Following Saturday’s result it’s vital that Ed Miliband gets to grips as quickly as possible with the scale of the challenge ahead of him.
And the most important thing he can do, if he’s serious about taking Labour forward, is recognise that if we’re going to pose a genuine challenge at the next election we need to rebuild the party from the grassroots up.
Based on my experience of the last four months, the answer for Ed is to embrace the hugely successful model that has already been implemented as a result of David Miliband’s movement for change.
This has seen 1,200 community leaders trained up around the UK, a move that will provide a bedrock of broad base support that the party will require at the next election.
And the action they take is the best way the party can communicate its message to the electorate. The trained leaders were equipped with the skills to effect change in their community, be it improvements in housing security, preventing cuts to street lighting, challenging loan sharks, tackling inadequate bin collections, creating green spaces in city centres, and fighting drug crime, to name but a few of the actions that have been undertaken as a result of the movement for change.
In my community in Enfield alone, the movement for change has helped me to tackle housing security on one of the most deprived estates in the borough. But, more importantly, the movement has given the Labour Party representation in a Conservative constituency and council ward. This will be absolutely crucial in preparing the ground ahead of the next election.
And around the UK it will be this level of action and engagement that will help the Labour party recruit new members, reconnect with the grassroots and appeal to voters in the key battlegrounds which will take the fight to the coalition.
So I would urge Ed Miliband to take forward the movement and build on its success and vast potential to rebuild the party from the bottom up, unify the members and organise the party into a powerful, successful, and electable force at the next election.