Situation Vacant: Miliband's media manager

In all the millions of jobs that have been created recently, one has remained stubbornly unfilled

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The Independent Online

There is still no sign of Labour appointing the person responsible for Ed Miliband's visual image yet, despite the party having advertised the job since, er, 1 April.

The advert for “Head of the Leader’s Broadcasting” has been taken down now, but it was reported at the time, including by Labour List. The main points of the job description were:

Overseeing the broadcast output and visual images of the Leader of the Opposition.

Advising Leader of the Opposition on broadcast performance and helping him prepare for clips/interviews/visits.

Overseeing the broadcast grid ensuring all conferences, visits and events by the Leader of the Official Opposition receive effective broadcast coverage.

Developing fresh ideas for making the best of Leader of Opposition’s brand strengths and communicating his message in broadcast medium.

The advert also said that the candidate would need “experience of dealing with good and bad news stories”.

That was three months ago, and no appointment has been made. 

I am told: "It's the job no one wants. Lots of people have been approached. It would need an Alastair Campbell at the top of his game."

The trouble is that one broadcast expert, asked what their advice would be for the Labour leader, said: "Stay off television, Ed."

That is harsh, but I suspect that there is nothing much a "Head of the Leader's Broadcasting" could do about a leader who tries to eat a bacon roll near a camera. Miliband has to take responsibility for that one himself. Still, Labour does need someone who knows their way round broadcasting. The leader's strong point is supposed to be his connection with people, one-to-one or in small groups, and yet all we ever see of him is him proving that he can walk and talk at the same time, doing his memorised speech trick in front of an audience.

This means that, when Miliband does his big "inclusive prosperity" speech on Thursday, at a jamboree organised by Peter Mandelson's Policy Network, no thought had been given until late in the day to what images might be offered to the broadcasters.

In other news, Miliband's office is hiring an apprentice. Applicants were asked to answer what interests them about working for Mr Miliband, and what they think the most important issues will be for voters in the 2015 general election – in fewer than 250 words each. Anyone who can do that ought to be made leader of the Labour Party.

Photograph of Ed Miliband delivering a speech in Purfleet, Essex, in May: Getty

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