The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Feud claims dismissed by Labour election strategist
LABOUR’S CHIEF election strategist has dismissed claims of a feud in the party’s high command as he set out his vision for a “credible, radical” manifesto for next year’s polls.
Douglas Alexander brushed off a Mail on Sunday report which claimed party enforcer Michael Dugher attempted to resign from Labour’s election team over a “safety first” strategy adopted by leader Ed Miliband.
Mr Alexander also denied claims he sacked American campaigning guru Arnie Graf, which is said to have further fuelled the row with Mr Dugher, saying the community organiser is “absolutely” going to be involved in the 2015 general election campaign.
The shadow foreign secretary told BBC One’s Andrew Mar r Show: “I don’t think it’s a great headline for the newspapers saying ‘Labour team united and working for a victory’ so I think we can dismiss some of the headlines.
“One of the insights of this generation of Labour leaders is that it’s a totally false choice to be credible or radical.
“If you’re not credible then people won’t trust you with the governance of the country.
“If you’re not radical people just say you’re all the same.
“That’s why I believe that we will offer credible and radical policies.”
Mr Alexander also swept aside concerns about Labour’s declining opinion poll lead as he claimed the party can dominate the centre ground and win the election.
He said the opposition would soon set out more policies, saying Lord Adonis’s growth commission would report “in the coming days”.
Mr Alexander’s shadow Cabinet colleague Caroline Flint, meanwhile, insisted Labour was “making the weather” on the big issues facing the country and said the Conservative Party should be more worried about opinion polls.
An O b s e r ve r poll yesterday showed Labour’s lead being cut to just one point, with a backing of 33%, down two points from a fortnight ago.
The poll showed the Tories on 32%, up two points, indicating a continuing bounce from George Osborne’s Budget earlier this month.
A YouGov poll for The Sunday Times made better reading for Labour, however, with the party posting a seven- point advantage over the Tories.
The survey put Labour on 40%, with the Conservatives on 33%