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 “Our choice is the country’s choice” – Lisa Nandy’s LabourList Christmas Lecture

    “Our choice is the country’s choice” – Lisa Nandy’s LabourList Christmas Lecture

    On Monday evening Lisa Nandy MP gave the LabourList Christmas Lecture to launch her pamphlet “Our Labour Our Communities” – you can download the pamphlet here. Here’s the text of that lecture: We’ve got five months to go until the most important General Election in a generation. And over the last year, as I’ve spent time with Labour candidates meeting and listening to people in communities as diverse as Brighton, Norwich and Calder Valley it seems to me the overwhelming […]

    Read more →
  • News Polling New Ashcroft polls shows the point where the Labour gains stop coming

    New Ashcroft polls shows the point where the Labour gains stop coming

    The latest batch of marginals polling carried out by Lord Ashcroft has been published today, and it does not bring many glad tidings for Labour. The polling covers four Labour seats: Dudley North, Great Grimsby, Plymouth Moor View and Rother Valley; eight Conservative seats: Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire, Ealing Central & Acton, Elmet & Rothwell, Harrow East, Pendle, South Swindon, Stevenage, and Warwick & Leamington; and one Green Party seat: Brighton Pavilion. All of the Conservative held seats, bar Warwick & […]

    Read more →
  • News Ipsos-Mori poll puts Tories 3 points ahead – and Labour’s voteshare remains at 2010 level

    Ipsos-Mori poll puts Tories 3 points ahead – and Labour’s voteshare remains at 2010 level

    Yesterday there was some relatively good polling new for Labour, with a 5 point lead over the Tories with ICM. Today the polling news is bad, with the Tories 3 points ahead of Labour with Ipsos-Mori, and Labour’s vote looking squeezed by both the Green and the SNP: In reality these recent polls suggest that the two parties are very close together – effectively tied in the low thirties. However what’s particularly troubling for Labour from this Ipsos-Mori poll is […]

    Read more →
  • News Polling Labour could benefit from Green tactical voting, poll suggests

    Labour could benefit from Green tactical voting, poll suggests

    A YouGov poll for The Times Red Box has found that Labour could do well from tactical Green voting next May. The poll asked 4,335 respondents which party they would most like to win in their constituency, and also which party they think they will end up voting for. A third of those people said they would like the Greens to win in their area said that they’d most likely vote Labour next year. This doesn’t necessarily mean that these […]

    Read more →
  • News Lansley named worst health secretary, Bevan named best

    Lansley named worst health secretary, Bevan named best

    The work Andrew Lansley did for the NHS has finally received proper recognition. The British Medical Journal (BMJ) have named him the worst Health Secretary. A questionnaire of 50 of the country’s leading doctors and healthy experts led to Lansley being bestowed this title, while this same group of medical practitioners chose Aneurin Bevan as the best. Lansley, who was the Health Secretary between 2010 and 2012, was named by 15 of those asked as the worst person to occupy the post. […]

    Read more →