UK & World News

  • 25 July 2014, 15:06

Miliband: 'I Am Not Your Bacon Sandwich PM'

Ed Miliband has told people if they wanted a Prime Minister who could look good while eating a bacon sandwich then they should "vote for the other guy".

In a frank speech to party members, the Labour leader effectively conceded he was "weird" - and at times appeared to encourage people to vote for David Cameron.

He highlighted the moment he was pictured awkwardly grappling with a bacon sandwich during the local and European election campaign.

He admitted using "long words" that didn't make "soundbites" and urged the electorate not to vote for him if they wanted a PM who hugged huskies - a reference to Mr Cameron.

Launching Labour's summer campaign Mr Miliband, who also confessed he looked like Wallace, from the Wallace and Gromitcomedy films, promised to deliver a "different" kind of politics.

It will either be seen as a risky or brave strategy and comes after a slew of negative polls and gaffes during campaigning for the local and European elections.

They included the unflattering bacon sandwich pictures and forgetting the name of the Labour candidate he was campaigning for.

Mr Miliband said: "David Cameron is a very sophisticated and successful exponent of an image-based politics. He made his name as Leader of the Opposition for some fantastic photos, like hanging out with huskies in the Arctic Circle.

"Even my biggest supporters would say I haven't matched him on that. It is not what I care most about. And it's not where my talents lie - as you may have noticed.

"I am not from central casting. You can find people who are more square-jawed, more chiselled, look less like Wallace.

"You could probably even find people who look better eating a bacon sandwich. If you want the politician from central casting, it's just not me, it's the other guy. If you want a politician who thinks that a good photo is the most important thing, then don't vote for me."

Mr Cameron responded by saying it was the wrong day to be arguing about photo opportunities when the figures showed the economic depression was over.

Earlier this year Mr Miliband signed up Barack Obama's former strategist David Axelrod to advise him how to fight his General Election campaign.

Mr Axelrod has suggested Mr Miliband should aim to emulate Mr Obama's campaign and find a way of connecting with "everyday people" by offering a different way.

Mr Milibandsaid: "When people say 'you're all the same, you're in it for yourself, you don't care about my life', they are talking about us: the politicians. Millions of people think that for us, it actually is all about us, that we are in it for ourselves, for our own success, not the country's.

"They believe we value posturing more than principle, good photos or soundbites more than a decent policy, image more than ideas. Unless we stand up now and say that we want to offer people something different, more and more will simply turn away."

On Thursday, Mr Miliband's wife, Justine Thornton, hit the campaign trail in Scotland in a move considered by critics to be an attempt to make him look more "normal".

In the wake of the European elections a poll of nearly 2,000 people found that 41% considered Mr Miliband to be "weird".

Advertisement