Miliband shows he's a control freak too

  • @oliver_wright

Ed Miliband may have ditched the New Labour label but he is finding it harder to drop the control-freak tendency which was admired and then discredited during the Blair/Brown era.

Yesterday, every member of his Shadow Cabinet received a letter ordering them to clear all speeches, press releases and endorsements which could have an effect on any aspect of Labour policy past the party leader.

All statements which could cost money will also have to be cleared with the shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls. The move will be unpopular with senior figures in the party. However, Mr Miliband believes it is essential if Labour is to restore its credibility on the economy.

Mr Miliband and Mr Balls wrote: "We are as one in our determination that those pledges on spending and taxation we make at the next election are clear, costed and affordable. It is therefore imperative all statements which change our existing position or language on the spending and taxation are cleared in advance. Where there are policies with neither spending nor economic policy implications they will need to be cleared by the leader's office."

Mr Miliband and Mr Balls learnt the importance of controlling all aspects of economic policy when they worked for Gordon Brown, who was notoriously secretive when he was Chancellor.