06/04/2014 09:00 BST | Updated 06/04/2014 09:59 BST

Ed Miliband Is Not Weird Say Labour Front-Bench Ministers

Labour frontbenchers have today come out in support of leader Ed Miliband, crediting him for turning the party's fortunes around since the 2010 General Election.

Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint dismissed suggestions that Miliband was seen as too "weird" to become Prime Minister, saying his "authenticity" was one of his major assets.

Speaking on BBC One's Sunday Politics, she said: "Ed is part of Labour's success, definitely, in the last few years."

Definitely not weird

Flint said it was "ridiculous" that 13% of people saw him as weird, saying that when it comes down to a vote, people would be more concerned about the cost of living crisis.

She said: "To be fair to Ed, Ed is not a politician who says: 'Do you know what? I'm down with the Arctic Monkeys, I know who's number one.'

"He doesn't try to play that game. He goes on Desert Island Discs and says he likes A-ha. He's not out there to try and portray himself as someone that's down with the kids, 'I know everything about popular culture'; he is who he is, and authenticity is the most important."

Meanwhile, shadow international development secretary Jim Murphy brushed off a report suggesting that Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham were being positioned as a "dream team" to replace Miliband in the event of Labour losing next year's election.

The Sun on Sunday quoted "senior sources" as claiming both the shadow home secretary and shadow health secretary would stand in a leadership election in the expectation that Burnham would lose, and then be signed up as Cooper's deputy, while Cooper's husband Ed Balls would stand aside.

Murphy told Sky News' Murnaghan Show: "I haven't read that report and I don't put any basis upon it."

The East Renfrewshire MP - who was demoted from the defence brief when Miliband reshuffled his frontbench team last year - said Labour's leader had been successful in preventing the party tearing itself apart after the 2010 election defeat.

"Ed Miliband has delivered a united Labour Party which is unlike all the historical experience of the Labour Party, where we usually form a circular firing squad against each other when we lose an election," said Murphy.

"We have come together and we are determined to work together to get rid of what is often a pretty chaotic Government. I'm determined that we can do that and I'm sure that with the right amount and the right balance of policies that we are now working on, that's indeed what we will do.

"This isn't about me or any other character. The country does need change.

"There is a sense of frustration ... a lot of people who are working very hard, who abide by the rules, who get up in the morning and go to work to care for their families, the big question in their minds is: are they better off at the next election than they were at the last election?"

Referring to the Prime Minister's defence of Culture Secretary Maria Miller after she repaid over-claimed expenses, Murphy said: "I wish David Cameron would put as much effort into fighting for the living standards and jobs of everyday people as he does for his Cabinet ministers."

In a Populus poll for BBC's Daily Politics and the World at One programmes last week, Miliband was viewed as out of his depth by 27% of people, while 24% saw him as weak, and 17% as out of touch.