John Harris

Journalist & Author

Jon Cruddas: Ed Miliband faces a dilemma as the political ground shifts

The head of Labours policy review discussed the way forward for the party, as the English regional cabinet committee met in Manchester

On Friday proceedings in Manchester town hall began with something in rather short supply of late: good news for the Labour party. In the wood-panelled first-floor Scrutiny Room, Ed Miliband understatedly informed his guests that his party had seen off the Ukip menace and won the byelection to decide the next police and crime commissioner for South Yorkshire. There was a cursory round of applause; then official business began.

Twenty or so Labour people, including shadow ministers and council leaders from across England, had gathered here for the sexily-titled preparatory meeting of the English regional cabinet committee, a body intended to spread power and prosperity across Englands regions and oversee a dispersal of power that Labour should it win next May, at any rate will commence with an English Devolution Act.

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