Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Labour's Appeal and the London Effect

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Labour's Appeal and the London Effect

Article excerpt

THERE are many challenges facing Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, as he seeks to put behind him the latest dismal polls. Today he promises new initiatives to encourage young people to take up training by providing them with a "youth allowance". More significant, the move involves removing benefits: this is a tack to the right, reversing Labour's position from as recently as last autumn on a key issue where polls suggest a hardening of public opinion.

This is a broader shift that Chuka Umunna, the shadow business secretary, cautions against in an interview with this paper today. Labour's "London strategists" have been criticised by some inside and outside the party following its lacklustre showing nationally in last month's council and European elections for being out of touch on issues such as welfare and immigration. It is a caricature of "latte-drinking luvvie people", says Mr Umunna, which is unfair to the capital. He points out that Labour did well in the London local elections in part because the capital is growing and Labour had constructive policies on fares and rents. …

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