Ed Miliband hits back at his brother - again

Ed Miliband: 'The past can be a powerful anchor.'
Ed Miliband: 'The past can be a powerful anchor.'

By Ian Dunt

Ed Miliband has hit back at his brother following a week which has seen David Miliband issues a thinly-veiled attack on the "naivety" of his younger sibling.

The shadow energy secretary launched an immediate riposte to that speech when it was widely trailed on Wednesday, but he quickly tabled today's event as an opportunity to counter some of the accusations coming his way from the elder Miliband's camp.

The shadow foreign secretary warned Labour members that no election could be won by drifting to the left.


Today, his brother argued that unless Labour changes it will be unable to recover from its election defeat.

"We must have the courage to change, the confidence to know that our values, when applied to the challenges of Britain in the modern world, can reconnect with those who have turned their backs on New Labour," he said.

"I am not just seeking your votes. I am seeking a mandate to change - to refound our party in ways which will reach out to those who have lost trust in us.

"Whenever a political party has become stuck in its ways there are always those who will fight to stay with what they know. The past can be a powerful anchor. Labour now faces a big, defining choice: whether to linger in the comfort zone of New Labour or whether to change, reach out to those who have lost trust in our party. Only change can win."

Speaking to the Mirror earlier Ed Miliband struck an angrier tone, insisting that without classic left-wing narratives politicians could not easily answer the complaints of voters on the doorstep.

"The real issue on immigration was people saying to me on the doorstep, 'I'm worried about wages - my wages are being driven down because we have people coming into this country and competing for my job'," he said.

"Why couldn't New Labour handle that? They couldn't handle that because we weren't willing to talk about class, we weren't willing to say immigration was a class issue. We weren't willing to say flexible labour markets are not always the answer because one person's flexible labour market is another person's lower wages."

Ed and David Miliband are widely considered the leading candidates in the race, but Andy Burnham, Diane Abbott and Ed Balls are trying to boost their momentum as the contest enters its final month.

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