Thursday News Review

Mili-sagaThe battle of the Miliband brothers exploded yesterday – when David claimed Ed risked being a “heroic failure” if he won the Labour leadership. Ed privately told union bosses at the TUC he thought he had it sewn up but David said his younger sibling could repeat Michael Foot’s mistakes in 1983’s election disaster. He warned: “We cannot allow ourselves to become heroic failures again.” But Ed, lifted by a poll putting him two points up, told the BBC: “I am increasingly confident.” They will appear on Question Time tonight with rivals Andy Burnham, Ed Balls and Diane Abbott. – The Mirror

David Miliband has won the support of more of Labour’s new generation of MPs than his younger brother, Ed. Allies of the shadow Foreign Secretary trumpeted his lead as they sought to fight his brother’s claims that he has the momentum in Labour’s leadership election. Of the 64 Labour MPs elected for the first time in May, 29 have now declared their support for David, and 25 for Ed. In a statement, those backing David made a coded criticism of Ed, who has been accused of telling Labour members what they want to hear during the campaign. They said: “We think that David has best understood how we must regain the trust of those who have turned away from us. That not only must we re-energise our supporters and shape a new movement together, we must also reach out to the whole country and never be satisfied with simply talking to ourselves.” – The Independent

The shadow energy secretary made the boast as bookmakers cut the odds on him pipping his brother David at the finish line in what now appears to be a two horse race. With just over a week to go until the winner is announced on the eve of Labour Party conference, Mr Miliband said that he was “increasingly confident” of snatching the crown from his older sibling. He suggested that he could become prime minister even before the May 2015 date set by David Cameron for the next general election, speculating that he could force the Coalition Government out in a parliamentary vote of no confidence. – The TelegraphHead & heartMr Balls, in a thinly veiled reference to the two favourites, said: ‘You do get a feeling in the hustings that people think, “My head says one candidate would be good but my heart says does he have the right policies?” ‘And there’s another candidate that the heart says he has the right values but has he got the experience? ‘I try to combine both those things.’ He said he was ‘the candidate with the broadest set of attributes you need in modern leadership’, adding: ‘I can combine more of those head and heart, thorough and radical, characteristics.’ However, Mr Balls admitted his links to the former prime minister were holding back his campaign. – The MetroStop courting the mediaLabour leader candidate Ed Balls has said the party must end its obsession with courting favourable media coverage among right-leaning newspapers. He told the BBC the practice had left Labour supporters confused and played a part in the party’s election defeat. Mr Balls said in future Labour had to present a clear and distinctive agenda. Labour should argue for extra funding for schools, hospitals and housing, and a lowering of the threshold for the top rate of tax to £100,000, he added. – BBC

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