David Miliband may quit politics

Last Updated: Monday, September 27, 2010 - 21:38

Manchester: David Miliband urged
Britain`s opposition Labour Party to forget the "soap opera"
of his sibling rivalry with his younger brother Ed, who beat
him to the party leadership.

The former foreign minister begged the party to
unite behind Ed and bury the bitter infighting seen between
former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, but
refused to say if he would serve under his brother.

Ed defeated his better-known older brother by a
narrow majority in a surprise outcome to the centre-left
party`s leadership race on Saturday, leaving David considering
his future.

Ed Miliband was a close Brown aide, while David was
firmly in the Blair camp, putting them on opposing sides of
the warring factions during the party`s 13 years in power
which were ended by defeat in May`s general election.

But David Miliband told Labour`s annual conference
in Manchester, northwest England, that the party must give its
undivided loyalty to his brother if they wanted to oust the
Conservative-Liberal coalition from government.

"No more cliques, no more factions, no more soap
opera, one united Labour Party taking on one divided
government," he said.

"I have been incredibly honoured and humbled by the
support you have given me but we have a great new leader and
we have to get behind him.

"Above all I`m incredibly proud of my brother. Ed
is a special person to me. Now he is a special person to you
and our job is to make him a special person for all the
British people."

David Miliband arrived in Manchester hoping to
deliver the leader`s speech tomorrow, but had to deliver his
back-up address as the foreign affairs spokesman instead.

His rousing speech, made without notes, gave party
members a glimpse of what they might have had with him as
leader.

Watched by Ed Miliband from the platform, his
address received a lengthy standing ovation and cheers from
party members in the auditorium, before he hugged his brother.

But though they stood arm in arm on stage, David
Miliband is still refusing to say whether he will put himself
forward to serve in Ed`s shadow Cabinet.

PTI



First Published: Monday, September 27, 2010 - 21:38

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