Maurice Glasman, the Labour peer and one time strategic advisor to Ed Miliband has pulled out of plans to write a weekly political column for the Sun on Sunday after words with the Labour leader.
That will be the same Mr Miliband who Glasman laid into in an article for New Statesman in January where he wrote that the Labour appeared to have “no strategy, no narrative and little energy”. Clearly the Sun was hoping for more of the same.
According to the Guardian, Miliband put pressure on Glasman in an effort to ensure his strong stance against Rupert Murdoch’s News International over the phone hacking remains a united one. Last summer Miliband called for News International to be broken up. He argued it had “too much power over British public life”.
News International was clearly playing divide and rule tactics by signing up Glasman for a reported £1,000 a week.
“This week, the new paper’s executives have been ringing Labour MPs, including Miliband’s office, asking for messages of support ahead of its launch this weekend, but MPs were urged by the party leadership not to be seen endorsing an attempt by Murdoch to reimpose his control of the Sunday newspaper mass market.
“Some Labour members have also been campaigning publicly for supporters to not co-operate with the new newspaper – announced this week as a replacement for the News of the World, which Murdoch closed last year when the extent of the phone hacking began to emerge.
“On Thursday, the party issued a statement saying: “We will work and engage with all media organisations. But the Labour party does not endorse any newspaper and we don’t endorse the Sunday Sun,” the Guardian reports.
Whatever happens next with the Sun on Sunday there will be no love lost between Wapping and Miliband.