This was meant to be the weekend when Ed Miliband got some ‘breathing space’, a chance to recover after the last torrid few weeks. But his—and his party’s—troubles are still all over the papers today. The Tories defeat in Rochester has not moved the spotlight on to Cameron and his difficulties in the way that Labour hoped it would.
Now, this is largely because of that Tweet. Emily Thornberry has succeed in uniting Miliband critics and loyalists alike in anger at her stupidity. But, as I report in the Mail on Sunday, many of Miliband’s longest standing political allies feel that the Labour machine has grossly mishandled the issue. They say that sacking her has only made the story bigger and that all the talk about Miliband being angrier than he has ever been has made him look inauthentic.
The bigger worry for Labour, though, is that it can’t break out of this negative cycle. As one Miliband confidant complains, ‘we have become a magnet for bad luck and bad timing’.
This week, Labour will again return to its argument that the Tories and their recovery are for the few not the many. But this doesn’t seem to be sufficient to get voters to come to Miliband. As one Labour frontbencher says of the pratfalls of the past few weeks, ‘if you haven’t got a compelling narrative, that’s what’s going to happen’.