Ed on David: “It was quite clear to me…that he probably didn’t want to come into the shadow cabinet”

March 29, 2013 1:19 am

I spent yesterday on the road with Ed Miliband (and community organiser Arnie Graf) travelling to Carlisle and Preston to see some of the work that is moving party reform away from being a dry and dusty topic and into being potentially transformational for the party – more on that over the next few days.

But I also took the opportunity to ask Ed a few questions about his brother stepping down as an MP.

Was he, at least on some level, relieved that the discussion and debate about the two brothers will now come to an end?

“I wouldn’t describe it as that. I suppose I feel at one level, obviously, sad that he’s leaving the country and going to America. I’m going to miss him. And on another level I feel he’s obviously – and it’s been obvious to me over the last few months talking to him about the job – that he feels very excited by it and quite happy to be doing it. And so it’s a mixed sense really. It’s good in the sense that it’s brought clarity.”

“I think to be fair the “soap opera” had died down a lot – it wasn’t like it was a continuing thing – but there was clearly a sense of uncertainty about what he was going to do, and so it’s brought a sense of clarity. So in that sense I think it’s good. For him – and for me – that it sort of came out in the right way. I think there was generosity on all sides of the Labour Party for the contribution he has made.”

But did he try and talk David out of it?

“I think what I tried to do was to say, when I said the door was open for the shadow cabinet, I was serious about that. And I wanted him to feel that there was a choice. At the same time, I didn’t want to try and push him into doing something that he didn’t want to do. And it was quite clear to me from the moment I became leader that he probably didn’t want to come into the shadow cabinet. I thought that might change, but it became increasingly clear to me over the past few months when this opportunity arose – I think he said to me in our second conversation “if I get offered this I’m likely to take it”. So in a way I think the die was cast in terms of what was going to happen if he was offered the job. It was a big opportunity, it speaks to our family history, it suits his talents.”

There will be more on my day on the road with Ed Miliband – including a full interview – over the Easter Weekend.

  • Daniel Speight

    There will be more on my day on the road with Ed Miliband – including a full interview – over the Easter Weekend.

    Hopefully Mark you asked him to apologise to those upset by the Labour abstention the other day and you will be reporting his answer.

  • Dave Postles

    He didn’t want to be a distraction. Shouldn’t we respect his wishes?

  • Dave Postles

    He didn’t want to be a distraction. Shouldn’t we respect his wishes?

    • postageincluded

      Ha! This reminds me a time, back in the 70s, when I made what I thought was a dramatic exit from a cantankerous meeting. The following day I was told that everyone thought I’d gone to the loo.

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        Can you recall what the meeting was about? Most meetings seem to have little purpose. Some do, but at least in my life, such meetings of purpose are rare.

        It would be good to be in a position to make a “cantankerous non-appearance”, and to enjoy the time saved to get on with some proper work.

        I make a “black spot” in my diary for every weekly management meeting that I have to attend, the black spot signifying to me as a record my opinion of the utility of the meeting. The diary records about 90% useless meetings.

        • Brumanuensis

          “Can you recall what the meeting was about? Most meetings seem to have little purpose. Some do, but at least in my life, such meetings of purpose are rare”

          I think you’ve just hit upon the topic of Alain de Botton’s next book, Jaime.

        • postageincluded

          It was 40 years ago but I have a feeling it was about a Gay Lib jumble sale, a hilarious event that did actually happen. The falling out was over how to spend the proceeds.

          Obviously my humiliation is more memorable to me than the agenda for the day though I doubt we had anything as patriarchal as an agenda, thank you very much…

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Homfray/510980099 Mike Homfray

            In the true-blue town where I was brought up we had regular Labour Party jumble sales. We never said who they were for unless asked, though!

          • postageincluded

            Haha. We didn’t say who we were collecting for even when asked, Mike. Coming out’s all very well, but not as important as good quality jumble.

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        Can you recall what the meeting was about? Most meetings seem to have little purpose. Some do, but at least in my life, such meetings of purpose are rare.

        It would be good to be in a position to make a “cantankerous non-appearance”, and to enjoy the time saved to get on with some proper work.

        I make a “black spot” in my diary for every weekly management meeting that I have to attend, the black spot signifying to me as a record my opinion of the utility of the meeting. The diary records about 90% useless meetings.

  • http://twitter.com/MJHerbert Michael Herbert

    these feel like dispatches from an alternative universe.. to-morrow there are protests up and down the country over the bedroom tax..next week there are many actions planned over the privatisation of the NHS, removal of support from disabled people etc…where is the Labour party?…I can’t remember the last time I saw a Labour ward or constituencty banner on any march or protest

  • Pingback: News of the Nation » David Miliband would shun shadow cabinet job, says brother Ed

  • Pingback: LED Lighting News » Blog Archive » David Miliband would shun shadow cabinet job, says brother Ed

  • Pingback: David Miliband would shun shadow cabinet job, says brother Ed - Government Tenders, Government News and Information - Government Online

  • D. Rumsby

    Well Ed may be relieved, but wait for Big Sister to come on the scene, then Ed will be really worried!

  • markfergusonuk

    Where do you live? Because a week ago there were Labour Party banners aplenty on a protest in my local area (Barnet)

  • Pingback: David Miliband would shun shadow cabinet job, says brother Ed | European Lands

  • Colin W. Garnett

    Pity about David going off to the States. After over 50 years of party membership, I feel that he will be one of the best leaders that we never had. The party and the country will miss his breadth of expertise and experience, his intellectual capacity, his character, charisma, and his ability to get his ideas over to people beyond the narrow confines of our party politics. Good luck, David, and thanks !

  • Pingback: David Miliband would shun shadow cabinet job, says brother Ed | GeoNews.WS

Latest

  • News Diane Abbott publicly attacks Ed Balls

    Diane Abbott publicly attacks Ed Balls

    Former shadow health minister Diane Abbott has taken to The Guardian website to launch a fairly scathing attack on the economic direction of the Labour leadership. The famously outspoken backbencher warns that if Labour “accept the coalition cuts agenda” they will not last more than a term in office. Abbott says: “Balls has a plan. He just does not feel able to spell it out to party members. It is called embracing Tory austerity.” Interestingly, no mention is made of […]

    Read more →
  • Featured The proof that Clegg’s taxpayer-funded aide is Lib Dem election strategist

    The proof that Clegg’s taxpayer-funded aide is Lib Dem election strategist

    Yesterday LabourList reported the accusations that Nick Clegg was paying his aide, Ryan Coetzee, £110,000 of taxpayers’ money to be a Lib Dem election strategist, rather than a Government aide. Today we can show you powerpoint slides, prepared by Coetzee, that prove he is doing partisan work for the Liberal Democrats. The slides, bearing the Lib Dem logo, show polling figures for the public’s feelings about the Coalition, Clegg and whether people would consider voting Lib Dem. Damningly, one slide […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Five reasons why Labour is likely to win the next general election

    Five reasons why Labour is likely to win the next general election

    On Monday this week, YouGov President Peter Kellner wrote about the ‘fundamentals that favour Cameron’ being re-elected PM in 2015. He lists some fair points, though I’ve argued before that Mr Kellner can be a bit selective in how he presents public opinion. So let me offer you a counter-point: the fundamental factors that favour Ed Miliband and the Labour party in 2015. These are the reasons why I think Labour will emerge as the largest party after the General Election […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Nearly one million people forced to use food banks in the last year

    Nearly one million people forced to use food banks in the last year

    David Cameron and his party may be claiming that the cost of living crisis is over – but perhaps they should speak to the nearly one million people who were forced to rely on emergency food aid from food banks in the past year. 913,138 adults and children received three days’ emergency food and support from Trussell Trust food banks in the last 12 months – that’s a rise of 163% on the number who were helped in the previous financial year. […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Going for the student vote: Postgraduates matter more

    Going for the student vote: Postgraduates matter more

    In a politics dominated by efforts to chase the grey vote it is nice to see a bit of electoral competition at the other end of the generational divide. As Labour weighs up what to do about tuition fees it might seem that a big offer to students could yield important gains next year at the general election, as well as shoring up any post-2010 support tempted to return to the Lib Dem fold. 40.5% of students voted Lib Dem […]

    Read more →