Labour bid to regroup after turmoil

Published: Monday 10th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Labour’s leadership will seek to refocus the party today as its MPs meet in the wake of days of intense speculation over Ed Miliband’s future.

The Opposition leader is to make a speech to business leaders setting out the dividing lines between Labour and the Conservatives over the European Union as he vies to regain the political agenda.

MPs, meanwhile, will gather for their regular meeting in the House of Commons to discuss party matters amid deep unrest within the ranks and claims that 20 shadow ministers are poised to call on Mr Miliband to quit.

Mr Miliband is not due to address the Parliamentary Labour Party despite the wave of criticism that has thrown his leadership into question.

Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint admitted some colleagues were having “jitters” ahead of the general election.

Lucy Powell, who Mr Miliband made vice-chairman of the general election campaign in the reshuffle earlier this week, told plotters to “show us your colours” but admitted the briefings were raising concerns in the minds of voters.

“When you have continuing anonymous stories being floated around that somehow Ed has lost the confidence of his MPs and so on, that obviously feeds a wider concern in the public about whether he’s got the leadership qualities to lead his own party, let alone the country,” she told Pienaar’s politics on BBC radio 5live.

Former Labour leader Lord Kinnock admitted the headlines about Mr Miliband are “serious”, but dismissed the “so-called threat” to his leadership as unsubstantial because it has come from anonymous sources.

He told BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend: “He’s not in danger from the Labour Party or anybody in the Labour Party because whilst today’s headlines are serious obviously, it wouldn’t be on the front page of every newspaper otherwise, the so-called threat, and I emphasise so-called, is certainly not substantial.

“Not only because all of the sources so-called of the threat are common in their anonymity and cowardice and as far as I can see their tendency towards political suicide, but because there is no real substance in what they are saying and the claims that they are making in so far as you can identify them are totally unjustifiable.”

Gordon Brown’s former spin doctor Damian McBride said the “Miliband camp would fold very quickly” if a credible candidate came forward.

Former Labour MP Andrew MacKinlay, who has previously called for Mr Miliband to quit, said he believed a “posse” would approach the Labour leader and ask him to fall on his sword.

Published: Monday 10th November 2014 by The News Editor

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