Campbell: Ed Miliband isn't up to leading Labour

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Indy Politics

Alastair Campbell is wading into the Labour leadership contest today by declaring that victory for Ed Miliband would make the party "feel OK about losing".

Tony Blair's former communications chief, who is supporting David Miliband in the race, also suggests in an interview with The Independent on Sunday that the younger brother is not up to "taking difficult decisions".

Mr Campbell is making the intervention as nominations close this week. Both Miliband brothers and Ed Balls have secured enough names to proceed in the contest, while Andy Burnham, Diane Abbott and John McDonnell are still hunting for support.

Mr Campbell tells The IoS: "Ed Miliband is a really nice guy, but I think you've got to differentiate between making the party feel OK about losing, and making the party face up to what it needs to do to get into shape again, and it's the latter that you have to look for. I think David's got that."

In a speech yesterday, David Miliband called for Labour to create a new elected and beefed-up post of party chairman, currently an appointed position.

This will be seen as an overture to leftwinger Jon Cruddas, who has nominated Ms Abbott but is likely to back David Miliband in the next stage of the race.

In a speech this week, Ed Miliband will pitch to the party's centre-left by calling for the Government's review of pay differentials in the public sector to be extended to the private sector: "Our society is poorer in its health, welfare and well-being because it is so unequal. A government that I led would make tackling the gap a central aim."