In Brief

Anger as Ed Miliband heads Labour election inquest

Former leader will lead ‘cross-factional commission’ into December defeat

A series of Labour figures have responded with anger and derision to the news that Ed Miliband will spearhead the review into why the party lost the general election.

Labour Together, which is running a “cross-factional commission” into the party’s worst election showing since 1935, will assess what went wrong in the December poll.

The former party leader, who lost the 2015 general election, will be joined by Lucy Powell MP, his campaign manager for that unsuccessful bid.

“It is just so poorly judged by Ed... people are frankly flabbergasted at the breathtaking arrogance of it all,” one Labour source told The Times.

Another disclosed that a WhatsApp group of centrist Labour MPs had become “pretty fruity” when Miliband’s role was announced.

A shadow minister joined the chorus of disapproval, saying: “The party simply doesn’t need a post-mortem carried out by a self-nominated group consisting of a failed leader and his chief of staff who themselves have not given an adequate explanatory account of their lost election in 2015.”

An unnamed Labour MP said: “Those people who have appointed themselves to lead this so-called commission facilitated Corbynism, then enabled it and now want to sustain it.”

Lord Adonis, a former Labour cabinet minister, said: “The funniest proposition since the election is that Ed Miliband should lead a review into why it was lost for Labour.”

Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter since 1997, suggested on Twitter that it would be preferable for the review’s leader to have “experience of actually winning a general election”.

However, Powell responded said the criticism was “nonsense”. She told The Guardian that Miliband retained his Labour seat in the “red wall” as others fell to the Tories. She also argued that the former leader has been campaigning in the traditional heartland of Doncaster regularly for the past four years and has as much to offer “as the next person”.

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