Miliband plays down family rift
Ed Miliband has sought to play down claims of a continuing rift with his brother, David, in the wake of their bitter contest for the Labour leadership, insisting they had both "moved on".
In an interview with The Independent on Sunday, the Labour leader said he would not be distracted by the renewed speculation over his relationship with his older sibling, but would "stick to the mission" to lead his party.
He also disclosed that he had been taking advice from Tony Blair, who was widely thought to have favoured David Miliband for leader and who last week called on Labour to retain the political centre ground.
The latest speculation about Mr Miliband's leadership followed the publication of a biography by Mehdi Hasan and James Mcintyre which claimed that the brothers and their wives were barely on speaking terms. Newspaper reports have suggested that David Miliband - who saw his ambition to lead the party thwarted by his younger brother - was now waiting for Ed to fail so that he could claim the top job.
Ed Miliband however insisted that David had "moved on, so everybody else should too". "Everybody knows that we fought a leadership election last year. As I said at the time I was pleased to have won and disappointed for him, but both of us have moved on," he said.
But pressed on his suggestion last year that they would one day "look back at all of this and laugh", he admitted they had not reached that point. "I don't think we've done that yet, but I think what I would say is that both of us have moved on," he said.
He refused to be drawn on claims that they could not agree on whether he informed David that he intended to run for the leadership following Gordon Brown's resignation in the wake of Labour's general election defeat in May last year.
"I'm not going to get into the detail of this. What we both agree on is that we talked before both our candidacies were declared and talked to him about the position too and we're both on the same page on that," he said.
He also brushed off reports that their wives, Justine and Louise, and also fallen out. "Nonsense, nonsense, that's nonsense. It's nonsense. David and Louise were at our wedding a few weeks ago, and we had a great day. It was great that they were there and enjoyed themselves," he said.
But asked about suggestions that the Milibands' mother, Marion Kozak, was "in despair" at the state of relations between her sons, he replied: "I'm not going to get into my conversations with her about it."