Ed Miliband announces leadership bid

Ed Miliband will fight the contest against his brother, David
Ed Miliband will fight the contest against his brother, David

By politics.co.uk staff

Ed Miliband has announced he will stand against his brother to be leader of the Labour party during a speech to the Fabian Society.

No other contenders apart from Ed and David Miliband have yet emerged in the race, but John Cruddas, Andy Burnham and Ed Balls are also expected to run.

Today's speech saw the former energy and climate change secretary cast a harsh light on Labour's recent record in office, citing immigration, civil liberties and the role of the state as major errors of the Labour government.

"There are many lessons of this election, but there is one in particular," he said. "Fundamentally we lost touch with our values... and we lost touch with the people were supposed to represent.

"We became more like technocrats and less like transformers of our party.

"We didn't take the opportunity of the banking crisis to say to ourselves, 'well these are markets are out of control'. We lost touch with people's sense of fairness.

"We haven't faced up to people's daily frustrations with the state as we should have done," he went on.

"We seem casual, frankly, about the relation between the state and the individual on issues like ID cards. There's always a balance between liberty and security, but we seemed casual.

"We need to think in new ways about markets. Globalisation is not some untameable force to which you need to adapt or die."

The speech today raises the fascinating prospect of two brothers challenging each other for the leadership, although David Miliband, former foreign secretary, insisted the race would not affect the two men's personal relationship.

"We have talked very frankly and openly to each other because we love each other as brothers," he said.

"Brotherly love will survive because brotherly love is more important than politics."

Ed Miliband made light of the issue today, saying the big question was who his mother would be supporting.

"I'm confident that on the basis of her position on the political spectrum, that her candidate for the labour leadership will be John Cruddas," he joked.

Ed Miliband is less well know than his older brother outside of Westminster, but his stint at the department of energy and climate change has seen his political capital skyrocket, with many civil servants and party colleagues speaking highly of his intelligence and judgement.

Ed Miliband is also thought to be marginally more left wing than David, and he has the support of the union Unite.

Both men are children of notorious Marxist academic Ralph Miliband.


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