Leading article: A Labour leader is born

Click to follow
The Independent Online

This time last week we reported that, nine months after becoming leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband had so dismally failed to make his mark that Iain Duncan Smith's leadership of the Conservative Party was looking good by comparison. What a difference seven days make.

For the first time since the two first faced each other across the despatch box, Mr Miliband is regularly besting David Cameron. He grasped, before the Prime Minister, how the Milly Dowler allegations had transformed the phone-hacking scandal in the public mind. He lost no chance to remind the Conservative leader of the liability that his former media chief, Andy Coulson, represented, hammering home the point about poor judgement.

By taking the battle to Mr Cameron, Mr Miliband has almost magicked away New Labour's 13-year courtship of Rupert Murdoch, while stamping his own authority on what he is presenting as post-Murdoch politics. So far, so good. The country needs a strong opposition, and Mr Cameron has had it easy hitherto. Now, Mr Miliband must show he can keep up the pressure, even when the opportunities are less obvious than this.