Matthew Dancona

The idea of a Sheerman-Miliband plot is rubbish

The idea of a Sheerman-Miliband plot is rubbish
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The smears begin: Number Ten is briefing that Barry Sheerman’s calls for a secret ballot on the Labour leadership are part of an elaborate Miliband-ite plot – the “how-they-are-connected” reasoning being that the MP for Huddersfield and chairman of the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee, is also the father of one of David Miliband’s advisers, Madlin Sadler. The clear objective is to get Mr Sheerman, who has been an MP for 30 years, deselected.

Rumour control: I remember Mr Sheerman from the days when I wrote about education and the idea that he would do something so significant and so alien to his loyalist instincts simply at his daughter’s bidding is politically illiterate. I also know Ms Sadler and it is hilarious to suggest that she would do something so crass and politically plodding as to put her father up to his act of rebellion, in order somehow to advance the (presently non-existent) Miliband campaign.

Fact is, Gordon, Mr Sheerman did what he did because he thinks you are a liability to your party and, much more importantly, the country. I thought Number Ten was meant to have put the smear techniques behind it after the Mcbride Affair. As if.