Ed Miliband is yet to respond to Tim Farron's paean of praise to him in this week's New Statesman , but shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy has let it be known that he's not impressed.
Farron told me:
I really like Ed Miliband, so I don’t want to diss him. I don’t want join in with the Tories who compare him to Kinnock.
He went on to praise Miliband as a model progressive:
First of all, he’s a polite and nice person. I think he is somebody who is genuinely of the Robin Cook wing of the Labour Party, from their perspective what you’d call the 'soft left'. Somebody who is not a Luddite on environmental issues, somebody who’s open minded about modernising our democracy, somebody who’s instinctively a bit more pluralistic than most Labour leaders and a bit more internationalist as well. And they’re other things too. For all that I think he could have done a lot more on the AV campaign, he did at least have the backbone to come out and back it.
He mischievously added:
And they’re other things too. For all that I think he could have done a lot more on the AV campaign, he did at least have the backbone to come out and back it. He wouldn’t share a platform with Nick [Clegg], so he ended up with me, poor thing. I like the guy.
As Farron knows, should Miliband refuse to form a coalition with Clegg in 2015, he could well end up with him again. It was this that prompted Murphy's Twitter put-down this morning.
I really like Tim Farron so don’t want to diss him. I don’t want join in with the public who compare him to a sanctimonious little plotter.
— Jim Murphy (@jimmurphymp) September 12, 2013 
To which Farron gracefully replied:
@jimmurphymp  There goes our friends forever collage....
— Tim Farron (@timfarron) September 12, 2013 
For the benefit of those who missed the interview (picked-up in today's Guardian ), Murphy later added:
Appears twitter doesn't translate insider irony. You'd have to know what Tim Farron is up to in the New Statesman to u'stand my last tweet.
— Jim Murphy (@jimmurphymp) September 12, 2013