Trickett brands Miliband’s comments on Corbyn a ‘caricature’
LEFTWINGERS called for “debate, not caricature” in the Labour leadership contest yesterday after two further interventions from Blairite has-beens backfired.
Failed former leadership contender David Miliband called for party members to swing behind rightwinger Liz Kendall, saying that a Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn would lead to a Tory “one-party” state.
His outburst followed the revelation that former Cabinet minister and infamous “prince of darkness” Peter Mandelson plotted to persuade all three of Mr Corbyn’s rivals to withdraw from the contest in the hope that the election would be called off.
He hastily backtracked when party administrators told him that such a manoeuvre would result in an automatic victory for Mr Corbyn, the Daily Telegraph reported yesterday.
Meanwhile, centrist candidate Andy Burnham pledged to “involve” Mr Corbyn if he won the election — in spite of previously briefing that he was “joking” when he offered the leftwinger a shadow cabinet post live on air.
Mr Burnham told an audience in Manchester there was “a good deal of common ground” between himself and Mr Corbyn.
In response, Mr Corbyn said: “We welcome Andy’s inclusive tone towards our campaign and the view is mutual — if we win we would involve Andy in our team if he was willing. From day one, whoever wins must pull the party together.”
Mr Miliband refused to join in the back-patting, arguing in a Guardian article that the leftwinger’s programme looked backward.
“There is nothing defiant or desirable about unworkable policies and undeliverable promises,” he wrote. “There is only defeat.
“Labour is only successful — in fact centre-left parties the world over are only successful — electorally and in government, when they recognise the difference between knowing your own mind and defining your own reality.”
He said that the party should elect last-placed Ms Kendall to be “more than a pressure group shouting from the sidelines at a Conservative government,” praising her “plain speaking, fresh thinking and political courage.”
But shadow cabinet member Jon Trickett hit out at Mr Miliband, saying: “We need debate, not caricature.”