Jerky right-left-right political dancer Jon Cruddas began work today as head of the Labour Party’s policy review.
Labour leader Ed Miliband announced the key posting for the zig-zagging Mr Cruddas on Tuesday night.
He also appointed Lord Adonis as adviser on industrial strategy - a Blairite who was chief architect of new Labour’s academy schools project and then a privateer-friendly transport secretary.
Dagenham MP Mr Cruddas (pictured) worked as a political secretary to Tony Blair at Downing Street from 1997 to 2001, before swinging away from the right and presenting himself as a leader of the “centre-left.”
He stood unsuccessfully as a left-leaning candidate for the Labour deputy leadership in 2007, but by 2010 he had lurched rightwards again, announcing that he would vote for David Miliband in the Labour leadership contest.
He praised David Miliband for adopting a “pluralistic” approach and he scolded Labour MPs who were too hard on the Lib Dems.
“I think it’s a mistake to attack the Liberals,” he told the New Statesman magazine.
Mr Cruddas has close links with the “Blue Labour” cult launched by Lord Glasman and has declared his empathy for Prime Minister David Cameron’s Big Society project.
He will be co-ordinator of the Labour Party policy review, although only this week he declared his belief that “politics is more about emotion than programme.”
In a lecture last week at East Anglia university, he proclaimed: “Politics for me is not a variant of rational choice theory. It is about base, visceral connections, sentiment, themes and language that grip people - stories and allegories that render intelligible the world around them.
“What interests me is not policy as such rather the search for political sentiment, voice and language - of general definition within a national story.
“Less the spirit level, more what is England?”
Ed Miliband described Mr Cruddas on Tuesday night as “one of the most radical and deepest thinkers in the party.”
The Labour leader also announced that Pontypridd MP Owen Smith will be the new shadow Secretary of State for Wales in place of Peter Hain, who resigned from the post earlier this week.
Mr Miliband nominated shadow Commons leader Angela Eagle to take over Mr Hain’s role as chair of the party’s national policy forum.
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