The Conservatives are set to sweep to victory at next year’s general election, former Labour home secretary Charles Clarke has declared.
Clarke warned that Ed Miliband’s One Nation Labour party “has no narrative” and has failed to “set out a clear statement of what Labour would actually do”.
Instead the party has set out an “assembly of odd policies like the electricity [price] freeze or whatever”, he said in an interview with the Huffington Post.
He also declared former Labour leader Neil Kinnock a far better head of the party than Ed Miliband. A former chief of staff to Kinnock, Clarke said: “Neil has far, far more qualities than Ed Miliband as a leader”.
He added: “Neil was a fantastic leader and brought Labour back towards victory.”
Lending credence to the Conservative line that Labour overspent under Gordon Brown’s stewardship, Clarke said his party “started overspending in 2006”.
“We had very tight control prior to that, we had the situation running well,” he said, adding: “from about 2006 until 2008 we did overspend, not very, very dramatically but significantly, and we should have had the controls on”.
He also slammed Miliband’s choice of chancellor. “I think it would be better for Labour if Alistair [Darling] was there rather than Ed Balls,” he said.
Clarke, who lost his parliamentary seat in 2010, has attacked the Labour leadership in the past, but delivered the most deadly blow yet with his comment that “ the most likely outcome is a Tory overall majority”.
He also attacked former Labour Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Taking a further dig at Miliband by remarking that Blair would “have every chance of being elected prime minister” in 2015 were he Labour leader again, Clarke nonetheless criticised the former Prime Minister for amassing a personal fortune through his business interests.
Clarke said: “There is no question that he has damaged his reputation. The money has damaged his reputation, some of his contacts have damaged the reputation, some aspects of the way he’s spent his life have damaged his reputation.”
He censured Brown for his poor attendance record in Parliament: “He’s an elected member of parliament. If he doesn’t want to be an MP he should stand down.”
Miliband and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper also came under attack for making “ignorant and ill-informed statements” about Labour’s immigration record.