Should Mandy have avoided the attack on the Sun?
Paul Waugh makes a valid point on his Evening Standard blog that the way Number 10 is dealing with the letter of condolence issue could be causing more damage.
He writes: “We now have not just Peter Mandelson, but also housing minister Ian Austin claiming that this is all about The Sun’s decision to back the Tories..
First, the Prince of Darkness said that the tabloid’s story had to be seen in the “context” of the fact that the paper had chosen to “campaign against Gordon Brown and Labour” in the run up to the next election…
Now, on Radio 4’s PM programme, Mr Austin (a former PPS to Mr Brown) has gone even further, alleging that The Sun had “exploited her [Mrs Janes’] grief” and that it was “sad” that it had “used” a tragedy to score party political points..
If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to inflame this row, it is the insinuation that Mrs Janes is a poor, naive sop whose complaints are somehow not legitimate.”
I agree. You would expect better judgement from Mandelson in particular.
What it does show is the extent to which Labour was thrown off-balance by last month’s decision by the Sun.