Monday News Review

Hague picks on the brothers

William Hague says he will not nominate David Miliband for the post of European Union foreign minister, nor any other international job in the foreseeable future, scotching suggestions the defeated Labour leadership contender could be heading for Brussels. David Miliband may be regarded by Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, as “vibrant” and authoritative, but Mr Hague is far less smitten with the man who preceded him at the Foreign Office. “I’ve no personal quarrel with him,” Mr Hague tells the Financial Times. It is just that Mr Hague thinks that under Mr Miliband the Foreign Office was left financially stricken and marginalised in Whitehall, failed to build relations with emerging economies, and left Britain vulnerable to accusations it was complicit in torture. – The FT

NEWLY ELECTED Labour Party leader Ed Miliband faced a barrage of criticism yesterday from senior Conservative Party figures who will outline a multibillion-pound spending cuts programme later this month. They insisted Mr Miliband must produce a list of cuts that he will support if he is to build credibility with voters. The co-ordinated attacks upon Mr Miliband on the first day of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham came after early polling figures showed Labour now leading the Conservatives. Asking whether Mr Miliband would now say what he supports, foreign secretary William Hague said: “Or will he follow the unions who fixed the election for him, and Ed Balls and Gordon Brown who tutored him, in running away from the biggest problem facing the country and abandoning the centre ground of British politics?” – The Irish Times

Coulson listened to messages

Andy Coulson

Andy Coulson is alleged to have listened to hacked voicemail

The prime minister’s media adviser, Andy Coulson, personally listened to the intercepted voicemail messages of public figures when he edited theNews of the World, a senior journalist who worked alongside him has said. Coulson has always denied knowing about any illegal activity by the journalists who worked for him, but an unidentified former executive from the paper told Channel Four Dispatches that Coulson not only knew his reporters were using intercepted voicemail but was also personally involved. “Sometimes, they would say: ‘We’ve got a recording’ and Andy would say: ‘OK, bring it into my office and play it to me’ or ‘Bring me, email me a transcript of it’,” the journalist said. – The Guardian

Ed must define himself

Among those watching the Conservative conference with intense interest will be, of course, Ed Miliband. He can learn a lot from David Cameron’s style of leadership – the good and the bad. Like the rest of us, Miliband is learning a little more about the coalition’s cuts-and-localism programme; and as he does so, he is learning about Labour’s fate, too. For the Miliband-era “new generation” will be shaped by what the government does. All oppositions are. They are part of the dialectic, response and counter-response of parliamentary politics. Cameron’s enthusiasm for local and “big society” politics was a direct response to New Labour statism; now a new opposition has to start to respond to localism.

The shadow cabinet

Voting opens in Labour’s shadow cabinet elections today, with 49 MPs battling for a place in Ed Miliband’s top team. Candidates range from household names such as Alan Johnson and Ed Balls to relatively obscure backbenchers. The departure of some of Labour’s biggest beasts, including Lord Mandelson, Alistair Darling and Jack Straw, has left opportunities for fresh faces. But with just 19 spaces available, the majority of applicants will end up disappointed. – Irish Examiner

Ex-Cabinet minister Andy Burnham is tipped to become Shadow Home Secretary as competition hots up for places on Ed Miliband’s top team.Labour leadership challenger and ex-Home Office minister Mr Burnham is the favourite for the job, which would see him battle it out in the Commons with Tory Home Secretary Theresa May. One official said: “Andy Burnham would be perfect for the Home Office. He knows the ground after working there as a junior minister.” – The Mirror

Tower Hamlets fraught mayoral contest

The fraught Tower Hamlets mayoral contest will step up a gear this week. Labour held a rally on Saturday to formally launch Helal Abbas‘s campaign. I’ll be rounding up recent developments later this morning and, following my recent piece with the Conservatives’s Neil King, hope to have at least one further interview with candidates in the bag before the end of the week. Alan Duffell for the Greens, the Lib Dems’s John Griffiths and Independent Lutfur Rahman have so far said they’d like to talk. On Wednesday evening all five candidates will appear at a hustings organised by Telco, which is the East London branch of London Citizens. It won’t be dull. I’ll be there. – The Guardian

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply