David Miliband and Murdoch

Could an inquiry into the tycoon's past relationship with Downing Street provide the boost Miliband'

With the latest poll giving Ed Milband a marginal 51-49 lead over his brother, it isn't getting any clearer who is going to become Labour leader in 12 days' time.

What is clear, however, is that the onus is now on David Miliband's campaign to deliver a game-changing moment that will secure his victory.

Accurate polling for this contest is incredibly hard to come by owing to the complexity of the voting system, but the arresting figure from this YouGov/Sunday Times poll is that on first preferences, David leads Ed by four points. Like Harriet Harman before him, if Ed wins this, it's going to be down to the second preferences.

To return to David, and his need to manufacture a defining moment that will swing the contest back in his favour. Just as Ed has increased his emphasis on "moving beyond the New Labour comfort zone" in the past few weeks, David also needs to refine his stance on the Blairite legacy and find a way to appease those who still feel like he should have clarified his position on Iraq earlier in the contest, rather than just attempting to shift the focus of the campaign away from the war.

But an opportunity could be at hand, in the shape of the row over phone-hacking at the News of the World. Matthew Norman, in his media diary column in the Independent today, suggests that David could "clinch it" by pledging to call for an inquiry into the relationship between New Labour and the Murdoch empire.

In his somewhat tongue-in-cheek way, Norman offers various examples of the intimacy between the Blair coterie and News International. But amusing as those vignettes are, I can't help feeling he could be on to something serious here.

There can be no doubt that both Parliament and the public are outraged about the revelations that Andy Coulson, disgraced former editor of the News of the World, now occupies a senior position in Downing Street. Two Parliamentary enquiries and an impassioned series of questions in the House tell their own story. And as my colleague James Macintyre has pointed out, there are deeper issues of the relationship between Murdoch's newspapers and the police to be considered, too.

Perhaps this is just the issue that David Miliband needs to give his campaign that final boost. It enables him to distance himself from Blair and New Labour without really changing his stance on any specific policy issues, while at the same time demonstrating leadership on a contentious issue that has a lot of media traction at the moment. It would also have the added benefit of disarming those New Labour grandees who saw fit to intrude into the contest at the end of last month.

With the contest this close, such a gesture could just make all the difference.

Caroline Crampton is web editor of the New Statesman.

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Nigel Farage's exclusive Brexit plan has just been revealed and it's very telling

The panic is over.

If, a week on from Brexit, you're staring at the bottom of your gin bottle and wondering whether you'll ever afford to go on holiday again, then stop worrying. 

There's a plan.

Social media users have been sharing a link to an exclusive reveal of Nigel Farage's plan for the UK departure from the EU. Users are invited to: "View The Brexit Plan that was but together by the Vote Leave campaign, UKIP and Nigel Farage.

Here it is.

Highlighted policy topics include hot potatoes like UK access to the single market, international trade agreements and the rights of EU nationals working in the UK. You just have to click on the red button.

 

Oh. 

It seems the plan might be permanently out of reach. 

Every time you try to click on the red button with your mouse, you'll discover that it leaps away to another part of the page. So far, we haven't heard of anyone who has managed to catch the elusive button and discover the details of the brilliant plan. 

Other plans that have not been very easy to click on this week include: Boris Johnson's plan to be Prime Minister, Jeremy Corbyn's plan to lead a unified Labour opposition and David Cameron's plan to win the EU referendum in the first place.

As it turns out, a week after Brexit we are still waiting for a definitive plan. In the meantime, you can read: