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No wonder Miliband wants to scrap shadow cabinet elections - the same electorate wanted his brother as leader

By Jonathan Isaby
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Ed Miliband 2011 It has emerged overnight that Ed Miliband wants to abolish the long-held tradition that when Labour is in opposition, the party's MPs vote to choose the membership of the shadow cabinet.

According to The Guardian, the reasons for the move - which would have to be the subject of a secret ballot of Labour MPs and endorsed by the party's autumn conference - are as follows:

Aides said he had taken the step to end the distraction of elections and to make his top team focus on the task of holding the government to account. They believe repeated internal elections make some shadow cabinet members as concerned by their popularity among their colleagues as with their impact on the general public.

One spokesman said: "Elections were a legacy from our previous time in opposition and it is a sign that Ed does not want the party to be dragged back to the 80s."

I posted the full results of last October's shadow cabinet elections here, but we perhaps need to look back at my post the following day to discover the real reason behind the move.

As I noted, only five of the 19 elected shadow cabinet members as voted in by Labour MPs backed Ed Miliband for the Labour leadership last year. Ten backed his brother, David.

And lest we forget, if the ballot for the Labour leadership had taken place among MPs alone, David Miliband would now be at the helm of his party, rather than his younger brother.

So it's little wonder that Ed doesn't trust their judgement.