London: Ed Miliband, who trounced his older sibling in an extremely close race for leadership of Britain's Labour party, is willing to give David Miliband any job he wants and has left to the former foreign secretary "to
set out his own intentions".
Edward, Labour's newly-elected leader, defeated David in a wafer-thin victory yesterday in a contest necessitated by Gordon Brown's resignation.
The Sunday Times said the new party leader has privately indicated that his sibling can have a first choice of portfolios after trumping him by just 1.3 percentage points in an extraordinary four-round play-off.
The younger Miliband won despite failing to secure the support of the majority of Labour MPs and activists, and he owed his victory to the backing of the trade unions.
His triumph by such a narrow margin has raised questions over whether he will be able to unite the party and at the same time triggered speculation that he would be under pressure to back the unions' campaigns against public service cuts.
The Tories, who have dubbed Ed as "Red Ed" for his so-called socialist leanings, have greeted his victory with glee as they believe his installation will mark a shift to the left for the party that will make it far less electable, the paper said.
Ed Miliband, who replaces acting leader Harriet Harman, won with 50.65 percent of the vote to David's 49.35 percent. Ed Balls was third, Andy Burnham fourth and Diane Abbott last in the ballot of Labour members and trade unionists.
The conclusion of the contest marks an end to David Miliband's long-held leadership ambitions and it would be interesting to see how the two brothers set aside the differences of the campaign to forge a new path for the party.
It "sets the scene for a remarkable new political psychodrama," the paper said.
Asked by the BBC's Nick Robinson whether his brother had a part to play in his shadow cabinet, Ed said: "He has a huge contribution to make to British politics - it's for him to set out his own intentions about what he wants to do."
Ed Miliband, a former energy secretary, secured 175,519 votes, compared to 147,220 for David Miliband, former foreign secretary.
However, because of Labour's tripartite electoral college - which gives equal weight to the votes of MPs and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), party activists an affiliated trade union members - Ed Miliband would not have won without second preference votes from those who backed Ed Balls, the former schools secretary, who came third.
First Published: Sunday, September 26, 2010, 14:07