Labour leader Ed Miliband has warned his MPs that Nick Clegg is taking too much of the flak for the coalition Government.
He urged the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) to “go after” David Cameron and ensure the Prime Minister was held to account for his “broken promises”.
Addressing the first gathering of the PLP since Labour’s victory in the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election, he said voters there had sent a “very clear message” to the Government.
But he cautioned that Mr Cameron was getting a relatively easy ride while Mr Clegg, the Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister, has borne the brunt of criticism of the coalition.
Mr Miliband accused Mr Cameron of breaking election pledges to introduce a fuel duty stabiliser and jail sentences for knife crime, and with the Government’s reorganisation of the NHS.
“While Nick Clegg has been given a hard time, not enough of a spotlight has been shone on the broken promises of David Cameron,” Mr Miliband told Labour MPs and peers.
“We have to go after him on his broken promises.”
The Labour leader asserted he wanted to reclaim the idea of the Big Society from Mr Cameron, saying that all it meant to the Prime Minister was shrinking the state – while Labour saw it in terms of communities and relationships, he said.
He also accused what he called the “Conservative-led Government” of failing to occupy the centre ground of politics.
Acknowledging that that was where elections were won from, Mr Miliband added: “This is not a centre-ground government. It’s important we start making that very clear.”