Former New Labour minister Alan Johnson says Labour lost because it distanced itself from Tony Blair's government

Alan Johnson says Ed Miliband was doing David Cameron's work for him

Jon Stone@joncstone
Saturday 09 May 2015 22:48

The Labour Party in part lost the general election because it distanced itself from Tony Blair’s government, a former Labour minister has claimed.

Alan Johnson, who served as Home Secretary, Health Secretary, and Education Secretary in the Blair and Brown government, said the party should have embraced the legacy of Mr Blair.

“I was part of a successful government that did really good things, but you’d think that Tony Blair had lost us three elections, not won us three elections, it’s almost de rigeur now not to mention his name,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning.

“David Cameron had to prove that we would fail in government. If we’re helping him by suggesting that we failed in our 13 years in government it’s not going to do us much good.”

While he was leader Ed Miliband apologised for mistakes he claimed the last Labour government had made, including failing to properly regulate the banks.

Mr Miliband himself served as Energy Secretary under the last Labour government.

Mr Johnson’s is the latest in a string of contributions from Labour grandees about the future of the party in the wake of its shock general election defeat.

Last night former Labour minister Lord Hutton told BBC Newsnight that Ed Miliband’s manifesto contained “old-school socialist” policies and that such a programme could not win.

Labour slightly increased its vote share at the general election compared to 2010 but the collapse of the Liberal Democrats let to the Conservatives sweeping dozens of seats and narrowly gaining an overall majority.

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