hits out at 
‘too timid’ 
leader Miliband

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ED MILIBAND has come under fire from senior figures in his own party, as a poll showed the Tories moving into a two-point lead.

The Labour leader was accused by party grandee John Prescott of showing a severe lack of ambition in a damning assessment of his “far too timid” strategy and underwhelming conference performance.

Two prominent Labour donors joined the criticism. Lord Noon, one of the party’s significant individual benefactors, was quoted by The Sunday Times as saying the party “really need to buck up” and dismissing plans for a mansion tax on £2 million-plus homes as “hopeless and desperate”.

Lord Levy, who was Tony Blair’s chief fundraiser, also criticised the tax proposal – part of a package to pay for extra NHS investment.

The YouGov survey for The Sunday Times suggested that Mr Cameron had scored a significant conference bounce as his party moved to 36 per cent, with Labour on 34 per cent, Ukip 13 per cent and the Liberal Democrats seven per cent.

A week ago the Conservatives trailed by five.

Mr Miliband continues to lag badly behind the Prime Minister in personal ratings, with 22 per cent saying he is performing well and 68 per cent poorly, a net score of minus 46 points. By contrast Mr Cameron’s ranking is only just negative – by 45 per cent to 49 per cent.

Mr Prescott said the Opposition leadership appeared to have resigned itself to not winning an overall majority at the 2015 general election and was seeking only to shore up its “core vote”.

Urging Mr Miliband to “go all out for the win”, he warned that “time is running out” to set out vote-winning policies to compete with the “belter” of a tax cut offer proposed by David Cameron at the Tory conference.

New Labour’s 1997 landslide victory was secured by appealing to a broad range of voters across the country, the former deputy prime minister wrote in his Sunday newspaper column.

“But Ed seems to be pursuing a core vote strategy of getting 31 per cent of traditional Labour supporters with a few ex-Lib Dem voters.”

Cable makes pitch to workers: Page 4.