FORMER South Shields MP David Miliband travelled more than 3,000 miles back “home” from New York – to enjoy a fish and chip supper!
The former foreign secretary made the 15-hour post-Christmas trip with his family at the weekend.
On his two-day visit he stayed at the home he still owns in the town, and met up with some pals he got to know during his 12 years as the town’s Labour MP.
He took wife Louise and their two young sons along to the Cinderella pantomime at the Customs House and to Haven Point, the new leisure complex on the town’s foreshore.
Among those he visited were Richard and Frances Ord, owners of the Colmans fish and chip restaurant in Ocean Road. After enjoying a meal at his favourite restaurant he predicted the venue would go down a storm in the Big Apple – where he now works as president of the International Rescue Committee.
On his Twitter account, Mr Miliband wrote: “Great to wake up in Shields ... 15 hours door-to-door ... and to see the sparkling, charming Cinderella at the Customs House.
“Shields looking great. Thanks to Richard and Frances of Colmans for great dinner in Shields. Would go down a storm in NYC.”
Mr Ord said: “David retains a great fondness for South Shields and he came to stay for a couple of days just after Christmas.
“He went to see the panto and was blown away by the new leisure facility.
“He had a good look around the town and was very impressed.
“He said he would come back on a regular basis and he’s been as good as his word. He’ll be back for his annual lecture at the end of the month, when Alan Bennett is speaking.
“He told us he absolutely loves his job in New York and that he and his family have settled in well. He’s got a lovely apartment in New York, but he genuinely misses South Shields.
“He always comes back for our fish and chips. As for opening a venue in New York, we have no plans yet, but you never know! I’m sure the New Yorkers would love it.”
Mr Miliband left behind record temperatures in New York – where a storm front has resulted in highs of 71 degrees in Central Park – for a post-Christmas in a windy Shields.
He announced he was stepping down as town MP at the beginning of the year. His successor, Emma Lewell-Buck was elected in May.