Labour victor to meet man who inspired Big Society

DAVID Cameron's "philosopher king" will be one of the first people to meet the new leader of the Labour Party, The Scotsman has learned.

Philip Blond, whose book Red Tory is credited as the inspiration of the Prime Minister's Big Society, has been actively wooed by both the Miliband brothers, David and Ed, during their leadership campaigns.

One of the two is set to be announced as Labour leader tomorrow and will then hold a meeting on Sunday with Mr Blond and members of his Res-Publica think-tank at the earliest opportunity in a bid for Labour to win back the centre ground of politics.

Mr Blond this week received a warm welcome from the Lib Dems who embraced him as the acceptable face of the Conservative Party. Former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown said he would "pray" for Mr Blond's success.

Like Mr Cameron before the election, the Lib Dems and the two leading Labour leadership contenders see Mr Blond's ideas about mutualisation, community ownership and localism as the best way to win the centre ground of politics and change Britain positively as the money in the Treasury runs out.

A source close to Mr Blond told The Scotsman: "He and ResPublica have had several approaches from the two Miliband camps. They know that his ideas are the only ones in town at the moment if you want to reshape things from the centre ground."

The apparent political consensus around the Red Tory ideas comes as Professor John Curtice of Strathclyde University writes in today's Scotsman that voters should expect a lot more hung parliaments in the future, even if the voting system does not change.

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