"Large parts of the country feel that Labour not only disagrees with them, they think we disapprove of them too. "A sense of mutual disdain between the mainstream parties and working class England is driving voters away from politics, or towards so-called 'anti-politics' parties such as Ukip," said the former universities minister.
But Shadow Work and Pensions Rachel Reeves backed Mr Miliband, telling BBC1's Sunday Politics: "I thought Emily was being condescending and disrespectful of people who I went into politics to serve, so I think it's right that she went.
"I think it's right that she's no longer in her job because what she was suggesting doesn't represent the ethos and the values of the Labour Party. "I was angry when I saw it because I'm working hard, as are other Labour MPs and activists around the country, trying to get a Labour government back in six months' time and she set that process back."
Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps told Radio 5 Live's Piennar's Politics that he has flown the England flag on his car during sport tournaments, adding: "I just don't think it's for politicians to go around judging the public, it should be entirely the other way around, it's for the public to judge politicians.
"I just think it's extraordinary to say anything other than people who work hard, play by the rules should be allowed to get on without politicians taking the mikey out of them."
Mr Farage expects to step down as Ukip leader before the general election after next year's - and thinks his replacement is likely to be a woman, he disclosed yesterday. Saying he would not be leader in 2020, he added: "I am not going to be here for ever. I will do it till then."