The debate over the “Labour investment v Tory cuts” line has finally been lost (or won, depending on your viewpoint), as Alistair Darling has today conceded that the Labour government would cut spending more than at any time in the last 20 years if re-elected.
In an interview with the Times, Mr Darling said:
“My priority is to get borrowing down. Once recovery is established we have to act…the next spending review will be the toughest we have had for 20 years…to me, cutting the borrowing was never negotiable. Gordon accepts that, he knows that.”
The spending review would still occur after a general election, but the change in strategy has been seen as a result of Gordon Brown’s weakened position after Wednesday’s attempted coup.
Meanwhile, the Chancellor said Labour would “aboslutely not” follow a core vote strategy at the election:
“Narrow appeals to one particular group or another simply don’t work. Gordon was involved in the start of the new Labour process. One of the reasons Tony Blair became leader was because Gordon had taken unpopular decisions to junk some of the old Labour stuff we had accumulated. It is blindingly obvious you cannot win elections if you cannot capture the middle ground.”