Posts Tagged ‘Miliband’

Friday News Review

17/06/2011, 06:55:05 AM

Pension decision due

Danny Alexander, the Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury, tells millions of trade union members that only by agreeing to the Coalition’s new terms will they be able to keep “the best pensions available”. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, he warns that opposition to the change – that will require many in the public sector to work longer and pay more into their retirement funds – will mean a worse deal in future. “The history of reform is littered with examples of people simply denying the facts,” he writes. “Eventually reality bites. And when it does, change is urgent and uncompromising.” The Government’s offer, he says, is “by far the best that is likely to be on the table for years to come”. It will still leave them with retirement deals that are more generous and more certain than most in the private sector, he says. – Daily Telegraph

The government is to spare the lowest paid public servants from the worst of the increases in their pension contributions in a rush to avoid a mass opt-out. But the decision to protect people earning up to £18,000 from the average increase of 3.2% of their salary, made after warnings that the pension reforms could price some people out of saving for their future altogether, will mean the higher paid will pay up to 5% more. Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the Treasury, will set out details of the plans to increase 6 million public sector workers’ pension payments, and will attack union leaders who have announced a joint strike on 30 June. Alexander will announce that workers earning less than £15,000 will be spared any increase and those earning less than £18,000 will have their contributions capped at 1.5%. The increases will be phased in over three years from next April to lessen the blow. Teachers, medics and local government managers could face a doubling in their contributions from next April. – the Guardian

The Falklands is an issue again

The Argentinian president has criticised David Cameron for insisting the Falkland Islands should remain a British territory. Cristina Kirchner described the prime minister as “arrogant” and said his comments were an “expression of mediocrity and almost of stupidity”. Cameron had been prompted by Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell during prime minister’s questions to remind Barack Obama that the British government would not accept any kind of negotiations over the south Atlantic islands, which Argentina and Britain fought a 10-week war over in 1982. Cameron told the Commons: “I would say this: as long as the Falkland Islands want to be sovereign British territory, they should remain sovereign British territory – full stop, end of story.” In her criticism of his comments, Kirchner said that Britain “continues to be a crude colonial power in decline”. She has insisted that the two countries should negotiate over the islands, which have been a British territory since 1833. The 1982 conflict cost the lives of 649 Argentinian and 255 British troops. – the Guardian

Clegg in electoral scrap

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg Thursday shrugged off the drubbing his party has received since joining the Conservatives in government, and said the British tradition of two-party politics was over. The Lib Dems have been battered by accusations they have compromised their principles to join the Conservatives in power after last year’s general election, and Clegg in particular has seen his star plummet in opinion polls. The deputy prime minister has been excoriated for going back on his election pledge to abolish university tuition fees, one of several compromises he says were necessary to achieve the coalition’s aim of eliminating Britain’s budget deficit. The coalition has made eliminating the deficit, which had topped 10 percent of national output, by the end of the current of the current parliament in 2015 a key pledge, and Clegg said his party would be rewarded in future. – Reuters

Many angry ex-Liberal Democrat voters in the North will not return to supporting the party, Mr Clegg admitted. The deputy prime minister acknowledged that some voters were so disillusioned – over the decision to enter coalition with the Conservatives – that his party had lost them for good. That collapse in support has been most severe in Northern areas such as Liverpool, where lingering anti-Tory sentiment is most common. But Mr Clegg insisted his party would still be a fighting force at the 2015 election, vowing: “I think we are going to have to get used to coalition.” He said: “Of course some people who used to vote for us absolutely hate the fact that we are in coalition with the Conservatives. As, by the way, if we had gone into coalition with Labour, a whole lot of people who had voted for us would absolutely hate that we had gone into coalition with Labour. “Of course. these people have peeled away – and many of them might not come back.” However, Mr Clegg said he was “relishing” the chance to present his party as one that had helped rescue Britain from economic disaster. – Liverpool Daily Post

Brothers partying together, whatever next…

The nation’s most visible sibling rivalry drifted into public view when Ed and David Miliband were seen together at a party. The brothers joined guests at a pub in Pimlico, central London, to celebrate a friend’s birthday. They have rarely been seen together since Ed unexpectedly pipped his older brother to the Labour party’s top job last year. Their joint appearance seemed designed to scotch rumours that David might try to oust his sibling, who has put in a poor political performance in recent weeks. A party source insisted the pair remained ‘brothers first and politicians second’. Speculation of a continuing rift between the brothers was fuelled at the weekend by claims in an unauthorised biography that the pair were barely on speaking terms. The rift allegations came amid reports of unrest among Labour MPs about Ed Miliband’s performance, which he has dismissed as ‘Westminster tittle tattle’. – Daily Mail

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Monday News Review

13/06/2011, 06:27:02 AM

Family breakdown

When he won the Labour leadership, Ed Miliband declared that Britain had not ‘heard the last’ of his older brother, from whose complacent grip he had snatched the prize. David would ‘be around in one way or another’. Well, Ed was spot on in that analysis. Today, as he prepares to deliver yet another keynote speech, desperately crafted to pump life into his flaccid leadership, brother David’s shadow looms ever larger and more threatening.Indeed, it is Louise Miliband, even more than her vanquished former Foreign Secretary husband, who harbours a deep grudge against her brother-in-law. She regards his decision to run against her husband as an unforgivable act of treachery and betrayal. ‘She was distraught and still hurts for David. It’s often the partners who take more umbrage. But it’s very hard for them both to get over it. David would have won it if Ed had not stood. And he would have won it big,’ one trusted confidante told the Daily Mail.  ‘Louise understands that and is still consumed by anger. She’s also furious with Ed’s wife because she feels she should have persuaded him not fight his own brother. The family will never get over this. Louise did not even want to go to Ed’s wedding.’ Indeed, as the new book reveals, Louise Miliband cut Ed dead when they met by accident as he headed back to his hotel room following his victory over her husband.  The brothers used to speak several times a week. Now, with the exception of occasional requests for advice from Ed, they rarely converse, reveals the book. They communicate through their offices. – Daily Mail

Ed Miliband’s wife, Justine Thornton, is said to have been deeply hurt by the frosty stance reportedly adopted by her sister-in-law Louise Miliband since his surprise decision to stand for the leadership last year. Based on interviews with close friends and colleagues of the two men, the book depicts a deep and painful rift in the Miliband family which some fear will never heal. It claims that an increasingly ill-tempered election campaign developed into a rancorous family schism, evident as much at children’s birthday parties as political meetings, to the distress of the men’s mother, Marion. Despite his disappointment at failing to secure the Labour crown last September, the former Foreign Secretary David Miliband was careful to be gracious in defeat, the book says. But as Ed walked back to his hotel room in Manchester, following the announcement the election result, his sister-in-law was less forgiving and “cut him dead”, the book claims. It was, the authors – the Labour-friendly journalists Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre – claim, “the start of a breakdown in the family”. – Daily Telegraph

Ed tries to bounce back with policy offensive

Ed Miliband will attempt to fight back against his internal Labour critics today by unveiling new policies demanding more “responsibility” from the highest paid people and welfare claimants. On the eve of his long-awaited policy offensive, Mr Miliband was hit by claims that his relationship with his brother David was still in the deep freeze eight months after he defeated him to win the Labour leadership. A new book by journalists Mehdi Hassan and James Macintyre claims that Ed spent years plotting to beat his brother and that David now thinks he is taking the party “in the wrong direction.” The Labour leader will try to turn a tide of negative publicity about what critics see as his lacklustre performance by turning the spotlight to one of his big policy ideas. He will promise a “revolution in the boardroom”, saying a Labour Government would make companies publish the ratio between their highest earners and the average pay level. In a long-planned speech in London, Mr Miliband will admit that the last Labour Government was too relaxed about bankers who caused the financial crisis and benefit claimants who abused the system. “We will be a party that supports the real boardroom accountability that rewards wealth creation, not failure,” he will say. “At the bottom of society, we will be a party that rewards contribution, not worklessness.” – the Independent

Plans to make unemployed benefit claimants work harder to find a job will be unveiled by Labour‘s policy review chief, Liam Byrne, on Monday. The shadow work and pensions secretary will also set out new ideas, drawn from the Australian prime minister Julia Gillard, requiring long-term workless households with pre-school children to attend compulsory employment workshops in return for childcare costs. The proposals chime with Ed Miliband’s proposals, unveiled on Monday, which will emphasise responsibility, rewarding those on the council house queue who are in jobs or doing voluntary work. Byrne will map out how far the party has drifted from mainstream public opinion, saying: “There is one sentiment that really shines through. People are angry about the state we face and they believe a new politics of responsibility is the answer. There’s a sense of too many great sins: wealth without work; commerce without morality; politics without principle.” – the Guardian

People in work, volunteers and foster carers will be able to jump council house queues, Ed Miliband will pledge today. “Rather than looking solely at need, priority is also given to those who contribute – who give something back. It’s fairer and it also encourages the kind of responsible behaviour that makes our communities stronger,” he will say. Labour is also looking at cutting benefits for young jobless people in workless households. And it is considering forcing the unemployed to sign on weekly and give higher dole payments for those who were in work and then lost their job. Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne will set out the controversial plans tonight, saying: “Welfare reform is one of the policy areas where Labour needs to win back trust.” – Daily Mirror

D-Day for NHS reforms

Experts are to unveil recommendations on the Government’s plans for the NHS after Nick Clegg claimed victory for the Liberal Democrats in the spat over the reforms. The NHS Future Forum will publish its report setting out proposed amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill, which is currently on hold on its passage through Parliament. The Bill has attracted widespread criticism from the medical profession and unions, particularly over its aim to increase competition between the NHS and private companies. Last week, Prime Minister David Cameron outlined “real changes” to the reforms – pre-empting the content of today’s report. Aides to the Prime Minister have insisted he was the driving force behind the policy rethink, but many Tory backbenchers are furious that Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has been “hung out to dry” to appease Lib Dems. – Sky News

In the face of Liberal Democrat opposition to his proposed shake-up of the NHS, the Prime Minister ordered a time-out so the views of doctors and nurses could be heard. Today, a report by the group NHS Future Forum, led by former chairman of the Royal College of GPs Prof Steve Field, will be published and is expected to recommend a string of changes. The Liberal Democrats claimed yesterday that the concessions they had demanded had been achieved, while backbench Tories were warning that Mr Cameron had given too much away. Mark Pritchard MP, secretary of the 1922 committee of backbench Tory MPs, suggested that the changes would lose the Tories votes. He told The Daily Telegraph: “History may judge this moment as a lost golden opportunity to make the NHS fit for the 21st century.“  Mr Cameron has called an emergency meeting of all 143 Tories who joined the Commons at last year’s election. It is being interpreted in Westminster as an attempt to ensure Mr Cameron has enough support to see off opposition from “old guard” MPs, who have been angered at concessions to the Tories’ Coalition partners and perceived “gloating” from Lib Dems. – Daily Telegraph

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Tuesday NewsReview

31/05/2011, 04:44:42 AM

Brotherly love

David Miliband says the Tories and Lib Dems are more representative of the country than the Labour party led by his younger brother, Ed. In an extraordinary intervention, the former foreign secretary said the coalition party had more MPs who reflected Britain. Mr Miliband, who was elbowed out of the way for the top Labour job by ‘Red Ed’, also warned of the danger of the party ‘lapsing into long-term opposition’. Since being defeated in the leadership contest last year, David Miliband has made few public comments about Labour. But last night he said Labour should back David Cameron’s idea of a Big Society. Mr Miliband told the Hay  Festival: ‘If you look at the  Parliamentary Tory party and the Lib Dems, they have got some strengths over us. ‘They have got more doctors in Parliament than we have. ‘They have more military  officers. The Tories are trying to open up.’ Suggesting Labour should follow suit, he added: ‘We have to make sure we look like the  country we represent, not just our supporters.’ – Daily Mail

Mr Miliband’s remarks may be seen as a rebuke for his brother, Ed Miliband, who has described the Prime Minister’s call for a more responsible Britain as a “failure”. David Miliband also suggested that Conservatives and Lib Dem MPs are more representative of modern Britain than Labour members, and warned of the danger of the party “lapsing into long term opposition.” Since being defeated in a leadership contest last year, David Miliband has made few public comments about Labour under his brother. But speaking at the Hay-on-Wye festival, David Miliband appeared to raise questions about the direction and make-up of today’s Labour Party. The Prime Minister has called for a Big Society, which he says would see people taking more responsibility for their own public services and communities, and a stronger role for voluntary groups. Ed Miliband has sent mixed messages on the concept, endorsing some aspects of it but also saying earlier this year that it was simply a “cloak” for cuts in public services. – Daily Telegraph

Labour told you so

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) cut its growth forecasts for this and next year on Monday, pointing to the impact of the government’s tough fiscal policy and high inflation on consumers’ ability to spend. The BCC reduced its forecast for gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2011 to 1.3 percent from a previous prediction in March of 1.4 percent. It reduced its forecast for 2012 to 2.2 percent from 2.3 percent. That would argue for the Bank of England continuing to keep interest rates very low to support growth, but the BCC also raised its forecasts for inflation and said that would lead the Bank to raise rates for the first time in August. The business lobby said the government’s tough austerity measures to cut a record budget deficit, combined with higher than expected inflation, would squeeze disposable incomes, meaning economic recovery would be slow over the next 18-24 months. – Interactive Investor

A show of strength

First Minister Martin McGuinness and First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones. Although no agenda has been released, it is expected the lower corporation tax proposed for Northern Ireland in Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget will be high on the agenda. Last week MPs on Westminster’s Northern Ireland Affairs Committee admitted other parts of the UK could be disadvantaged by the move. But they insisted the situation was unique because of the border with Ireland where the rate is less than half that in the UK. – Daily Herald

The meeting, to be held in Edinburgh at Mr Salmond’s official residence, is the first time the heads of devolved government of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have gathered since receiving renewed mandates following the recent elections. Mr Salmond will host the meeting with Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and it will be attended by Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones. The three devolved governments will discuss their shared agenda. It is likely corporation tax will be discussed, with Mr Salmond currently pursuing the control of the levy as part of the Scotland Bill. A House of Commons report has already signalled support for the devolution of the tax in Northern Ireland. – Belfast Telegraph

Clegg’s constitutional dilemma

The scale of the fight facing Nick Clegg as he tries to reform the House of Lords has been made clear by a newspaper survey revealing an overwhelming majority of peers believe the change would be unconstitutional. The deputy prime minister published a plan last month to replace the Lords with a wholly – or 80% – elected chamber of about 300 peers. They would be elected by thirds every five years and serve single 15-year terms. Clegg, faced with hostility to the plan and bruised after the failure of the alternative vote referendum campaign, is attempting a more sensitive approach this time, bringing in a package of measures that would appeal to ordinarily sceptical MPs and peers. Because of the intrinsic unpalatability of the proposals, it had been suggested that the government use the Parliament Act to force its will on the upper house should it transpire that peers do not back the change. While all three main parties committed to the policy in their manifestos, there are large pockets of sceptics beneath the surface. – the Guardian

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Friday News Review

17/09/2010, 07:00:28 AM

Miliband: 'winning support'

For the first time in thirty years, the Labour Party is electing a new leader without knowing in advance who it is likely to be. There are other parallels with 1980: Labour has recently been evicted from office, and its successors are turning out to be radical remakers of the state. – The Economist.

“I went into a briefing on a white paper for children [as chairman of the council’s children’s services scrutiny panel]. There was nothing in there for the children of the borough or anywhere else in the country. They are going to put the weakest to the wall. That was the last straw” – Barnsley councillor Lynne Brook on defecting from the Lib Dems to Labour BBC News.

With delegates heading to Liverpool for the annual conference of the Liberal Democrats, the challenge for Nick Clegg is to keep his party behind him as the government begins to flesh out what will be cut from its budget. His party is tanking in the polls and the mood among rank and file may not have been lifted by an interview he gave defending cuts to welfare. – The Guardian.

‘I’m winning support from MPs, members, unions and people outside the party, so I think all claims should be taken with a large pinch of salt. It’s my ideas for the future that have put me in the lead in this contest. I have been a candidate standing for what I am for in the future and not what I am against in the past. – David Miliband, Metro.

Admit it, Clegg, you’re in love. You rise each morning with that ache of uncertainty in your breast. You choose that tie, that suit, those shoes with him in mind. You scurry early to the office, practising the phrase that will please him, the gesture he will notice. When you first see him in the corridor … you can’t help it. The knees go. He is adorable. – Simon Jenkins on Nick Clegg’s leadership love The Guardian.

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They won’t even give you the time of day now so what hope for the future?

14/09/2010, 11:45:02 AM

As elections go, the Labour leadership contest might go down as one of the dullest ever. If ‘none of the above’ had occupied a slot on the ballot papers, I am sure it would have romped home.

As the two front runners are both related, we have even been robbed of the fun of a bit of viciousness and proper negative campaigning.

All polls point to the Milibands being way ahead of the rest, which has castrated the battle and is making the scramble for second preferences the only lively aspect of the race.

David’s campaign are so desperate they are now relying on the ‘Tories fear him’ argument, and Ed seems to be saying anything to anyone to get a vote, which is never a good sign for a future leader. Let’s see which way he jumps when the inevitable strikes come along.

The entire list of candidates lacks the depth of the party. Call me an inverted snob, because I am, but the fact that all the leadership contenders are Oxbridge educated is a bloody tragedy for Labour.


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Tuesday News Review

14/09/2010, 07:00:51 AM

'Visibly tense'

The Final Countdown

The leadership candidates now have one last televised hustings on Question Time this Thursday to put their case to become Labour leader to members. I hope they all take this final opportunity to proudly defend our record and put forward a more positive agenda that builds on our achievements not trashes them. – Prescott blog, The Guardian.

David Miliband was visibly tense, his brother Ed seemed a bit subdued, Ed Balls was witty and relaxed (yes, really!), Andy Burnham rather tetchy and Diane Abbott… Well, she was just Diane.  – Sky Blog, Sky News.

“For many Labour people this hasn’t been an easy election to call. All of the candidates are of the centre left, they are all Labour. That isn’t the issue here. The big question is who are the Tories afraid of? Who is the best candidate to stand up against Cameron at the despatch box? Who has the best chance to beat Cameron in an election? For me the best choice is David Miliband and that is why I will be supporting him as next Labour leader.” – Lancaster Guardian.

Diane on women

“One way of illustrating this is to examine the Budget’s impact on women and families. The figures are frightening. The bulk of the impact will be felt by women. Some 72 per cent of the cuts will be met from women’s income, as opposed to 28 per cent from men.” – Diane Abbott, Morning Star.

Burnham on Blair

“Tony Blair was right to position Labour as pro-business, pro-job creation and pro-wealth creation,” [Burnham] says. But he says the party attached itself too much to big companies and sold its soul. “In wanting to appear pro-business we lost our sense of ourselves,” he says. –  FT.

Labour’s visionary leader

Labour’s challenge is to find a visionary leader who adapts the party in the light of profound socioeconomic change, to ensure social justice while maintaining Britain’s competitive advantage. In the case of all five candidates, their previous experience of government or lack of it will count for little. – Anthony Seldon, The Guardian.

From the outside…

Plenty of Lib Dems are watching the current Labour leadership race, hoping that someone congenial like David Miliband carries the day, so that they can forge a nice, progressive Lib-Lab coalition at the next election. – The Economist.


Cuba has announced radical plans to lay off huge numbers of state employees, to help revive the communist country’s struggling economy. The Cuban labour federation said more than a million workers would lose their jobs – half of them by March next year. – BBC News.

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Saturday News Review

11/09/2010, 07:00:56 AM


Mr Miliband’s brother Ed, seen as his closest challenger, is more likely to move the party away from New Labour and has been nicknamed “Red Ed” by opponents. He said: “I’m trying to persuade the Labour Party not to lose three or four elections before it bounces back.” – Telegraph.

First and fundamentally any renewal of Labour as a party of real power must be predicated on the alignment of socialism and democracy. Socialism, which all five leadership candidates have confessed an adherence to, can only be the collective capacity to change our world. For that we need a set of moral and practical rules; this is what democracy is and should be applied not just to Westminster but the state, our communities and workplaces. – Neal Lawson, Guardian

On 25 September, the next leader of the Labour Party will be announced. This is the person Labour believes should hold the keys to Britain’s nuclear arsenal. Yet, despite one of the longest leadership campaigns in memory, there has been no detailed debate about the role and scale of Trident, Britain’s continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent. – New Statesman

On the campaign trail

“What the coalition doesn’t seem to understand is that when they make cuts to things like building schools for the future, it isn’t just bad for our children’s education, it’s bad for private sector jobs. It’s the cavalier way they are going about these cuts which is going to be damaging to the region. What we need to be doing is showing that there’s an alternative.” – Ed Miliband, This is Exeter.

Hacking claims

“A very senior News International journalist told me at the Labour party conference in 2006, in the early hours of the morning, that his editor would never forgive me for resigning as a minister in Tony Blair’s government and that she would pursue me for the rest of my political career until I was destroyed.” – Tom Watson, The Guardian.

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Wednesday News Review

08/09/2010, 07:01:11 AM

"Mmm, pass that guacamole stuff"

David Milibut

Miliband is only just recovering from the media derision that greeted his advice to Labour activists on how to organise a house meeting to support his campaign. He urged supporters to vacuum the house, buy some nibbles and turn on the oven. But it turns out that when it comes to his own culinary tastes, he’d rather save himself the bother. Questioned by the Evening Standard newspaper, he not only extolled the virtues of a “fantastic takeaway from Masala Zone in Camden”, but also listed “The Laughing Halibut fish and chip shop on Strutton Ground just off Victoria St” as one of his “favourite London discoveries”. – Channel 4.

Phone taps

Labour stepped up the pressure on the police when Harriet Harman, the party’s acting leader, wrote to the Met commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, asking him to inform any serving or former Labour MPs whose PIN numbers had been obtained. – The Guardian.


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Dan Hodges backs a Blairite for the leadership

02/09/2010, 10:00:10 AM

And so it ends. By this week-end, three quarters of the votes in the 2010 Labour leadership election will have been cast. The contest will effectively be over.

We’ve learnt a lot. That a lengthy campaign, far from creating a platform for intensive debate, only deadens it.  That a large field of candidates, rather than introducing diversity, allows only a superficial assessment of their merits, (The ‘Newsnight’ hustings would have shamed a secondary school debating class). Most crucially, we know that the last thing a political party should do after being dumped out of office is launch straight into electing itself a new leader.

Over the past months we have been assailed by a conformity of originality. Diane Abbott  promised the “turn the page election from the turn the page candidate”. Ed Balls was building a “consensus for change”.  Andy Burnham pledged to move the party beyond a “London-centric elite”.


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Tuesday News Review

31/08/2010, 07:00:24 AM

Ed hits back

Ed Mil hits back

Labour leadership candidate Ed Miliband has hit back at veiled criticism from Lord Mandelson, insisting the party needed to change. Mr Miliband’s comments came after Lord Mandelson said Labour could be left in an “electoral cul-de-sac” if its next leader tried to create a “pre-New Labour party”. Lord Mandelson appeared to be referring to Mr Miliband in particular, in what is being seen as a personal attack. Mr Miliband said Labour must “move on”. – BBC News.

Positive press in the back yard

More than 1,000 councillors provided the Shadow Foreign Secretary with a huge boost at a crucial moment ahead of the ballot drop next week. Support comes from all corners of Britain as the father-of-two goes head-to- head with his brother Ed, Andy Burnham, Ed Balls and Diane Abbott. – Shields Gazette.

Blair: book trouble

Blair’s book

High-profile book launches are meant to be a bit of a circus. But it is hard to find a parallel for the mixture of hype and hatred that will attend the publication of Tony Blair’s memoirs on Wednesday. – Financial Times.

Burnham takes Lib Dem pulse

“You hold the key to the future of our NHS. People who voted for you at the election did not vote for such a radical break-up plan. I urge you to listen to them and stand up for our NHS in the face of this attack, which threatens to unpick its very fabric.” – Andy Burnham to Lib Dems, The Guardian.


Jon’s brand of socialism is based on moral foundations – don’t forget he’s a Catholic. When asked why he was backing David he reeled off a list areas on which they agree: “responsibility, family, duty, the importance of community.” I say this with no special knowledge or insight and I stand ready for an angry phone call rebutting the suggestion but it struck me that the fact David is married and Ed Miliband isn’t could also have been a (small) contributing factor in winning the Cruddas vote. – Jason Beattie, The Mirror.

Mullin’s diaries

‘When it’s all over, the big question will be how Gordon ever got there in the first place.’ – unnamed cabinet minister in Chris Mullin’s Decline and Fall, The Independent.

Abbott: Facebook slur

Abbott slur

A tory high-flyer has been forced to quit after writing a vile, expletivefilled rant about Labour MP Diane Abbott on his Facebook page…After the Sunday Mirror contacted the Party, Hallam’s details were removed and he quit his post. Last night he apologised, saying: “It was inappropriate.” –  The Mirror.

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