Lord Prescott demands concrete Labour policies

Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott arrives to give evidence at the Leveson inquiry on 27 February  2012 in London, England. In August, Lord Prescott urged Ed Miliband to "kick out" under-performing shadow cabinet members.

Related Stories

Labour needs to put forward a coherent agenda and concrete policy proposals, the party's former deputy leader, Lord Prescott, has said.

In an interview with Total Politics magazine, he urged Labour leader Ed Miliband to set out a "clear" vision about what he wants to achieve.

He also questioned the character of the new generation of Labour MPs, saying the party "is moving on".

Lord Prescott served as deputy PM under Tony Blair from May 1997 to June 2007.

He said Mr Miliband's attempts to appear strong by seeking confrontation with the unions were "not enough" and suggested it was getting close to the stage where the Labour leader would need to lay out his policies to back up his One Nation vision.

Start Quote

We need a firm ideological question because people don't know what we stand for”

End Quote Lord Hattersley Former deputy Labour leader

"But what about your policies? What are you doing about that?" he said.

Character of Labour MPs

Lord Prescott said the perception of having a strong leader was not enough and urged Mr Miliband to have "a very clear idea, a vision of what you're going to do".

"That's about campaigning," he continued, "about drawing the differences, and not being buffeted about by the problems that come from a government who have chosen a different set of priorities".

"You have to deliver change but connected to your principles and beliefs," he added.

He contrasted his background as a former trade union official to that of Labour's current MPs who he said had been "researchers, things like that".

"The party is moving on, it's a different system, and it's producing different people. There's less to pick from. There's not many of them coming out now," Lord Prescott said.

"Most of them have been to university. Well, fine, great, they've got more brains but I'm not sure about the character. You've got to have a message and a vision and a leader that feels they are taking that on and believe in it. In politics, character is still part of it."

Another former deputy Labour leader, Lord Hattersley, also told the magazine that the party "needs to demonstrate what it stands for" and set out its ideology.

"When I was a young man, it was clear what it stood for: there was a large army of the poor, there were masses of houses that needed to be built, and there wasn't a health service... Now it's more complicated. Society has changed, and we need a firm ideological question because people don't know what we stand for," he said.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More UK Politics stories

RSS

Politics Live

  1.  
    Labour press team

    tweets: Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary @DAlexanderMP will be speaking to the @MarrShow this morning on @BBCTwo at 9am

     
  2.  
    08:50: 'Back seat driving' The Independent
    The Independent on Sunday

    The Independent on Sunday claims former Education Secretary Michael Gove is still "back-seat driving" his old department and maintains a "shadowy influence" behind the back of his "more teacher-friendly" successor Mrs Morgan.

    The paper says the chief whip still receives paperwork related to Department for Education issues.

     
  3.  
    08:44: New beds crisis
    The Observer

    The Observer leads on what it says is an acute shortage of beds for young mental health patients in the NHS.

    According to guidelines from NHS England, leaked to the Observer, 16 and 17-year olds, who should be admitted to specialist child adolescent mental health facilities (Camhs), are likely instead to be admitted to adult wards.

     
  4.  
    08:41: 'War on illiteracy' Sunday Times
    Sunday Times

    The Sunday Times's top story (paywall) is Education Secretary Nicky Morgan's "war on illiteracy and innumeracy". The paper says she plans to remove head teachers from schools where 11-year-old pupils cannot pass tests on basic English and times tables.

     
  5.  
    08:37: Miliband attacked The Daily Telegraph
    Telegraph

    Ed Miliband has faced criticism from a leading business chief who said a Labour government would be a "catastrophe" for the UK.

    Stefano Pessina, acting chief executive of Boots, said in an interview with today's Sunday Telegraph that Mr Miliband's plans were "not helpful for business, not helpful for the country and in the end, it probably won't be helpful for them".

    He did not elaborate on which specific policies of the party he disliked but told the newspaper: "If they acted as they speak, it would be a catastrophe."

     
  6.  
    08:33: Sunday papers
    Papers

    It is a very mixed - and highly politicised - Sunday for headlines in the nationals. You can read the full write up from our online paper reviewers. But we'll also break it down into bite-sized chunks for you in the next few entries.

     
  7.  
    08:28: Coming up

    A few must watch items for your Sunday morning:

    The Andrew Marr Show is at 09:00 when Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander will be on the sofa. You can watch via the Live Coverage tab at the top of this page.

    Sunday Politics, tennis permitting, at 11:00 will hear from Culture Secretary Sajid Javid and Labour MP Tom Watson. Again, watch live on this page.

    Other options for your Sunday morning political fix include Pienaar's Politics from 10:00 to 11:00 on BBC radio 5Live and we'll also bring you updates from the Murnaghan programme, over on Sky News from 10:00-12:00.

    And of course you may want to keep one eye on events in Melbourne too, where Andy Murray is taking on Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open tennis final. The BBC has live coverage here.

     
  8.  
    08:20: Good morning

    Hello and welcome to Politics Live. Over the course of the next 10 hours we'll be bringing you all the news, views and analysis as it happens from the BBC's political team in text and video - including all the key moments from the Andrew Marr Show, Sunday Politics, the World This Weekend and reaction to the big Sunday newspaper stories. You can see how Friday, which was a Churchill remembered special, unfolded by clicking here.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

Programmes

  • Temperature remoteThe Travel Show Watch

    The remote to control the temperature of your shoes plus other travel gadgets reviewed

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.