The New Labour family pays tribute to the man at the heart of the project


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Indy Politics

It was like a family gathering for New Labour yesterday as politicians put old feuds aside to pay their final respects to Philip Gould, who died this month from cancer.

Lord Gould helped found the New Labour project in 1985 when Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were still relatively unknown MPs.

Both the former prime ministers were at the ceremony at All Saints Church in London's west end, with their wives Cherie and Sarah. In a further show of unity, both Miliband brothers – Ed and David – were among the mourners, along with other pillars of the old Blairite and Brownite factions, including Peter Mandelson, Lord and Lady Kinnock, and Ed Balls and his wife, Yvette Cooper.

Lord Gould pioneered the use of focus groups as a means of getting the Labour Party back in tune with voters. His book The Unfinished Revolution was read by members of David Cameron's circle as a primer on how to make an unpopular political party electable.

Other faces in the 450-strong crowd included Cameron's political adviser, Steve Hilton, the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, and scriptwriter Richard Curtis.