A leading shadow cabinet Blairite has denied Labour has made a "lurch to the left" under Ed Miliband.
Jim Murphy, the East Renfrewshire MP and now shadow international development secretary, insisted the party remained "slap bang in the middle" of British politics.
The Labour leader has faced Tory accusations he is moving to the left after his promise to freeze energy prices - a policy branded Marxist by David Cameron - and a shadow cabinet reshuffle which saw prominent Blairites sidelined or demoted.
However Mr Murphy - whose move from defence in the reshuffle was widely seen as a demotion - said the party remained rooted in the centre ground.
"The Labour Party is a party that is slap bang in the middle of British politics. It is a centrist party in touch with normal people who go about their lives abiding by the rules," he told Radio 5 Live's Pienaar's Politics.
"This lurch to the left, Marxism - journalists write it, it's enjoyable to write I'm sure, it is occasionally interesting to read, but it is not really well-informed."
Mr Murphy, who was David Miliband's campaign manager in the 2010 leadership election, insisted that he was happy with his new job.
"This is a big job I have been asked to do and I am going to get on with it," he said.
His comments came as two newly promoted members of Mr Miliband's shadow cabinet also sought to distance the party from suggestions it was moving to the left.
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves said a Labour government would be "tougher" than the Tories on welfare, removing benefits from claimants who turned down work.
"We have got some really great policies... that show that we are tough and will not allow people to linger on benefits, but also that we are fair," she told The Observer.