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David Miliband hails Ed as leader

David Miliband has dismissed reports of a rift with brother Ed as "hooey and nonsense" as he paid a fleeting visit to the Labour conference in Liverpool.

Addressing a fringe meeting exactly a year after losing the party leadership to his younger brother, the former foreign secretary insisted that he wants to see Ed in 10 Downing Street and Labour back in power.

But he gave no hints over whether he is ready to return to the frontline of politics by accepting a place in the shadow cabinet.

Ed is thought to have won the conference's approval to scrap elections to the shadow cabinet, in a vote whose result will be formally announced on Monday.

The move has sparked speculation that the leader may use his new power to choose his own top team by staging a reshuffle in the near future. And he made clear once more that there would "of course" be a senior role for David if he wanted it.

Ed told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show that David is "providing huge support to me as a brother" and said that the pair had "moved on" since last year's dramatic leadership election.

Asked if he would welcome his brother back in to a senior role, he said: "Of course I would, and I've always said that. But that, in the end, is his decision."

In a later interview with Radio 5 Live's Pienaar's Politics programme, David was asked about reports of tensions with Ed. He responded: "Hooey and nonsense. I was going to use much more flowery language, but on a family radio station I will stick to 'hooey and nonsense'."

David declined to discuss any advice he might have given his brother, but said that Labour should not be worried by opinion polls suggesting voters do not see Ed as a potential prime minister, but should instead focus on "how you're rebuilding yourself and reaching out to the public and how you're engaging the biggest issues facing the country".

David's speech to the Movement for Change community organising project, which he founded during the leadership campaign, is his only engagement at this year's conference. He told delegates that his brother was leading Labour "with strong purpose and conviction".

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