Miliband doesn't need a clear vision... yet, says Kinnock

Lord Kinnock has claimed it would be ludicrous for Ed Miliband to have a clear vision of his policies yet.

He said the Labour leader was right to take his time drawing up plans and outlining principles.

The former leader – who lost two general elections and is one of Mr Miliband’s closest allies – spoke as concern grew among senior Labour figures that the new leader lacks direction.

Lord Kinnock
Labour leader Ed Miliband

Defended: Ed Miliband (right) is right to take time deciding his plans for the Labour party, says Lord Kinnock (left)

A veteran Labour MP yesterday ridiculed the two-year policy review Mr Miliband has set up.

The MP, who did not want to be named, said: ‘We’ve got a new nickname for him – the monk, because he wants two years of quiet contemplation to work out what he’s going to do.’ But Lord Kinnock said: ‘The criticism of him after 12 weeks is ludicrous.

‘It would be unnatural, it would be strange, it would be precipitate, it would be superficial if he had all his vision intact and his answers set up after three months – that would be absurd.’

Critics said that by answering the question in that way, Lord Kinnock had made clear that he accepted that Mr Miliband lacks a distinctive vision.

The view was aired again at the weekend when a senior member of the shadow cabinet said the party needs to send a clearer message to voters to combat the Coalition’s success in branding Labour unfit to run the economy. ‘It is not obvious what is defining us,’ the frontbencher said.

‘A leader is the person most able to get our message into the media and he is not doing that. His performance at PMQs is not earth-shattering. And I don’t think there is yet a proper economic policy.’

Yesterday Mr Miliband told his MPs to stop referring to ‘the Coalition’, as the public likes the way the Tories and Liberal Democrats are working together.

Instead, it says, Labour politicians should talk about the ‘Conservative-led government’.

A YouGov survey yesterday showed just 29 per cent of voters think Mr Miliband is doing well, while 44 per cent do not.

‘I give him 18 months’

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