him of blackmail, asserted he had ?zero emotional intelligence? and was not ?psychologically wired? for the rigours of office. – The Australian

Round the regions

“I DON’T think I’ve been to another city which has had more new schools cancelled,” said former education secretary and Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls on arriving in Liverpool. Mr Balls, who oversaw the multi-billion pound Building Schools For The Future programme, spoke with genuine anger as he recounted how the city was due to have 26 state-of-the-art schools built until the coalition government scrapped the programme. He argued inequality was on the rise again under the Tory-Lib Dem coalition. – The Liverpool Echo

AS Labour leader I would always stand up for Burton. The effects of the savage Tory cuts are already being felt in the area. They are hitting the most vulnerable, the oldest, the youngest and the poorest. These cuts are ideologically driven and they are avoidable. – David Miliband, The Burton Mail

A COVENTRY MP says the nation has Labour leadership contender Ed Balls to thank for avoiding joining the euro. As reported in the Telegraph, Coventry North west MP Geoffrey Robinson is backing Mr Balls – his former colleague at ex-chancellor Gordon Brown’s Treasury – to be the next Labour leader and Prime Minister. – The Coventry Telegraph

PLYMOUTH is a city of great symbolism for any future Labour leader, in a part of the country where we were all but wiped out at the general election. We failed to be proud enough of our record, humble enough about our mistakes and clear enough in our offer for the future. Against a coalition Government that is cutting without compassion, Labour must stand up for those that will be hit hardest by this ideologically-driven economic vandalism. – The Plymouth Herald

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