Local elections results 2014: Ed Miliband attacked by his own MPs after disappointing returns

 

Political Editor

Ed Miliband has come under fire from some Labour MPs after the party’s performance in the council elections left them gloomy about its general election prospects.

Ukip ate into Labour’s traditional working class support, fuelling complaints that the Labour leadership had been complacent about the “Farage effect” because it believed it would mainly harm the Conservatives.

Labour trumpeted wins in areas such as Cambridge, Croydon and Crawley where it hopes to gain parliamentary seats next year. Labour took comfort from a strong performance in London, a key general election battleground with 73 seats, where Ukip’s appeal proved less potent.

But Labour’s gains fell well short of the 400 council seats experts said it needed to show it is on course for general election victory. A Ukip surge in Essex saw Labour lose control in Thurrock.

John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw, said the results were the “fault of Ed Miliband and all the people at the top of the Labour Party,” adding that its “metropolitan elite” excluded ordinary Labour people. “Some of the pointy heads at the top of the party thought that Ukip doing well is what we needed,” he said.

Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley and Broughton, said Mr Miliband “is behind in the personality stakes” and the party was behind on economic policy. He said it was “unforgiveably unprofessional” for the Labour leader not to know how much his family spent on the weekly shop when he was running a “cost of living” campaign.

Simon Danczuk, MP for Rochdale, said: “Of course Ed Miliband is an issue on the doorstep.” David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, admitted: “There's no doubt about it, Ukip is biting into parts of Labour's working class vote.”

Read more: Full local election results

Mr Miliband admitted there was "a was deep sense of discontent" among voters. He added: "You also saw some people turning to Ukip and I am determined that over the next year we persuade them that we can change their lives for the better.”

Ed Balls, the shadow Chancellor, conceded that the results were "not good enough yet for Labour" and that the party had "more to do" to get its message out.

His aides insisted that Labour had won the council elections even though the birth of “four-party politics” had taken support away from all three mainstream parties. “We can win the general election; we have a lot to do before we will win,” said a senior Labour source.

Douglas Alexander, Labour's chair of general election strategy, who was accused by some MPs of not doing enough to combat Ukip, said the council results reflected an "anger and alienation" among the electorate. He admitted: “Politics as usual is not an adequate response. Labour can win the general election if we take the right steps between now and a year's time."

Labour officials said the party had won the “ground war” at local level, with twice as many footsoldiers than the Tories or Ukip. They claimed Labour’s £250,000 campaign budget was a quarter of that spent by these two parties.

Diane Abbott, whom Mr Miliband sacked as shadow Public Health Minister last year, said: “The window of possibility to remove Ed is long gone. People should stop whinging and get on with winning the next general election.”

Read more: Labour and Tories left reeling
Coalition tries to shift focus
Labour takes Cameron's 'favourite' council
Farage: 'The fox is in the henhouse'
Ukip: London 'too educated and cultured' to vote for us
'I'm not resigning' says Clegg
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence