Mooting a return to the political fray, the doyen of spin doctors Alastair Campbell has addressed low-rumbling Labour discontent over a blunt attack and lack of visibility from some shadow cabinet members:
“There are things they’re not doing which they could do: just sort of energy, and fight and inventiveness. Some of them are slightly trapped in ‘let’s put a press release out’.”
Perceived lethargy has been a theme of discontent amongst the Labour rank and file at least since the summer, when backbencher Graham Stringer complained that MPs were “genuinely worried” about the “deafening silence” from the shadow cabinet. Justice lead Sadiq Khan has since admitted that the criticism was “legitimate” but denied that his front bench colleagues are “lazy”.
The issue is even fair game for candidates, with former minister Tony McNulty — who lost his seat in 2010 and is now running for the Labour selection in Brent Central telling the Evening Standard:
“We have just had a small reshuffle, but generally there is a notion that it’s always Ed and Ed on the economy out there on their own. Where are all the others? It is a team message that has got to be put across and not just by the two people at the top.”
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