Labour’s summer fightback has so far consisted of poor Chris Leslie giving an off camera briefing and Chuka going on LBC. Where is everybody? As questions about Miliband’s direction grow, his shadow cabinet are nowhere to be seen. Yvette Cooper is lying low, as is Liam Byrne and Douglas Alexander. Once again Ed Balls has gone missing – he has not been seen properly in weeks. He’s allies are not so quiet though…
General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union Billy Hayes has popped up to call for a rethink on Miliband’s plan to introduce union opt-in:
“We will not dress up as a good thing the battering of the union link, nor the reduction in Party control via open primaries. By insisting upon examining the practical problems of opt-in and primaries, perhaps a re-think can be prompted. That is essential if, in future, the Party is to avoid bankruptcy or becoming a state-funded liberal party.”
Given how close Hayes is to Balls, the intervention is certainly well timed. The CWU all but ran his leadership campaign as well as endorsing it. As one Labour source put it to Guido, Hayes “doesn’t fart without Ed Balls’ permission.” What does his old chum have to say?