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David Miliband wins backing

The Blair memoirs, released on the day that ballot papers for Labour’s leadership campaign were sent out, contains reflections on some of the candidates.

On David Miliband, the book says: “He did a masterful job of putting the Government programme together, keeping ministers happy even while guiding them, sometimes forcefully, towards a direction other than the one they intended . He was perfect for the first term: really clever, plainly, and with good party politics.”

As the party was looking for a new leader, Blair says Miliband came to see him: “Two years later he would be a different calibre of politician, with clear leadership qualities; back then in May 2007, as he sought my advice, he was hesitant and I felt fundamentally uncertain as to whether he wanted it.”

On Ed Balls: “I thought he behaved badly at points, and was wrong on policy – but I also thought he was really able, and a talent that any political party should be grateful to have.”

“Balls was and is immensely capable intellectually, and also has some of the essential prerequisites for leadership: he has guts, and he can take decisions. But he suffers from the bane of all left-leaning intellectuals. As I have remarked elsewhere, these guys never ’get’ aspiration.”

One of the leading contenders for the leadership, Ed Miliband, has only a handful of passing mentions, Andy Burnham is mentioned once in passing and Diane Abbot is missing.



Santander in deal to distribute Prudential investment bonds

Santander UK has agreed to distribute Prudential’s range of investment bonds to its customers under an exclusive deal. The move will see Santander distribute the Pru’s Flexible Investment Plan range of funds for an initial five-year period from 2011, according to a statement. This will make the Pru bonds available to Santander’s 25 million UK […]

EU creates new finance watchdogs

A new European Systemic Risk Council and three new watchdogs covering banking, insurance and securities markets will oversee financial services across the European Union. The reforms, which were ann-ounced last week and are likely to be voted on by the European Parliament later this month, will not give the new watchdogs direct supervisory powers other […]


Aegon cuts 100 jobs and shuts 6 regional sales centres

Aegon is to cut over 100 jobs and close half of its 12 regional sales centres in a restructure of the business. The provider says it is to cut 142 roles and create 36 new positions leading to a net reduction of 106 jobs. It says the restructure is due to the changing work practices […]


House-builder teams up with Gov’t agency to boost rented accommodation

House-builder The Berkeley Group has teamed up with the Homes and Communities Agency to provide around 555 new homes for the private rented sector by June 2012. The agreement sees the establishment of a private rented fund, which will buy and allocate 555 homes for the rental market over the next two years. The HCA […]

Managing customers in drawdown

By Lorna Blyth, Investment Marketing Manager Delivering a decent drawdown review process takes time and resources. This article looks at how you can manage drawdown clients in a more cost-effective way. Most advisers are seeing an increase in drawdown clients following pension freedoms. Often these are clients with lower fund sizes, which means advisers are […]


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