Miliband (David) in poll boost
Posted by Ian at 1 33 AM on Sunday, July 25
DAVID Miliband has soared ahead in the race to become the next Labour Party leader.
The News of the World can reveal the former Foreign Secretary has secured the support of the majority of the Labour Party’s council leaders and local party bosses.
Over 100 council leaders and Labour group leaders will today publish a letter backing Mr Miliband.
A third of the votes in the Labour Party election will come from grassroots members.
Last week bookies cut the odds on David’s closest rival - his brother Ed - after he received the backing of most of Britain’s major trade unions.
However, turn-out in the leadership ballot will be far lower among trade union members than grassroots Party members.
In the letter of support, 102 Labour Council and Labour Group leaders, including the leaders in Birmingham, Newcastle, Bradford and Leicester and Neath City Councils, back the David Miliband Campaign.
His campaign has also secured the backing of the leaders of Labour groups in towns and cities such as Norwich, Bolton, Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Peterborough, Scarborough, Sunderland, Telford and Wolverhampton.
In London 18 out of 29 Labour Council or group leaders have also backed Miliband senior.
Signing up to the campaign today are heavyweight figures such as the former Chair of the Local Government Association (LGA), Jeremy Beecham, along with the current Chair, and Deputy Leaders of the LGA Labour Group - Bryony Rudkin, Steve Reed and Sharon Taylor.
The letter says: "David Miliband is the right person for the job of Labour leader. He is the right person to win for Labour locally and nationally.
"Councils are bearing the brunt of the Government's ideological drive to shrink the state. David knows Labour councillors are the first line of defence against the Tory Liberal coalition, protecting our people at a local level and fighting for the services they rely on."
Speaking to the News of the World last night, David Miliband said: “I am proud and honoured to receive the support of so many of Labour's leaders in local government and grassroots activists.
“These are the people at the frontline of Labour's fight against the Tory Liberal coalition. These are the people we need to engage to rebuild and renew our party if we are to win back power."
Mr Miliband has managed to raise £200,000 for his campaign at the moment.
Behind him, Ed Balls has grossed less than £30,000 and Ed Miliband has got £15,000.
Mr Miliband’s supporters say they are copying the community action fundraising model used by Barack Obama in America.
Labour Party membership has jumped by 30,000 since the General Election to take part in the leadership vote.