James Forsyth

Ed Miliband needs to make some noise

Ed Miliband needs to make some noise
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Today’s press will not have made happy reading for Ed Miliband and his supporters. Alan Johnson’s comments to The Times about the need to change the way Labour elects its leader has revived the debate about the legitimacy of Ed Miliband’s victory. Meanwhile in the New Statesman there’s a piece setting out the internal tensions within the party.

Intriguingly, Lisa Tremble, who was David Miliband’s press chief during his leadership campaign, has put what could be considered a rather provocative quote on the record. She tells the magazine, ‘David’s rediscovered his excitement in politics…He’s looking forward to the new challenges. He’s not going anywhere.’

As I say in the new issue of The Spectator (subscribers click here; or you can subscribe now direct or for just £1 an issue), Ed Miliband’s problem is that it is very hard for Labour to get noticed at the moment. Whenever anything is announced, what the press wants to know is, are both sides of the coalition happy with it. What Labour thinks of it is regarded as a second order issue. 

I think Ed Miliband needs to do two things to try and address this problem. On a substantive level, he needs to set out what Labour stands for when there’s no money left. Presentationally, he needs to introduce himself to the country. We need to find out about Miliband the man. If the country feels a connection with him, it is more likely to be interested in what he has to say.