General Secretary of Unison urges Ed Miliband to stop making "reasonable statements"
By Matthew Barrett
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The impression from the papers today and over the last few days is that Ed Miliband is under attack from the Blairite "right" of the Labour Party: David Miliband's leaked victory speech (what might have been, if he'd won), the Telegraph files showing Ed Miliband and Ed Balls plotted to bring Blair's government down, the serialisation of a new booking suggesting the Milibands' relationship has broken down...
Less coverage has been given to the left-wing side of the pincer movement against Ed Miliband's leadership. The Independent on Sunday reports:
"In a further blow, the head of Britain's biggest public sector union, Dave Prentis, who backed Ed Miliband in the contest, rounded on the Labour leadership for failing to stand up for the NHS. In an interview with The Independent on Sunday, the Unison general secretary suggested the Labour leader can no longer count on his union's automatic support when he said he still has "a lot to get right" and should abandon the strategy of only issuing "reasonable statements"."
What does Mr Prentis want Ed Miliband to say? Does he want more of the misjudged rhetoric from the TUC march, at which Ed Miliband compared anti-cuts demonstrators to civil rights marchers and suffragists? Prentis' union supported Ed Miliband during the leadership contest and, during the campaign, Prentis said the unions should have a greater say in policy formulation. Today's signal of unhappiness with Miliband is significant because it is the first sign of dissent from Unison.