Ed miliband

Whatever next?

‘Ah, Jeremy,’ remarked Tony Blair at a smart dinner party in Islington not long before he became prime minister, ‘he hasn’t made the journey.’ As it turned out, this was something of an understatement. And yet here we are, 20 years on, and the Right Honourable Jeremy Corbyn is leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition. It is as if New Labour never happened. You couldn’t make it up. How do we explain the miraculous rise of a man who, before he emerged blinking into daylight from the political shadows, had made not the merest ripple on the national consciousness? Who, despite more than 30 years in parliament, had rarely featured in

RIP ‘EdStone’: the fate of Labour’s 8ft policy cenotaph is finally revealed

There was one infamous invoice missing from the Electoral Commission’s campaign spending data yesterday — that of the EdStone. Labour claimed that the missing invoice was simply down to an ‘administrative error’ rather than a reluctance for the public to know how much money was spent on the disastrous election gaffe. Happily Bloomberg News have been on the case. They report that recently unearthed invoices show that the 8ft stone with Labour’s election promises inscribed cost just under £8,000. While that is significantly less than the £30,000 reported by newspapers at the time, it can hardly be called a bargain. The stone led to ridicule after it was unveiled in

Revealed: Labour spent £184,000 on Miliband’s debate coach

Today the Electoral Commission have released the campaign expenditure returns of the six political parties that spent £250,000 or more on campaigning in the General Election. While the Conservative’s £15,587,956 campaign bill could be argued to be money well spent given their majority win, Labour have a bit more explaining to do it when it comes to £12,087,340 they splashed on their failed campaign. So, where exactly did the money go? Almost £600 went on chicken suits, while a grand total of £223,573 went to Miliband’s hot shot US Advisor David Axelrod’s company AKP&D Message and Media. However, the bill that is of most interest to Mr S relates to Michael Sheehan. Back in

Beckett report into Labour’s loss is uncomfortable reading for all party factions

Labour’s report on its election defeat is finally out, and it says there are four reasons for its defeat: Failure to shake off the myth that we were responsible for the financial crash and therefore failure to build trust in the economy. Inability to deal with the issues of ‘connection’ and, in particular, failing to convince on benefits and immigration. Despite his surge in 2015, Ed Miliband still wasn’t judged to be as strong a leader as David Cameron. The fear of the SNP ‘propping up’ a minority Labour government. These are not surprising, and the report’s narrative verdict on how the party lost is far more interesting. It charts

Finally, some good news for the Miliband household

Last year proved to be a testing year for the Miliband clan as Ed Miliband fought to be the next Prime Minister. While his wife Justine Thornton — an environmental barrister — found out firsthand how vicious the campaign can get when Sarah Vine compared her to ‘Mr Spock’ in a column for the Daily Mail, her husband went on to suffer the ultimate blow with a catastrophic defeat at the polls. Now there is happy news for the family: Justine has been appointed Queen’s Counsel. She is one of three barristers at 39 Essex Chambers to be awarded the honour: I am absolutely delighted to be appointed Queen's Counselhttps://t.co/fELq2V81kf — Justine Thornton

What Ed Miliband got right

We’re republishing our ten most-read articles of 2015 and no8 is from Peter Oborne in defence of Ed Miliband. The Spectator has a proud tradition of running well-written features that go against the magazine’s own political sympathies and challenging conventional wisdom. In the end, Miliband lost – but on election day every opinion poll and bookmaker had him on course to win – or, at least, deny Cameron a majority. And those who think that Miliband’s manifesto was a pile of guff should ask why George Osborne has now implemented so much of it. Oborne’s piece is a wonderful example of the argument that almost prevailed. We also include his discussion with Dan Hodges. [audioplayer src=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_12_Feb_2015_v4.mp3″ title=”Peter Oborne and

Arnie Graf: Corbynmania feels like student politics, not people trying to form a government

Arnie Graf was, for a little while, the man who was supposed to rebuild the Labour party after its 2010 defeat. He was a famed community organiser from the US, brought over by Ed Miliband to have a go at revitalising is party. Graf didn’t last, but last night he spoke about his experiences with the Labour party, and what he thought of the current surge in membership under Jeremy Corbyn. This was his first brush with proper party politics, and while Graf had clearly enjoyed the work he’d done in building up the party in small local areas with community meetings, he said ‘I wouldn’t come back to it

Coffee Shots: Ed Miliband’s train clash with Ukip

Since Ed Miliband stepped down as the leader of the Labour party, the Labour MP for Doncaster North has vowed to keep a low profile as a hard-working backbencher. So Mr S suspects that the former Labour leader was disappointed to discover that half of the lobby have joined him this morning on his train journey to his constituency. Several political journalists travelling up to Doncaster for the Ukip conference have reported that Miliband is also on the train: https://twitter.com/jimwaterson/status/647310773430157312 However, it’s not all bad news for the backbencher, who was snapped buying breakfast ahead of the journey, with staff in Pret a Manger claiming they once voted for him: Ed Miliband

Corbyn’s salvation

On religion, Jeremy Corbyn is interestingly moderate, circumspect — not the angry atheist you might expect. In a recent interview with the Christian magazine Third Way, he said his upbringing was quite religious: his mother was a ‘Bible-reading agnostic’ and his father a believer, and he went to a Christian school. ‘At what point did you decide that it wasn’t for you?’ he was asked. He replied very carefully, even challenging the premise of the question: ‘I’m not anti-religious at all. Not at all… I find religion very interesting. I find the power of faith very interesting. I have friends who are very strongly atheist and wouldn’t have anything to

Labour’s lost thinker

Shortly before the last election a group of Labour MPs approached Ed Miliband to ask him what he would do if he lost. They suggested he could provide stability by staying on as leader for a while, as Michael Howard had done, and that his last duty should be to oversee an inquiry into what went wrong at the general election. Miliband, still convinced he would win, did not entertain the idea, to the dismay of his policy chief, Jon Cruddas. After the election, Cruddas decided to go ahead and do an inquiry anyway. The results will infuriate the Labour left. The inquiry found that Labour’s anti-austerity message put voters

Corbyn’s new kind of politics is going to lead to confusion

Jeremy Corbyn wants to forge a new kind of politics, answering public discontent with the way things are done in Westminster. One of the things that voters often say they don’t like about politicians is the way they appear to abandon their principles in exchange for power. The idea that power acts as a sort of fire extinguisher on principles has been debated rather exhaustively through the leadership election. But Corbyn won that contest in part because people admired his ability to stick to his principles even when that appeared inconvenient. As an obscure backbencher being principled to the point of unpopularity was easy. Corbyn is discovering this week that,

Theo Hobson

Will Jeremy Corbyn boost his left-wing idealism with a religious message?

One major defect of Jeremy Corbyn has not yet been discussed. He’s not a religious believer. Why is this a defect?  Because these days left-wing idealism is hugely boosted by an alliance with religion. Only so can it widen its appeal beyond a chippy clique. Maybe he’s half-aware of this. In a recent interview with the Christian magazine Third Way, he said that his upbringing was quite religious, and that he retains some sympathy with faith: ‘I’m not anti-religious at all. Not at all… I find religion very interesting. I find the power of faith very interesting. I have friends who are very strongly atheist and wouldn’t have anything to do

Labour’s campaign genius (finally) meets Jeremy Corbyn

Ahead of the Labour leadership results, Lucy Powell engaged in some gentle bitching online about Jeremy Corbyn’s lack of social interaction with her. Ed Miliband’s former deputy campaign chief told Miliband’s former political secretary Anna Yearley that she had never, ever met the man of the moment. @AnnaYearley I have never, ever met or spoken to him. At PLP, in Chamber, in voting lobbies, tea rooms, library, anywhere … — Lucy Powell MP (@LucyMPowell) August 18, 2015 This led Ukip’s Douglas Carswell to offer to make an introduction. Happily this gesture won’t be needed as the times are a’changin. Seemingly willing to overlook this slight, the newly-elected Corbyn has appointed

All hail Lord Livermore, king of Labour campaigning

It’s fair to say that the appointment of Ed Miliband’s ex-campaign director Spencer Livermore to the House of Lords hasn’t gone down well in Labour circles. Harriet Harman was said to be in a battle to get a similar honour for her own press chief Ayesha Hazarika if Livermore got one, but her name was absent from yesterday’s Dissolution Peerages. Now word reaches Steerpike that party members are questioning what exactly Livermore — who also worked on Gordon Brown’s election-that-never-was back in 2007 — is being rewarded for. While Mr S is yet to learn the answer, it is fair to rule out his election judgment. On polling day, Livermore wrote a

Coffee Shots: Ed Miliband does a ‘Jeremy Corbyn’

This summer a new craze has taken hold of several politicians. Inspired by the frenzy Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘world weary sea dog’ beard has caused amongst women, both Ed Vaizey and David Gauke grew their facial hair in the style of the Labour leadership favourite. Now it appears Ed Miliband may have jumped on the bandwagon. The former Labour leader has been snapped sporting some serious bristle which bears a striking similarity to the facial hair sported by Labour’s new man of the moment. Thanks @GrainneMaguire for a photo of Ed Miliband avec beard. So authentic.* (*Keep away from bacon sandwiches tho.) pic.twitter.com/43hKklfbzd — Kerron Cross (@KerronCross) August 20, 2015 With Corbynmania currently

Russell Brand comes to Jeremy Corbyn’s defence

Jeremy Corbyn has been having a difficult time of late. The Labour leadership favourite has become increasingly tetchy with the media after facing questions about his links to a Holocaust denier, as well as being the subject of criticism from a host of former Labour bigwigs. However, there is one man who he can rely on to fight his corner; step forward Russell Brand. Although Ed Miliband had to pay a late night visit to the comedian-turned-revolutionary’s £2 million apartment in order to win his endorsement during the general election, Brand has come out for Corbyn all on his own accord. Joining a long list of celebrity Corbynistas — who so far include Charlotte

Ed Miliband won’t say anything until after the Labour leadership contest is over

Why is Ed Miliband not intervening to stop Jeremy Corbyn? Some Labourites see the former leader’s silence on the issue as a dereliction of duty, and hope to increase the pressure on him to say something about the importance of not lurching further left. But sources have told Coffee House that he plans to say nothing at all until 12 September, when the new leader is announced. His spokesman says: ‘His view is that the precedent was set by Neil Kinnock and Gordon Brown. He thinks it is right that the debate about the new leaders should not involve the outgoing leaders. It is right that the candidates speak for

Labour’s losing instinct

It appeared the ultimate summer ‘silly season’ story: that Labour would choose an unrepentant, self-consciously unspun bearded leftie as its leader. But, as ballot papers for the leadership election are dispatched, the story is threatening to close with a nightmare final chapter for the party. This week the pollsters YouGov had Corbyn 20 points ahead of Andy Burnham, his closest rival, and in a position to win the contest in its first round. Labour thus faces the prospect of a defeat in 2020 that could make Margaret Thatcher’s 1983 landslide look small-scale. But while Corbyn’s rise may not have been predicted, it was eminently predictable. Labour has consistent form when

Lynton Crosby offers Nigel Farage some career advice

In an interview with Sky News Australia, David Cameron’s former election strategist Lynton Crosby has today offered his thoughts on the Prime Minister’s rivals. Unsurprisingly, his conclusions are hardly flattering. However, the man who has taken the brunt of Crosby’s ire is Nigel Farage. Crosby claims that Ukip does not have ‘a long-term future’. Furthermore, instead of trying to win a Westminster seat again, Farage would be better advised to look for chat show work in Australia: ‘They are very reliant on the performance of their leader Nigel Farage and even he couldn’t win a seat. Sixth or seventh time he’s tried to win a Westminster seat. I think he might be

Milifandom founder backs Andy Burnham for Labour leader

Although the Milifandom wasn’t enough to lead Ed Miliband to victory at the polls, the cult movement did at least bring the former Labour leader’s lagging campaign some momentum in the final weeks of the election campaign. So perhaps it’s little surprise that the new Labour leadership hopefuls have been courting Milifandom founder Abby Tomlinson in a bid to win her endorsement ahead of the vote. After meeting with each contender, Tomlinson  has announced that she is backing Andy Burnham for leader. She says that she will give her second preference to Jeremy Corbyn — who has won the most union endorsements as well as CLP endorsements. Writing a comment piece in the