James Forsyth

A morning of Mandelson and Miliband

A morning of Mandelson and Miliband
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The Telegraph’s interview with Peter Mandelson and The Guardian’s with David Miliband are setting the news agenda this morning. Mandelson tells the Telegraph that he expects there will be another attempt to topple Brown from a “small group who keep coming back”. While Miliband admits he considered resigning on Thursday night.

Both push the message that the economy might come out of recession far sooner than anyone expected. Clearly this is what Labour strategists believes might rebuild the party’s reputation. But it is hard to see how they can brag about their economic record ithout seeming out of touch with a population who are still worried about rising unemployment. Aside from this line on the economy, there is little domestic policy message in either interview.

The Guardian reports that Miliband now considers himself “virtually unsackable” which gives him considerable freedom. It’ll be interesting to see if he uses this freedom to begin setting out his own domestic policy agenda which would, obviously, position him for any future leadership bid. If he did it effectively, admittedly a big if, it would also show those Labour MPs disatisfied with Brown that there is an alternative, The group that comes back to have another go at removing Brown might well be bigger than Mandelson is expecting or the one we saw last week.

PS Peter Mandelson says that he spends 80 percent of his time doing his departmental job and 20 percent doing a "a bit of strategy and communications". Considering the hours he has put into saving Brown over the past weeks, Mandelson must be grateful for Britain’s opt-out from the EU’s working time directive.  

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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