David Miliband attacks Blair, Brown . . . and his brother, Ed?

Some so-far unreported extracts from tonight’s speech.

Below are some extracts that haven't been trailed from David Miliband's major leadership campaign speech this evening.

On Blair and Brown:

Tony and Gordon did great things. Really great things. But I know that in Tony's time, he did not focus on income inequalities, stopped devolution at Scotland and Wales when we should have carried it on and too often defined himself against the party, not against the Tories.

Gordon was wrong about the 10p rate and wrong-footed in debates about the role of the state and the importance of crime and security as Labour issues. Both of them underestimated the extent to which the problems of the British economy had not been resolved by the 1980s.

Interpretation: this is a significant break from Blair -- though some who want David to go further will be disappointed that he does not mention Iraq -- but it is worth noting that the line about Blair defining himself against Labour is the same as that which Ed Miliband has been saying for some time.

On why Miliband is standing and why doing so "requires clarity about the conditions for success and a reconciliation with the chance of failure", as well as his "absolute determination to protect those that you do love":

This is the sense of responsibility that motivates me. It brought me into the Labour Party 27 years ago, idealistic and open-minded, when our prospects seemed bleak. It made me support John Smith in the search for new ideas after 1992. It made me run for parliament in 2001. It made me turn down a big job in world politics last November. And it has made me stand for the leadership of our party today.

Still idealistic and open-minded about what we can achieve together.

It is a big decision to stand for the leadership. It requires clarity about the conditions for success and a reconciliation with the chance of failure. It asks a lot of the people you love; and an absolute determination to protect those that you do love.

For me, it is about understanding the time and place to take responsibility. Now is such a time.

Interpretation: David is emphasising that he is ready in a way he hasn't been before (when he was urged to challenge Brown), but this could be seen as questioning whether Ed is ready, and the passage about the impact of standing -- including on the people you love -- could also be seen, rightly or wrongly, as a dig at Ed.

On why his politics are about so much more than "dinner parties":

I was born in 1965.

It was a time of recovery but also vulnerability. For my family, the shadow of the Holocaust was still much, much stronger than it seems today.

London, that "Mansion House of Liberty", to quote John Milton, this great city, did not give us dinner parties; it gave us life.

Leeds, where I spent a formative part of my childhood and my dad was a teacher of politics, did not give us political theory; it gave us the middle-class Middle Britain security that comes from being part of a strong community, where you put in but you got out, too.

Labour helped shape that postwar period of security and opportunity. And a strong, renewed, reorganised Labour Party is vital to the future of our country today.

Interpretation: perhaps the most powerful passage, this totally rebuts the slur from the Milibands' rivals that they are merely "dinner-party" politicians.

James Macintyre is political correspondent for the New Statesman.
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Jeremy Corbyn challenged by Labour MPs to sack Ken Livingstone from defence review

Former mayor of London criticised at PLP meeting over comments on 7 July bombings. 

After Jeremy Corbyn's decision to give Labour MPs a free vote over air strikes in Syria, tonight's Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) meeting was less fractious than it could have been. But one grandee was still moved to declare that the "ferocity" of the attacks on the leader made it the most "uplifting" he had attended.

Margaret Beckett, the former foreign secretary, told the meeting: "We cannot unite the party if the leader's office is determined to divide us." Several MPs said afterwards that many of those who shared Corbyn's opposition to air strikes believed he had mishandled the process by appealing to MPs over the heads of the shadow cabinet and then to members. David Winnick declared that those who favoured military action faced a "shakedown" and deselection by Momentum activists. "It is completely unacceptable. They are a party within a party," he said of the Corbyn-aligned group. The "huge applause" for Hilary Benn, who favours intervention, far outweighed that for the leader, I'm told. 

There was also loud agreement when Jack Dromey condemned Ken Livingstone for blaming Tony Blair's invasion of Iraq for the 7 July 2005 bombings. Along with Angela Smith MP, Dromey demanded that Livingstone be sacked as the co-chair of Labour's defence review. Significantly, Benn said aftewards that he agreed with every word Dromey had said. Corbyn's office has previously said that it is up to the NEC, not the leader, whether the former London mayor holds the position. In reference to 7 July, an aide repeated Corbyn's statement that he preferred to "remember the brilliant words Ken used after 7/7". 

As on previous occasions, MPs complained that the leader failed to answer the questions that were put to him. A shadow minister told me that he "dodged" one on whether he believed the UK should end air strikes against Isis in Iraq. In reference to Syria, a Corbyn aide said afterwards that "There was significant support for the leader. There was a wide debate, with people speaking on both sides of the arguments." After David Cameron's decision to call a vote on air strikes for Wednesday, leaving only a day for debate, the number of Labour MPs backing intervention is likely to fall. One shadow minister told me that as few as 40-50 may back the government, though most expect the total to be closer to the original figure of 99. 

At the end of another remarkable day in Labour's history, a Corbyn aide concluded: "It was always going to be a bumpy ride when you have a leader who was elected by a large number outside parliament but whose support in the PLP is quite limited. There are a small number who find it hard to come to terms with that result."

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.