Gordon Brown urged to ditch 'tawdry, desperate and useless' election strategy

A former special adviser to two Blairite cabinet ministers has urged Gordon Brown to ditch his class-based election strategy, dismissing it as 'tawdry, desperate and useless'.

Election strategy: Gordon Brown
Election strategy: Gordon Brown

The Prime Minister is gearing up to fight the next election on a platform that will highlight David Cameron's privileged background, linking this to the Conservative Party leader's plans to cut inheritance tax for millionaires.

A Downing Street source told PRWeek that this type of attack on the Tories would be employed on a regular basis throughout the election campaign, adding that senior figures such as Lord Mandelson and Alastair Campbell were ‘fully behind the fairness agenda'.

However, the plans are thought to be causing disquiet among some Blairites in the party - and in an exclusive article for PRWeek, Labour strategist Paul Richards today launches a fierce attack on Number Ten's class-based strategy.

Richards served as Hazel Blears' chief aide until she quit her job as communities secretary in June this year. Before this he worked for Patricia Hewitt during her time as health secretary.

Richards writes: ‘In some quarters, a constituency Labour Party dinner, say, it goes down well to claim the Tories are chock full of pheasant-shooting, port-swilling, double-barreled, chinless hoorays. It can get a cheap laugh. But as a component of an election strategy class war is tawdry, desperate and useless.'

Richards argues that the strategy is flawed on three counts.  He says it is ‘hypocritical', it ‘doesn't work', and it ‘risks contaminating New Labour's image as a party of aspiration'.

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