Labour's next big signing? Ed Miliband urged to recruit Sir Alex Ferguson for general election

Labour MP claims former Manchester United manager would provide morale boost
  • @lizziedearden

Ed Miliband has been urged to bring Sir Alex Ferguson on to his campaign team for next year's general election.

Labour MP John Mann sent a letter to the Labour leader suggesting the former Manchester United manager reprise the role he played for Tony Blair during the 1997 election.

He wrote: “Having retired this year, as a phenomenally successful manager, Sir Alex is globally recognised as a superb leader.

“In addition to the undoubted morale boost, Sir Alex would shape and inspire a new generation of Labour Party activists, and provide unrivalled experience of management and long-term planning.”

Sir Alex, who grew up in a working-class area of Glasgow and worked in the shipyards, retired after 27 years as Manchester United manager at the end of last season.

He has been a staunch supporter of the party for many years. Alistair Campbell’s diaries revealed his involvement in Tony Blair’s 1997 landslide victory, when he advised the then Labour leader to travel with a masseur on the campaign bus for mental and physical fitness.

He is reportedly close friends with the spin doctor as well as prominent Labour figures.

The Labour Party has not yet responded officially to Mr Mann’s letter but a source said: “Sir Alex is a valued supporter who we have a huge respect for. We welcome and seek advice from many people.”

Mr Mann has represented Bassetlaw since 2001 and sits on the Treasury Committee and Parliamentary Committee Against Anti-Semitism.