Miliband hires Obama's election guru
David Axelrod during a meeting in the Oval Office in 2009 (Photo: Pete Souza)
One of Barack Obama’s closest advisers has been hired by Ed Miliband to devise a new election strategy for the Labour Party in the 2015 elections.
David Axelrod, a former journalist who grew up in a middle class Jewish home in New York, was a major figure in the Democrat campaign for the presidency in both 2008 and 2012. Between elections he served as the senior adviser to the President in the White House and has been a close friend and aide to Mr Obama for almost two decades.
Mr Axelrod said he was very impressed with Mr Miliband but believed the UK’s political landscape was shifting to the right in a similar way to the United States.
“I do not want to say too much before I enter the political arena but from what I have read the Ukip movement has dragged Cameron to the right on Europe,” he said. " We have seen some of the same impact on the Republican party from the Tea Party.”
Labour hope that Mr Axelrod’s skill in building large majorities in favour of left-leaning policies and managing negative campaign attacks will prove invaluable in 2015.
David Alexlrod watches as President Obama makes last minute edits for an upcoming speech (Photo: Pete Souza)
Mr Axelrod said that together with the Labour leader he would develop a political argument on the benefits of sharing the UK’s economic success more evenly.
“Miliband understands that a growing economy demands that you have to have broad prosperity,” he said. “We can't just have prosperity hoarded by a few where people at the top are getting wealthier and wealthier while people in the middle are getting squeezed. This is a problem not just for Britain but everywhere in advanced economies, including here in the US.”
The former Obama strategist is set to arrive in the UK on the May 14 for two days of preliminary meetings with Mr Miliband and other leading members of the Shadow Cabinet.