Ed Miliband (above) mistaken for his brother by Labour frontbencher, Chuka Umunna
Ed Miliband (above) mistaken for his brother by Labour frontbencher, Chuka UmunnaGetty

Labour smoothie Chuka Umunna slipped up badly by calling Ed Miliband by his brother's name, in the midst of unrest over the Labour leader's position.

Shadow Business Secretary Umunna mistakenly said "Dave" when he was talking about Ed, live on Sky News today.

It was the sort of mistake Ed could do without right now, amid increasingly vocal doubts about his fitness to lead from backbench Labour MPs and even frontbenchers, too.

Umunna said: "I know for my constituents, a united Labour party in ensuring that we get Dave... that we get Ed Miliband into No  10. I know ultimately that is what is going to make a difference to their lives."

Is that Dave - as in David Miliband - The charismatic statesman who looked like the best bet for the Labour party at the 2010 leadership election?

The one who was defeated by his brother, Ed, and then quit UK politics, soon afterward?

Streatham MP Umunna claimed it was not that one, at all.

The "Dave" of his remark was Prime Minister David Cameron, he said.

"I was thinking in my head not to forget to mention David Cameron's two defections," said the shadow minister. "These things happen. We are all human."

A genuine case of mis-speaking, or a Freudian slip by Umunna? You decide.