Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

David Miliband 'lets brother lead'

David Miliband and his wife Louise stand on the steps of their north London home
David Miliband and his wife Louise stand on the steps of their north London home
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband after his brother David announced that he will not stand for election to the shadow cabinet

Labour leader Ed Miliband has left the door open for his elder brother David to return to the party's front line after the former foreign secretary dramatically announced he was quitting the shadow cabinet.

David said he was returning to the backbenches in order to avoid becoming a "distraction" to his brother's effort to provide Labour with a fresh start.

He added it would also allow him to "recharge my political and intellectual batteries" and spend more time with his family.

The widely-expected announcement came four days after he lost out to Ed in the knife-edge ballot for the Labour leadership, and was hailed by his brother as a "thoughtful and gracious" move.

Speaking at the Labour conference in Manchester, Ed Miliband said: "He is my brother and I am very clear that, as leader of this party, my door is always open for him to serve in the future, either in opposition or back in government."

David - who spent the day with his family at his north London home - said he would remain MP for South Shields and would devote himself to developing the network of community organisers he set up as part of his leadership campaign.

In a letter to the chairman of his constituency party, he said he was confident that stepping back from the frontline was "the right decision for Ed, for the party and for me and the family".

He made clear he was not ruling out an eventual return to the front bench but refused to be drawn on whether his brother had privately urged him to stay.

Ed described him as "a massive talent" and added: "We would have been a stronger team with him in it, but I think he is right to have made the decision he did."

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz