Labour Party leader Ed Miliband faced a series of humiliating attacks yesterday after members of his own party criticised his election strategy. Some critics also called him “weird” and suggested that his personality could alienate him from voters.
The Daily Express reports that one party insider told them: “The narrative around Ed Miliband, because it’s the truth, is that he looks weird, sounds weird, is weird.”
Backbench Labour MP John Mann also said that lack of progress in Thursday’s local elections was “the fault of Ed Miliband and all the people at the top of the Labour Party.”
Another Labour MP, Graham Stringer, referred to a disastrous interview the Labour party leader had done with a local radio station where he failed to say how much a loaf of bread costs.
“The centrepiece of our campaign has been the cost of living, and yet Ed didn’t know how much he was spending on shopping. We should know the price of milk and bread. That is unforgivably unprofessional,” he said.
The attacks came after Labour did not do as well as it was hoping in Thursday’s local elections. Although the party made a net gain of 250 council seats in England, many believe this is nowhere near enough to suggest the party is on course to win a House of Commons majority at next year’s General Election.
Ed Balls, the party’s economics spokesman, conceded that Labour’s performance was “not good enough yet”.
“We have got more to do if we are really going to win the argument,” he added.
Although the party did well in London, taking control of four new borough councils, its performance was more mixed in the rest of the country. Although it held on in Birmingham, it failed to take control of the key marginal council of Swindon, and also lost seats across northern England to the UK Independence Party.
The party’s share of the vote was also down on the 2012 local elections. Professor John Curtice told the Express: “Most seats up for grabs were last fought on the same day as the 2010 general election. If you compare Labour’s performance with 2010, the advance is just three percentage points.”