Labour needs to show “more energy” to convince voters it is a government-in-waiting, a leading Shadow Cabinet minister said.
Chuka Umunna, a close ally of Ed Miliband, insisted Labour could win next May’s general election “if we make the right calls” and if the party had a “hopeful, optimistic, aspirational story” that relates to people’s lives.
Mr Miliband will aim to set out such a vision at Labour’s annual conference later this month. Labour insiders admit that the party has not yet weaved its individual policies such as a proposed energy price freeze into a coherent “offer” to voters.
Interviewed by GQ magazine, Mr Umunna, the shadow Business Secretary, accepted Labour needed to make its case with “even more energy”.
After criticism that Labour is seen as a “one-man band,” he added: “It is a team, not just Ed Miliband.”
Explaining why Labour is not further ahead in the opinion polls, Mr Umunna said: “I do think we need to talk more proudly about our record [in government]. We do need to explain and rebut this notion that we crashed the car.”
He said Gordon Brown’s refusal to use the word “cuts” gave the impression that Labour “didn’t understand that debt and deficit would have to be dealt with.”
Mr Miliband said he would want to ensure that 50 per cent of his Cabinet are women if he becomes prime minister next May.
He told Red magazine: “I want to let my actions speak for themselves. I want to get to 50 per cent.”