the real fight began last night, live on the bbc's flagship programme newsnight. it didn't even need jeremy paxman to instigate it, they were all up for it.
ed milliband was the most up for it He said he wanted to be "prime minister" in his introduction and repeatedly attempted to interrupt David Miliband, Ed hit out at Ed Balls for criticising Mr Darling's decision to keep Labour's options open over a VAT rise. “If we spend our time in this leadership campaign talking about who said what to whom in the Cabinet six months ago, we are never going to win people back,” the younger Miliband said.
he first question was on Gordon Brown, and it was striking that Ed Balls, supposedly his most loyal ally, was the most condemnatory, accusing him of being proved as "out of touch" after his encounter with Mrs Duffy. Both David Miliband, assumed by his critics to have been somehow disloyal to Brown, and Ed Miliband, said it would be a "grave error" to blame Labour's election defeat on one moment of the campaign. David Miliband said he didn't stand in 2007 "because I was not ready to be prime minister" but that "changing the leader" would not have been enough. The problems for the party, he said, went back to 2006, after which there was not a root and branch change of approach. He also pointedly hit out at "negative briefing".
Diane Abbott, for her part, tried to portray herself as "the people's candidate" as opposed to the "Westminster insider's candidate",
Andy Burnham repeated his outsider pitch, and made a direct appeal to the unions, but the point of his candidacy may have still appeared a little unclear to the party if not the viewing public.