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Jon Cruddas backs David Miliband for Labour leader

Category: Politics

Published: 26th Aug 2010 09:11:34

David Miliband has won the backing of influential centre-left MP Jon Cruddas in the Labour leadership contest.

Mr Cruddas told New Statesman magazine he disagreed with the shadow foreign secretary on many policies, but said he was asking "profound questions".

He echoed Mr Miliband's argument that attacking the coalition was not enough, adding that Labour must "regroup".

There are five candidates for the leadership, with the winner to be announced on 25 September.

Mr Miliband's rivals are his brother Ed, the shadow energy secretary, backbench MP Diane Abbott, shadow education secretary Ed Balls and shadow health secretary Andy Burnham.

David Miliband, a former policy adviser to Tony Blair, is seen by many as the most Blairite candidate in the race. In the past, Mr Cruddas has been highly critical of the former prime minister.

But the Dagenham MP, who ran for the party's deputy leadership in 2007, told New Statesman: "David is not just going down a checklist of policies; he seems to me to be echoing a more fundamental sentiment, in terms of what Labour needs to do.

There's a danger of us spraying too much lead across the forecourt”

"I disagree with him on a lot of policy but I think, in terms of the nature of the leadership that's needed, he's beginning to touch on some of those more profound questions that need to be addressed head-on."

He echoed Mr Miliband's view that it was a "mistake" to concentrate on attacking the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Cruddas said: "There's a danger of us spraying too much lead across the forecourt and not really thinking about how we need to regroup.

"We need to have respect for, and show courtesy towards, different traditions as part of an overall, plural realignment across the centre and the left."

On Wednesday, the Miliband brothers were forced to deny they were at war as the campaign entered its final stages.

David said it was "nonsense" he was personally criticising Ed by warning against Labour retreating into a left-wing "comfort zone".

Ed responded by warning about the party entering a "New Labour comfort zone" and ignoring its working-class support.

Ballot papers go out to Labour members, trade unionists and members of socialist societies next week, with the result being announced on the first day of Labour's annual conference in Manchester.

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BBC News, 2010. Jon Cruddas backs David Miliband for Labour leader [Online] (Updated 26th Aug 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/85033/Jon-Cruddas-backs-David-Miliband-for-Labour-leader [Accessed 18th Apr 2014]

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