IT WAS an attempt to portray Ed Miliband as a “man of the people” by filming him alongside his wife in a small, austere kitchen of their north London home.
But the move backfired after it emerged the room was in fact the smaller of two kitchens in his £2-million (R36.8-million) mansion, which the Opposition leader uses only for preparing tea and quick snacks.
The apparent gaffe saw Miliband dubbed “Two Kitchens” – a reference to John “Two Jags” Prescott, the former Labour deputy leader – and mocked by Conservative opponents.
It came after Miliband’s wife Justine took part in an interview with the BBC discussing her concerns about the “vicious” personal attacks on her husband.
As part of the piece the couple were pictured walking with their children through a park hand-inhand and sipping mugs of tea in a humble kitchen.
The images prompted columnist Sarah Vine, wife of Tory MP Michael Gove, to mock the kitchen’s “bland, functional, humourless” décor and compare it to “Communist era” housing.
In an apparent attempt to defend the couple, Jenni Russell – another columnist whose child has Miliband as a godfather – insisted the room was only their second kitchen.
“Ed Miliband’s kitchen is lovely,” Russell tweeted, saying the room photographed was just a “functional kitchenette by sitting room for tea and quick snacks”. When the comments begun to gain attention, Russell clarified by saying it was actually more of a “tea prep area” where people “can’t even sit”.
The bizarre row saw Miliband under fire from political critics who claimed the fact he had two kitchens showed he was out of step with the British electorate.
Conservative MP Nigel Adams said: “Clearly there’s no cost of living crisis for ‘Two Kitchens’ Miliband. It’s a bit rich lecturing people about poverty from his £2-million mansion.”
It is not the first time a political leader has been caught out over media attempts to seem in touch with voters.
David Cameron faced embarrassment as opposition leader when it emerged while he cycled to work to save energy a chauffeurdriven car followed behind with his work files.
– The Telegraph