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David Miliband may quit front-line politics

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - 20:51

London: Former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband who lost out to his younger brother Ed Miliband in the race to Labour party leadership may quit front-line politics, a top party leader claimed on Wednesday.

David will refuse to serve on the shadow cabinet under his brother Ed "for personal reasons", former Education Secretary Ed Balls has indicated, even as David is expected to make a statement about his future this evening.

He appeared to pre-empt an expected announcement by David Miliband in a television interview.

"I don`t think David Miliband is leaving because of reasons of politics or ideology or policy. I don`t think this is a political divide, I think this it`s a personal decision," Balls told ITV news.

"I understand that because it must have been incredibly difficult to have lost to your brother in that way... If as a brother you`ve decided that it`s too difficult I think people would understand that. I don`t think it`s fair to find some big political split or divide here. I don`t think
that it really exists," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

The ex-foreign secretary will say whether he wants to serve in his younger brother Ed`s shadow cabinet.

David was pipped to Labour`s leadership by less than 1 percent on Saturday by Ed. Ed Miliband said he was giving his brother time to decide, but told the BBC that whatever he decided Britain "hasn`t heard the last" of him.

Existing shadow cabinet members have been talking as if David Miliband has decided not to nominate himself for the elections to Labour`s shadow cabinet.

Shadow education secretary Ed Balls told the BBC he had urged him not to leave: "I wish he was staying. But if in the end for personal reasons (he does leave) everyone will totally understand and support him 100 percent." The fraternal melodrama has dominated Labour`s
annual conference ever since votes from trade union members
handed Ed the leadership on Saturday, though his brother was
more popular with party members and lawmakers.

David Miliband left the conference in Manchester, northwest England, two days early, returning to London on Tuesday after his brother gave a keynote speech.

Ed Miliband appeared to suggest his brother would step down. "I certainly don`t think you`ve heard the last of him," he told BBc radio.

"I know he`ll make a big contribution to politics in the future "He`s just been through a leadership contest he lost, and I think he`s got to decide what he wants to do.

It`s most important that he makes the right decision." Ed Miliband said he did not believe it would "cast a shadow" over his leadership if his brother did walk away from frontline politics.


First Published: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - 20:51
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