Peter Hoskin

Miliband is running out of attacks — but he’ll use what he’s got

It’s a strange thing, amid all venom and spite over the phone hacking scandal, how the three main parties are actually converging on the same responses. A judge-led inquiry? That’s now party policy for them all. The end of the PCC? Likewise. In his press conference earlier, Cameron even came close to saying that Rebekah Brooks should have lost her job. For once, there are trace quantities of Agreeing With Ed in the air at Westminster.

This is both a boon and a bitterness for Ed Miliband. A boon, because he can at least claim that Labour led the debate, and Cameron followed. A bitterness, because the politics of the situation were so much easier for him when there were clear divides between his party and the government. If Miliband had his way, I’m sure, Cameron would still be stalling on whether there should be a public inquiry at all. As it is, it’s becoming decreasingly easy for him to stand out.

Not that there aren’t opportunities for political attack, of course. Miliband has been all froth and bluster today over Cameron’s decision to hire Andy Coulson in the first place. But even that attack has difficulties, not least because of the heat that is now being turned on the Labour’s leader’s own pressman, the former News International journalist Tom Baldwin. You know, the Tom Baldwin that Lord Ashcroft has made some rather salient points about. The Tom Baldwin that Adam Boulton dragged up in an interview with Miliband earlier.

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