The leader of Britain’s biggest union has launched a venomous personal attack on South Shields MP and Foreign Secretary David Miliband.
On the eve of the Trades Union Congress, Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of Unite, the union with the biggest group of Labour MPs at Westminster, accused Miliband, in a stream of swearwords, of being ‘smug’ and ‘arrogant’.
In terms that caused fury on the right of the party, he also said Miliband would take the country back to the ‘failings of Blairism’ and could be a worse choice as Prime Minister than the Tory leader David Cameron. ‘We might as well elect Cameron. We might be better off with Cameron,’ he said. ‘
‘Why should we elect a young fresh face when we have already got one in Cameron with policies that are not dissimilar?’
Simpson’s officials, who sat in on the interview, immediately ordered that swearwords used to describe Miliband be taken ‘off the record’. However, they confirmed that the robust anti-Miliband assault had been deliberate and should stand. Simpson said Gordon Brown should tell those who back Miliband’s leadership ambitions, including Charles Clarke, who argued last week that Brown should consider stepping down ‘with honour’, to ‘sod off’.