Ed Miliband yesterday admitted he had to improve the way he got his message across to voters as he pleaded for more time during an uncomfortable radio phone-in.
After a week in which he has launched successful attacks on the Government for raising VAT to 20%, Mr Miliband came back to Earth with a bump during an hour-long interview on BBC Radio 2. He faced a barrage of tough questions from presenter Jeremy Vine and callers for “shafting” his brother David, whom he defeated for the Labour leadership. One Labour supporter said he was too “laidback” and lacked the “passion and fire in the belly” to land blows on the Government.
It is the second time that Mr Miliband has endured a difficult BBC radio interview. In November he struggled to define what he meant by the “squeezed middle” on Radio 4. One Labour insider said last night: “If the first interview was a car crash, then this was a pile-up.”
Mr Miliband, who has faced internal Labour criticism for not making more impact during his first 100 days as party leader, admitted: “Of course there's further to go for me to set out both what we need to do as a political party and who I am as a politician and indeed as a person.
“I know that as a politician, as a person, I have a journey to go on and we as a party have a journey to go on. That comes over time.”
He added: “We have to not just fight but we have to convince people; we have a job to make a reasoned case and convince people, but I accept the point that we have to speak up for the anger people have.”