David Blackburn

Miliband’s colossal misjudgement

Miliband’s colossal misjudgement
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The question at the bottom of this shoddy leaflet must surely join John Rentoul’s famous list. Who on earth will stand by the egregious Phil Woolas now?

As with the Tower Hamlets debacle, Ed Miliband is taking eons to make a straight forward statement: the Labour leadership condemns the actions of Phil Woolas and hopes that he will not be selected to stand again. George Eaton gives a reason for Miliband’s reticence: in a colossal error of judgement, Miliband selected Woolas as a shadow Home Office minister, reward no doubt for his deft expertise in race relations.

The Oldham East by-election is a test for the coalition, but it is also the first major test of Miliband’s leadership qualities and his ability to fire-fight. Dithering in embarrassment like his mentor Gordon Brown, Miliband has made an atrocious start.

UPDATE: Channel Four's Alex Thompson tweets that Woolas has been banned for three years from being an MP.

UPDATE 2: This gets more lurid by the minute: Woolas is seeking a judicial review. There was a Halcyon time when political scandals were about either cottaging or call girls.

UPDATE 3: Woolas has been suspended from the Labour party, five hours after the judgement was handed down.