David Miliband hits out at “backwards” leadership of Labour under brother Ed

Elder brother steps forward to rub salt into the wound

David Miliband pugilist politician

David Miliband: pugilist, politician. Watch out Ed

David Miliband has given a withering appraisal of his brother’s leadership of the Labour party.

Following a fairly guarded response in the days after Ed Miliband’s catastrophic election defeat, elder brother David has now turned his level of scorn up to the highest setting, demonstrating the raw derision only a wronged sibling can muster.

Speaking to CNN News in the US, after initially saying he would only provide a “statesmanlike demurral” to questions over his brother’s election defeat, Miliband quickly abandoned that plan, and said Labour had lost for “a very clear reason”.

Speaking about the current leadership contest, David savaged Ed’s political stance, saying the next leader must emulate Tony Blair in order to succeed.

“What I think is important for all the candidates, is to reflect on the very clear lessons of two devastating electoral defeats for the Labour party in the last five years, which have come for a very clear reason.

“And the reason is that the public have concluded that instead of building on the strengths and remedying the weaknesses of the Blair years, the party has turned the page backwards rather than turning the page forwards.”

He said Labour must “find again that combination of economic dynamism and social justice that defined the success of the Labour party” during Tony Blair’s reign.

David Miliband went on to give a separate interview to the Times, in which he expanded his Blairite vision further, and challenged his brother’s economic record, saying the Labour party “needs to catch up with the way Britain has changed, the way politics has changed, and the kind of agenda that needs to be set in an age of economic insecurity”.

“We should liberate ourselves from the delusion that running away from three election victories is a route to success,” he said.

“It’s 50 years since Labour won a majority at a general election without Tony as leader. It’s important to have this in mind.”

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