By Tim Montgomerie
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John Prescott took to Twitter yesterday to question whether David Miliband (last week) and Yvette Cooper (this week) should be writing for Rupert Murdoch's Sun on Sunday.
Perhaps the Labour grown-ups want to reach The Sun's five million readers?
Her second reward for ignoring the Prescott boycott was these warm words from The Sun's leader-writers:
"David Cameron's declaration of war on Britain's knife crime scourge won him support from actress Brooke Kinsella — whose brother was stabbed to death — and The Sun. Yet on his watch, knife thugs are spared jail, while robberies at knifepoint rose by ten per cent in the year to the end of September. Labour's Yvette Cooper is speaking our language on crime. It's no surprise to see her cutting the PM's poll lead on law and order."
The Sun also publishes polling which suggests the Tory advantage over Labour on law and order has shrunk from +23% to +12%. Polling published last year by Lord Ashcroft suggested the NHS and crime were biggest barriers between the Conservative Party and winning the next election.
This is the story that Mrs Cooper tells in her article:
"Meeting police officers in the Midlands last month, I was told a shocking story. A 999 call had come in about a hit-and-run but the nearest officer was 45 minutes away. When the constable finally arrived, blue light flashing, the culprit was long gone. Angry residents started a slow handclap. Police forces are struggling to cope with cuts of 16,000 officers thanks to this government. And communities are paying the price. That is David Cameron's law and order policy: Crime up, police down."
With barely 10% of all departmental spending cuts implemented we will get many more hard case stories like this from Labour in the years to come.