By Joseph Willits
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Over the past week, Ed Miliband has come under criticism from various figures in the Labour party – including from mentor and architect of 'Blue Labour', Lord Glasman, and other Labour MPs. Adding to this list today, both Alan Johnson and Alistair Darling have expressed their concerns.
In Saturday's Guardian interview, a calm Ed Miliband appeared defiant towards his critics:
"You discover things about yourself in this job, which is that I am someone of real steel and grit, which is why I stood for the job in the first place when many people said I should not."
- In today's Daily Mirror, former Home Secretary Alan Johnson said that for Labour to be electable it must shed its "debating society" approach, and state how it would cut the deficit. The party cannot use small opinion poll leads to "hide the fact the public remains suspicious about Labour".
- Former Chancellor Alistair Darling said that Labour had "to restore [its] reputation for economic credibility", and offer a “credible and compelling” economic position.
- Downing Street's Deputy Chief of Staff from 2007-10, Gavin Kelly called for a "bigger and blunter" debate on public spending and for the party to unlearn old political models.
- Writing in the New Statesman last week, Lord Glasman accused Miliband's leadership of having "no strategy, no narrative and little energy", with the Labour party leader himself having "flickered rather than shone, nudged not led".
- Over the handling of Diane Abbott's controversial tweet, Labour MP Graham Stringer said: "I don’t think on issues such as race we should look as hypocritical or as incompetent as Liverpool FC has done in the Luis Suarez case. Ed has got to get a grip and turn it around before the May elections".
- Miliband could still be a success as Labour leader, suggested Meg Munn MP with more clarity in Labour policy. Munn also added: "Whether he will be is another matter".
- Echoing comments made by Lord Glasman, Roger Godsiff MP also called for "fresh thinking" in the Labour party, and "to break with the old order economically".
Various Labour commentators have also been critical of Miliband's leadership:
- "Cameron and the Conservatives, for their many faults, understand how politics works. And Labour doesn’t", writes Dan Hodges in the Telegraph, after Miliband is "pick-pocketed" on the issue of executive pay. This will ensure a "resounding defeat" for Labour.
- In another Telegraph blog, Hogdes states that Miliband is "lost", and that his "new strategy is to stop pretending he has a strategy". After Lord Glasman's comments, Hodges had also previously written about Miliband's "troubling Guru fixation". This would be fine, says Hodges, if it were not for the fact that "Ed’s gurus are accident prone".
- Mehdi Hasan wrote that Miliband and Balls were "living in a fantasy world" if they "now truly believe Labour can win the economic argument with a "we want cuts too, but not just yet and not as many".
- The Guardian's Zoe Williams said: "The problem with Ed Miliband's opposition is not that they won't admit their past mistakes but that they don't articulate properly either their mea culpas or their triumphs".
- John Rentoul, who has written previously about Yvette Cooper becoming the next Labour party leader, repeated this call in Tuesday's Independent. He writes, "Miliband may have been a necessary phase through which Labour had to pass". Cooper, Rentoul says, "would be populist on law and order, and she would certainly be noticed" and could unite various wings of the party.