Ed Miliband had 'no economic policy' and he's put the Labour party in a worse position than 1992 - Darling becomes latest to savage Ed

Labour descends further into civil war as former Chancellor follows Lord Mandelson and Tony Blair with attack on Ed Miliband's leadership

Matt Dathan
Monday 11 May 2015 09:45
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Alistair Darling has requested a meeting with Police Scotland to discuss security arrangements (Getty)
Alistair Darling has requested a meeting with Police Scotland to discuss security arrangements (Getty)

Labour had no economy policy under Ed Miliband’s leadership and he had put the party in a worse position than it was in 1992, Alistair Darling has said.

The former Chancellor became the latest senior Labour figure to launch a scathing attack on Mr Miliband’s leadership as Labour descended further into civil war after Thursday’s abysmal election result left Labour with just 232 seats – its worst election performance since 1987.

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna (left) and Lord Mandelson appearing on BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show

It followed yesterday’s attack by Lord Mandelson, the former Labour Business Secretary and New Labour architect who attacked Mr Miliband’s “predatory capitalism”, describing it as a “completely useless label that led nowhere”. Tony Blair also hit out over the weekend, saying the Labour party had to show it stood for "ambition and aspiration" as well as "compassion and care".

Mr Darling, who stood down at the election, criticised his former colleagues for refusing to stand up for its record in Government during the campaign. He said it was “absolute rubbish” when some effectively conceded they had achieved nothing in 13 years.

With an internal row brewing over how long the leadership contest should take, Mr Darling insisted the candidates should be put through a longer election process than simply a few months in order to “see what they’re made of”.

Asked by the Today programme what was wrong about Mr Miliband’s campaign, he said: "We did not have an economic policy. We didn't repudiate the criticisms the Tories were making of when we were in government.

"They were occasions when we almost said we didn't do any good in 13 years, which is absolute rubbish.

"You've got to have confidence about what you did in the past just as the courage to admit where you got things wrong - but we just didn't look compelling and convincing.

"I lost count of the times when people looked at us and said, 'Well, you know, I'm not sure, I'm not convinced'.

"These are people who always voted Labour in the past and many of whom took their votes elsewhere."

Mr Darling, whose Edinburgh South West seat was lost to the insurgent SNP, said the situation was so bad for Labour that people had avoided making eye contact with him on the doorstep during the campaign.

"I walked down Gorgie Road in the heart of the city centre and I was struck by the fact people just looked away and when that happens you are done for.

"The last time that happened was in 1992. I'm afraid we are back there in political terms only worse because the future of our country, of Scotland in my case, the United Kingdom as well, is at stake.

"The Labour Party has got to get itself back on its feet and have a powerful argument about what we're going to change and do and let's see who can do that, but we also need to make sure we get the arrangements within the UK right - we can't wait five years to do that."

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