Ex-South Shields MP David Miliband criticises brother Ed’s leadership – and rules himself out of race

David Miliband
David Miliband

FORMER South Shields MP David Miliband has criticised his brother Ed’s leadership of the Labour Party.

Mr Miliband, who lost the leadership selection to his sibling in 2010, said Labour had lost the general election because voters “did not want what was being offered”.

But the former Foreign Secretary told the BBC that “you remain brothers for life and that’s something that has to be kept”.

He also ruled himself out of becoming the party’s next leader.

Mr Miliband, who was non-executive vice chairman of Sunderland AFC as well as serving as an MP, quit parliament in 2013 to work for the International Rescue Charity in New York.

He was replaced by Emma Lewell-Buck in the South Shields by-election.

He said: “I’m clearly not a candidate in this leadership election… the commitment I have to the job I’ve got doesn’t change.”

Ed Miliband resigned as Labour leader after failing to win the general election, claiming 232 seats.

Former Business Secretary Lord Mandelson criticised his approach at the weekend. Some of the MPs tipped to replace him have spoken of the need to appeal to “aspirational” voters.

David Miliband said there was “absolutely no point in blaming the electorate” for the election result.

“They didn’t want what was being offered,” he said.

Mr Miliband went on to say his brother and former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown had “allowed themselves to be portrayed as moving backwards from the principals of aspiration and inclusion that are the absolute heart of any successful progressive political project”.

He added: “Either we build on what Labour achieved after 1997 and we have a chance to succeed, or we abandon it and we fail.”

But he said he remained in touch with his younger brother, adding that “many of the attacks on Ed were unpleasant and unfair and I think he dealt with them with enormous dignity and with courage… I’ve always said you remain brothers for life and that’s something that has to be kept”.