A bad day for Ed: concern over Labour leader grows
'Have we got the wrong Miliband?' ask Labour voters as elder brother waits in the wings
Today is not a good day for Ed Miliband, beleaguered on several fronts as concern grows about his leadership of the Labour party, eight months into the job.
The Sunday Times reports that a poll conducted by YouGov suggests 41 per cent of Labour voters believe it was a mistake to give the younger Miliband the top job, while more than half say they do not know what he stands for.
More than two-thirds of respondents agreed with the claim that Miliband had been "ineffective" against David Cameron. The poll comes after a week in which Miliband was roundly criticised for failing to capitalise on Coalition divisions over the NHS.
And that's not all, says the Times: a selection of Labour's "big beasts" have rounded on Ed, saying he must prove himself in the next four months – before he passes the one-year mark in office. The angry menagerie is said to include David Blunkett and John Prescott.
Meanwhile, an unidentified "senior Labour MP" divines Shakespearean intrigue, a plot by shadow chancellor Ed Balls: pretend to be a team player opposed to leadership infighting while your supporters secretly foment it. Then step from the wings to assume the crown at the end of act three as the Milibands lie dead, swords in hands.
Over at the Independent on Sunday, it is reported that "friends" of David Miliband say the thwarted older brother is waiting to mount a leadership challenge after Ed fails. According to the IoS, Miliband Major believes the coalition will go the full term – giving his younger sibling plenty of time to prove himself inadequate.
Other supporting actors queuing up to stick in the knife include Unison boss Dave Prentice, who told the IoS Ed Miliband still has "a lot to get right" and can no longer count on the automatic support of the biggest public sector union.
Perhaps most embarrassing for the Labour leader is the serialisation of the first biography to be written about him, in the Mail on Sunday. Exposing a "bitter feud" between the brothers, the book claims David thinks Ed is "heading in the wrong direction".
Bizarrely, according to authors Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre, the two brothers give differing accounts of how David found out that Ed planned to stand against him for the leadership. Ed says he visited David at home to break the news – but David says the meeting never happened. ·
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