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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Labour disarray and infighting

It is a sign of how dysfunctional the Labour Party has become when its own leader has to publicly appeal for unity just seven months out from the General Election.

The Times reports though that this is precisely what is happening. They say that Ed Mliband has begged Labour MPs for unity, warning that returning to the “bad habits” of infighting risks consigning the party to defeat. They add that the Labour leader expects “every person in this party” to stop sniping and help to secure victory after weeks of ­anger over election strategy:

Mr Miliband has faced a barrage of criticism since his party conference speech last month, when he forgot passages on the deficit and immigration. Labour’s narrow by-election victory over Ukip in a supposedly safe seat last week has focused attention on its ­inability to deal with Nigel Farage.

Labour whips have been assessing MPs’ concerns after Mr Miliband’s ­performance. One MP said he thought Mr Miliband would go down in history as one of the party’s worst leaders.

Addressing a meeting of MPs last night, Mr Miliband said the election fight would become even more difficult, but maintained that victory was “do­able” if the party maintained discipline.

“Normally, after an election we show disunity and division,” he said. “We have had four years of unity. I am not going to let us, seven months before an election, start lapsing into the bad habits of the past.

“Things are going to be more ­difficult. This is not 1997. There will be ups and downs which make the last few weeks look easy.”

Irrespective of the polls, Labour are looking less and less like a party of government.
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