Revealed: Identity of Miliband advisers who helped frame report calling for shadow cabinet members to be sacked

by Atul Hatwal

Stewart Wood, Jonathan Rutherford, Marc Stears and Peter Hain MP are just some of the Miliband loyalists whose views shaped an academic report from Aston University’s Professor John Gaffney on Ed Miliband’s leadership, which called for members of the shadow cabinet to be sacked if they do not improve their performance.

The report garnered headlines this morning because of its stark conclusions about the troubles facing Ed Miliband and the need for decisive action, but only now have the names of key contributors emerged.

Steward Wood was ennobled by Ed Miliband and plays a pivotal role in knitting together the disparate factions within the leader’s office while Marc Stears and Jonathan Rutherford, old college friends of Miliband’s, are central to shaping his ideological approach and the content of his speeches.

Peter Hain, meanwhile, led the first major party initiative under Ed Miliband, Refounding Labour, and at the height of the recent PLP wobbles over Ed Miliband’s leadership, was the loyalist voice on the Today programme urging unity behind the leader.

In one of the most striking passages, the report states that Miliband must have a team that do not, “simply mumble their support whenever party plot rumours surface.”

These words echo frequent press briefings to the effect that the shadow team is not pulling its weight and the identity of the report’s Milibandite contributors will only serve to exacerbate tensions between the shadow cabinet and the leader’s office.

Several of the report’s recommendations have been greeted with suspicion by shadow cabinet members, wary of an attempt by Ed Miliband’s office to shift responsibility for Labour’s poll woes onto them. One proposal, that shadow ministers produce a “five point crib sheet for each policy,” was greeted with particular incredulity. A shadow ministerial adviser retorted,

“If we were ever allowed to do anything, of course we’d have a bloody crib sheet.”

The report was compiled following interviews with 30 Westminster players, ranging from those close to Ed Miliband to those more sceptical about his leadership.  Its central contention is that, “Miliband fails to inspire his followers because he is not getting the narrative of leadership right.”

For an impartial academic such as Professor Gaffney to come to this conclusion, even with the full contribution of those who are seen as Ed Miliband’s praetorian guard, will be taken as a sign of the level of gloom permeating the Labour leader’s inner circle about his position within the party and prospects for the next election.

Atul Hatwal is editor of Uncut


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12 Responses to “Revealed: Identity of Miliband advisers who helped frame report calling for shadow cabinet members to be sacked”

  1. The policies are all in place. We just need to mobilise behind them. Ugent work needs to start from Ed and the central campaign team, so that the movement and its local campaigners effectively push where we stand. Its not an unkown technique. Here is the main script –
    http://www.independentlabour.org.uk/main/2014/11/24/labour-needs-to-push-its-progressive-electoral-programme/

  2. paul barker says:

    I am looking at all this from the outside but while you waiting for the next Labour Crisis cant you all use your heads for something better than looking for people to blame ? Perhaps the problem is more fundamental than Ed M, Blairite Traitors or whoever your favourite scapegoat is ?
    After 114 Years perhaps the whole Labour project isnt wanted anymore ?

  3. Christine says:

    Your comment shows much detachment from reality,Paul.You Libdems polled less than 1%, at the lmost recent bye election and the fact that Labour has been consistently ahead, in most polls,shows the relevance of the message to those who were polled.
    I often chuckle, when I drift onto your Libdemvoice website,when I read your own members mocking you for your widely off the mark predictions of your estimates for the numbers of Libdem votes in various elections, all wildly inaccurate.

  4. Dave Roberts. says:

    And all this just six months before a General Election, I despair. I have highlighted another time bomb waiting for Miliband over in Tower Hamlets in the shape of Ken Livingstone and Christine Shawcroft openly supporting the Islamist backed Mayor Lutfur Rahman.

    If the issue seems to be Miliband’s control of the party and his leadership abilities this is one he is going to have to come down on rapido although all the signs are he has his head in the sand. The details are on the Trial by Jeory blog.

    By and large the media has ignored what is happening in the East End of London seeing it as an Asian inner city thing but the ramifications for Labour are huge.

    In short, on two occasions Livingstone has defied the party and openly campaigned for an opposition candidate, Lutfur Rahman. Rahman was deselected as Labour candidate for Mayor over packing Labour membership lists with non existent people. He subsequently ran as an independent backed by the Mosques and Bangladeshi media and has now won twice.

    A couple of weeks ago Eric Pickles sent in commissioners to run the council after an independent report from accountants slammed the running of the borough. In January an electoral court will be convened to look into allegations that the last council and Mayoral elections were rigged by the current Mayor and cronies.

    The whole situation in the borough is a complete and utter mess, to a great extend caused by Livingstone’s 2010 open support for Rahman where he actively walked the streets urging voters to vote against his own party.

    On the face of it it would appear that Miliband is afraid of the far left by not sacking Livingstone because he topped the poll for the NEC, that is certainly the spin that the Tories will put on the whole thing. Livingstone has to go and the sooner the better. He has always treated the Labour Party as a tool for his own interests and is still doing so. Get rid of him.

  5. 07052015 says:

    Time to draw a line under this stuff tho I will be watching all prospective leaders and their spouses for signs of mumbling.

    Meanwhile our opponents are gearing up for civil war ,win or lose.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/columnists/politics/9383882/the-tories-are-preparing-for-civil-war-in-the-unlikely-event-of-victory/

  6. BenM says:

    @paul barker

    Who’s less wanted? The Party ahead in the polls or the Party trailing?

  7. swatantra says:

    Not only Livingstone but that scoundral Galloway could well stir up more inter racial and community conflict if he throws in his hat in a bid to be London Mayor, setting one community against another. We don’t want a divided London with segregated communities at war with each other. But thats what we’ll get if we have livingstone and Galloway around.
    The Shadow team particularly at the top are all washed up with nowhere to go.
    We need the equivalent of a cull at the top with a new Team Labour in the vanguard.
    The Blair-Brown era needs to be buried, completely.

  8. Tafia says:

    He has always treated the Labour Party as a tool for his own interests

    What a ridiculous statement. Blair springs immediately to mind in this context as does Mandelson and many others from all sides.

  9. So that means Livingstone didn’t use the party as a tool for his own interests I suppose? I’m trying to figure out your tortured logic.

  10. Tafia says:

    There’s no twisted logic at all. You in fact are in denial – Labour politicians using the Labour Party as a tool for their own interests is fairly normal and compared to Blair, Brown, Balls and several others Livingstone is but a mere amateur – little more than a sunday driver. So being as how others have behaved far worse, where is your moral outrage and demand for their resignation?. Let’s have some consistancy in the position along with a demand to scalp the biggest first.

  11. John Reid says:

    Tafia,in all fairness too Blair nd Mandleson, they took years of abuse from their oen member,yet they won a Labour elections, livingstone never won for the GLac and after heD been in charge it gave Mrs Thatcher an excuse to disband it, he’s backed non labour members after being read omitted,and after his read mission has had to build a fan base, that has only been achieved,by destroying others when the end result has been he’s lost 2 GLA elections, and blamed everyone else and not supported labour other times,
    Livingstone got 37,000 votes of what 250,000 members.

  12. Tafia says:

    Tafia,in all fairness too Blair nd Mandleson, they took years of abuse from their oen member,yet they won a Labour elections

    They did that by taking tory voters by being tory. They actually lost Labour core voters and Labour has never recovered from that.

    Labour still hasn’t answered the crucial question – Is it winning that matters or principle.

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