Ed Miliband is a work in progress – and that's his own policy chief talking!Jon Cruddas: 'public still blame Labour for immigration and housing crisis'Miliband faces growing criticism over lack of substantial policies
Jason Groves, Political Correspondent
02:54 GMT, 6 February 2013
02:54 GMT, 6 February 2013
Ed Miliband has failed to win back the trust of the voters and remains a ‘work in progress’, his own policy chief warned yesterday.
In a revealing interview, Jon Cruddas said the public still blamed Labour for issues such as immigration and the housing crisis.
He suggested Mr Miliband had work to do in portraying himself as a credible prime minister in waiting.
The Labour leader has faced growing criticism over his failure to put forward any substantial policies and Jon Cruddas said Labour needed to regain voters' trust
And, in an extraordinary comment, he said Labour would lose the next election if it adopted his own policy ideas.
His intervention is awkward for Mr Miliband, who appointed him to lead a wide-ranging review of Labour’s policies in preparation for the party’s next manifesto.
The Labour leader has faced growing criticism over his failure to put forward any substantial policies after more than two years in charge.
Mr Cruddas’s comments suggest that his long-awaited review may also focus on broad voter-friendly themes.
Tory chairman Grant Shapps said last night: ‘I agree with Jon Cruddas.
Despite efforts to meet the public and hear their thoughts on what the government needs to do, Ed Miliband's policy chief said the public still blamed Labour for issues such as immigration
'Voters don’t trust Ed Miliband because he hasn’t got anything to say on the tough challenges our country faces.
‘Labour’s policy review has become a running joke in Westminster – but no one’s laughing any more.
‘Costing over 1million of public money, it’s the most expensive blank sheet of paper in history.’
Speaking to the BBC’s Daily Politics show yesterday, Mr Cruddas said: ‘Has Labour regained the trust of the voters Well, no – not completely, it’s a work in progress.
‘If you look at housing, we didn’t do enough – I think we have acknowledged that, but it is a massive crisis.
'We didn’t do enough on immigration and I think Ed Miliband is beginning to recognise that.’
He said Mr Miliband did not need to make a ‘total mea culpa’ about Labour’s record in office but added: ‘We have got to acknowledge some of the problems but at the same time own our record and then develop a policy agenda that goes with the grain of people’s concerns.’
Asked about Mr Miliband’s image, he said: ‘It isn’t fully done in terms of projecting Ed Miliband, but over time I am confident we will achieve this.’
And he said of his policy review: ‘To be perfectly blunt, if the party simply put forward an agenda that I would want then it wouldn’t win.’