Labour Party

Cruddas throws crucial support behind David Miliband

It has been tipped since the early days of the race, but tonight Jon Cruddas has endorsed David Miliband for Labour leader sending an important signal from the left.

Ironically, he reveals this in the New Statesman which today came out in its wisdom and backed Ed Miliband.

“I’m endorsing David because of a couple of contributions he has made — one was the column on Englishness he wrote… Another was his Keir Hardie Memorial Lecture. What was interesting to me about this was when he started talking about belonging and neighbourliness and community, more communitarian politics, which is where I think Labour has to go.

“He’s the only one that has got into some of that. He’s tackling some of more profound questions that need to be addressed head-on. What is the nature of the reckoning? We should not just be running from the record but having a nuanced approach to some of the things that went wrong, as well as defending the things that went right.”

The support of Cruddas gives David Miliband the support of not only an important respected figure on the left, but demonstrates he has wide appeal in the Labour Party and will help others who are yet to decide on which candidate to back.

It also cements a growing feeling among many that while Ed Miliband might be backed by several trade unions the party can not win with him.

Earlier this week Ed Miliband was accused of narrow thinking following his open letter in Tuesday’s Guardian inviting Lib Dems “sold out and betrayed” by Nick Clegg’s Lib Dems to form a coalition and join Labour.

David argued it wasn’t about winning disappointed Lib Dems over to Labour’s cause, it was about winning the wider trust of the British electorate and moving the party outside of its “comfort zone”.

The comfort zone jibe marked the gloves coming off and was not appreciated by the Ed’s team which hit back accusing David of “remaining in the New Labour comfort zone”, opposed presumably to the Brown comfort zone where Ed and his supporters proved neither comfortable or electable.