Andy Burnham camp hit out at Harriet Harman's 'ridiculous' position on benefit cuts

For some time now, there have been mutterings in the Labour Party about the assertive pitch of their interim leader Harriet Harman.

After being criticised for allowing the party to drift when she held the same position during the Labour leadership election in 2010, Ms Harman seems to have decided that Labour will take a stance on issues - even though a new leader isn't due to be elected until September.

For the most part, the Acting Leader's previous policy positions have raised no more than eyebrows.

But her decision yesterday, to commit the party to support George Osborne's benefit cuts, appears to have raised tempers.

Three of the four leadership contenders have said they don't support the changes announced in the Chancellors Budget last week.

One senior source in Andy Burnham's camp told me: "It is a ridiculous position to have adopted".

Harriet Harman believes her position chimes with voters - and is a response to the message Labour was getting on the doorstep in the election campaign in those constituencies the part was targeting - but didn't win.

It will make for an interesting meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party tonight where Ms Harman is due to address the party's MPs and Lords in a committee room of the Palace of Westminster.