Another PR opportunity... another PR disaster for Ed Miliband

He’s pledged to ban MPs from having second jobs, but will the Labour leader ban them from having second kitchens?

Click to follow
The Independent Online

It was meant to be an opportunity to paint him as a man of the people, to soften his image and boost his poor personal ratings.

But the decision to invite BBC cameras into his own home backfired when it emerged that a clip of Ed Miliband sipping a cuppa with his wife Justine in their small, cramped kitchen turned out to be their second kitchen.

It has provided plenty of firepower for his opponents, who have branded him “Two Kitchens Ed”.

And now we know why Miliband has put so much focus on his pledge to cut gas and electricity costs: so he can cut the cost of having two kitchens.Miliband makes new energy prices pledge

Today he again focuses on his ‘cost of living’ campaign by pledging to cut energy bills by up to 10 per cent by Christmas if Labour wins in May.

Details of Miliband’s latest photo gaffe emerged after Sarah Vine, the Daily Mail columnist and wife of Tory chief whip Michael Gove, showed a rare expression of sympathy for the Labour leader.

“‘Very rarely do I feel sorry for Ed Miliband, but seeing him standing there in his forlorn little kitchen, staring into the middle distance while sipping from a stripy blue-and-white mug, part of me wanted to rush home from work, sling some jolly painted crockery in a bag and head over there with a tin of home-made brownies.”

Another columnist - this time Jenni Russel of The Times - a family friend of the Milibands - jumped to his defence but made matters worse by revealing the kitchen pictured was just his second kitchen:

But in the end, will anyone care that the Labour leader has two kitchens? Ed Miliband came under fire for Dan Hodges, the Blairite blogger and staunch critic of Mr Miliband, sums it up very well:

Two Jags Prescott: The former deputy prime minister had one of his own and one as his ministerial car

The Labour leader now faces the prospect of being dubbed 'Two Kitchen Miliband', with unfortunate comparisons to 'Two Jags Prescott'.

According to Conservative MP Nigel Adams, Miliband's photo is further proof of an "out of touch metropolitan elite".

"Clearly there’s no cost of living crisis for ‘Two Kitchens’ Miliband," he said. "It’s a bit rich lecturing people about poverty from his £2 million mansion.

“Red Ed can try as much as he likes to portray himself as a man of the people but the only people he’s in touch with are the North London metropolitan elite.”