Ed Miliband has compared his bid to become the next Prime Minister with that of Margaret Thatcher's time as leader of the opposition.
Interviewed for a BBC Radio 4 programme called What Does Ed Miliband Really Think?, Mr Miliband praised Baroness Thatcher's "conviction" politics and suggested she had to tackle similar challenges when she was leader of the opposition in the 1970s to those he faces now.
The Labour leader's comments drew ridicule from one of Baroness Thatcher's former Cabinet ministers, who said Mr Miliband was as much like the former Conservative Prime Minister as Silvio Berlusconi was like Julius Caesar.
"She was a conviction politician and I think conviction really matters", Mr Miliband said. "I think that in the 1970s, it was a similar moment - that is the biggest parallel. It was a similar moment in the sense of the old order was crumbling and it wasn't 100% clear what was going to replace it".
Former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind said of Mr Miliband's comments, "I do not know whether to laugh or cry. Having served in Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet for four years, I recall a Prime Minister who despised politicians who try to be all things to all people".
"Mr Miliband appears to fall into that mould. He has as much claim to the mantle of Margaret Thatcher as Silvio Berlusconi had to that of Julius Caesar", he added.