by Paul Goodman
The fallout in the Labour Party from the Scottish and local election results continues. Yesterday, Ivan Lewis put the boot in. According to the Financial Times (£) –
"Ed Miliband has been warned by one of his senior frontbenchers that Labour is still seen as the “party of the north” and is struggling to regain its toehold in the prosperous south of the country.
Mr Lewis said in a speech that the public had “stuck with the Tories” despite deep cuts and tax rises, a situation which – “if sustained” – would mean general election defeat for Labour.
The party was still seen as being for “the poor, benefit claimants, immigrants and minority groups”, Mr Lewis said, in what will be seen as a plea for a more Blairite agenda."
The Guardian, however, leads on a line that didn't get delivered in the speech rather than one that did –
"A member of the shadow cabinet was forced last night to amend a speech in which he planned to warn that some voters believe the party is spendthrift.
The shadow culture secretary, Ivan Lewis, made the changes after an early draft of his speech, which appeared in the London Evening Standard, was seized on by the Tory chair, Lady Warsi.
The newspaper said Lewis planned to tell the Blairite Progress group that some voters regarded Labour as a "party which overspent without delivering sufficient value for money". The remarks were removed by the time Lewis delivered his speech in Westminster last night.