Labour leader Ed Miliband has come under fire today from some of the leading figures in his party, including the former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott who has described the Labour Party’s approach as “too timid” in the run up to the next general election.
But while Mr Prescott’s intervention may have been aimed at being constructive, the comments, on the same day a number of other Labour grandees have spoken out, will look more like an attack on Mr Miliband’s leadership than anything else.
Mr Prescott wrote in the Sunday Mirror: “…Ed seems to be pursuing a core vote strategy of getting 31 per cent of traditional Labour supporters with a few ex-Lib Dem voters.
“He might as well have said at the end of his conference speech: ‘Go back to your constituencies and prepare for coalition.'”
“Ed might not like looking back, but he can learn a lot from our 1997 campaign and our pledge card.
“Five polices on health, crime, jobs, education and tax that were costed, deliverable and drilled into voters on every doorstep. And at the next election we proved we delivered them.
“So come on Ed. Ditch the pollsters, the focus groups and US-style politics. Be bold, be brave and let’s go all out for the win.”
The last line was obviously a dig at Labour’s new strategy advisor David Axelrod, who once led the Obama campaign.
The Guardian reports that two leading Labour donors have also added their criticisms to the mix today.
Lord Noon, who made his millions on Indian ready meals, told the Sunday Times that Labour “really need to buck up”. He called the party’s mansion tax plans “hopeless and desperate”.
Furthermore, Lord Levy criticised Labour’s tax proposal: “I think that is a policy that is totally inappropriate and I see no validity in that policy whatsoever.
“Do I believe that the party needs to be more close and friendly to business? Yes, I do.”
Mr Prescott also sniped at Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, claiming that he was refusing any policy ideas that had any sort of cost implications.
The news comes soon after a YouGov poll from the week shows the Conservative Party overtaking Labour. The survey showed that 35 percent of Britons back the Conservative Party now, while 34 percent are backing Labour. This is the Tories’ first poll lead in over two years.