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22 September 2016

David Miliband: Jeremy Corbyn is taking us back to the 1930s

The former Labour leadership candidate said Jeremy Corbyn's policies are "pre-New Labour". 

By Julia Rampen

David Miliband has warned that Labour is further from power than it ever has been since the disastrous decade of the 1930s.

The former Labour MP, who came second in the 2010 leadership election to his brother, Ed Miliband, also argued the party’s malaise was of its own making, and attacked the policies of current Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, as a return to the past.

In an article for The New Statesman, Miliband wrote: “The ultimate ignominy of not being able to organise our own party conference has been avoided, but we have not been further from power since the 1930s.”

If this had been the result of “unfortunate accidents”, it might be a cause for sorrow, he continued. But instead, it was down to “a series of choices”.

The 1930s saw Labour out of power, battling to restore its reputation on the economy and locked in internal debates over foreign policy, a matter which ultimately split the party. 

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Miliband also hit out at Corbyn, saying Labour was only unelectable because its policies were undesirable. “The party has ended up pre-New Labour in policy and culture, when we need to be post-New Labour,” he wrote. 

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Miliband, who is now President of the International Rescue Committee, was writing for The New Statesman‘s special issue, New Times, out today.