‘Old-style Hampstead socialist’ jibe is just a nursery rhyme

Ed Milliband

Ed Milliband - Credit: Getty Images

The well-worn image of the out-of-touch “Hampstead socialist” who lives in an intellectual bubble has reared its head once again in attacks on Ed Miliband.

New Statesman editor Jason Cowley and former Labour spin doctor Damian McBride have criticised Primrose Hill-raised Mr Miliband for being an “old-style Hampstead socialist” – reigniting a debate over the use of “Hampstead” as a dirty word in political circles.

Barry Peskin, chairman of the Hampstead Labour Party in the 1960s and ‘70s, said: “This has been going on an awful long time and I think it’s become like a nursery rhyme – people just repeat it. Whether people are from Wigan or Hampstead is irrelevant. I’m proud to be a Hampstead socialist.”