Tonight Ed Miliband and David Cameron will be interviewed by Jeremy Paxman in two separate interviews, after Cameron declined to do a head-to-head interview with the Labour leader. Now, Mr S hears that the prospect of a Paxman grilling has been keeping Miliband up at night.
Word reaches Steerpike that Miliband has hired the help of American public relations guru Michael Sheehan to prepare him for the interview. Sheehan – who has worked closely with Barack Obama – has been trying to help Miliband improve his public speaking ahead of tonight’s event. This is not the first time Ed has tried to emulate Obama, he previously enlisted the help of David Axelrod, one of the president’s most senior advisers, for his election campaign.
‘Ed is resting a lot on these interviews and debates as part of his campaign, he hopes he will be able to use them to convince voters that he is capable of leading the country,’ Mr S’s spy says. ‘That’s why he’s called in the big guns, he desperately wants to impress.’
As Sheehan is known to charge up to £10,000 a day, the sessions could be costing Miliband dearly. Happily, Ed does at least have one advantage going in tonight; Paxman is a holiday buddy of his. According to SunNation, the pair are old chums, having stayed in villas next door to each other in Greece in 2012.
Mr S has contacted the Labour press office regarding Miliband’s debate coach, but is yet to hear back.