IN QUOTES: Labour MPs Line Up to Turn Fire on Miliband

The airwaves dam is beginning to crack as Labour MPs and insiders line up to slag off Ed and Labour’s strategy:

Sarah Champion: 

“Ed Miliband does come up on the doorstep and people feel a slight disconnect from him”

Tessa Jowell:

“Don’t eat a bacon butty with the world’s cameras on you, quite frankly.”

“He was not absolutely on top of the bill from the checkout… I assume Ed’s wife Justine does the shopping”

John Mann:

[To Michael Dugher]: “Michael knows full well that the Labour strategy was not to attack UKIP and that was an error . We chose not to attack UKIP and that was a bad error.”

“The people with strategy at the top, ignored them instead of taking them on, and that was disastrous, what they should have done was take on Ukip.

Ed Miliband is not broadening the appeal for me and other MPs. Some of the pointy heads at the top of the party thought that Ukip doing well was what we needed, exactly the opposite. And it’s that change of strategy which is essential.

We need to address issues, people want action and clear policies.People don’t want to be heard, they wanted to be listened to. We have to see this by conference, that coalition that Labour has had before, where people like me and my views and others are part of that broad church, and those in London running the metropolitan elite are not incorporating us.”

Graham Stringer:

“You can’t turn Ed Miliband into the personality of Nigel Farage and neither would we want to, but what you can do is make sure his presentation as a person is professional and simple mistakes are made like not knowing how much he spends on shopping when the cost of living is the central part of our campaign at the moment.”

“I would change and strengthen the campaign team around him . I don’t really understand what the position of Axelrod is. Whether he’s there as a bit of a comfort blanket and a bit of a PR exercise, or whether he’s really going to take charge of the campaign. But somebody should”

Simon Danczuk: 

“I’m not going to pretend that Ed Miliband as an issue doesn’t come up on the doorstep, of course it does.”

John Healey:

“If you don’t equip people with good analysis and strong messages, things that are tested that they can use when they confront a challenge, then they do their own thing or indeed they do nothing.”

Labour figure:

“The narrative around Ed Miliband, because it’s the truth, is that he looks weird, sounds weird, is weird.”

Senior MP:

“Challenging Ukip got lost in the froth and I’m baffled at the failure to condemn what Farage was saying. There’s no firm person who is running organisation of the campaign. People thought it was lacklustre, and the biggest responsibility for this has to go to Douglas, who is doing too many jobs.”

A shadow minister:

“There have been a number of us saying that Ukip was not taken seriously enough. We were telling them that they were in their comfort zone if they thought Ukip was only taking votes off the Tories. You might argue there’s a bit of a gap between people in HQ and people out on the street.”

Labour insider: 

“The stakes are just too high to cover this up… denial is the most dangerous thing now.”

A former aide to Miliband:

 Told HuffPo UK that the “scale of the nightmare for Labour is extraordinary”, adding: “What would we had was nothing less than a near death experience across the board, with the exception of London.”

And it’s barely lunchtime on the first day.



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Quote of the Day

Charles Clarke says Cameron is the most successful PM for over a century…

“Under Margaret Thatcher the Conservatives gained 99 seats. They lost 211 under John Major, gained one under William Hague, quickly and wisely got rid of Ian Duncan-Smith, gained 32 under Michael Howard and have so far gained 133 under David Cameron who, to the great surprise of many (including senior Conservatives), has turned out to be the most electorally successful Tory leader since 1900.”

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