By Ian Dunt
Ed Miliband has issued a robust defence of William Hague over the rumours surrounding his special advisor.
Christopher Myers recently quit the position following allegations about his relationship with the foreign secretary.
At the height of the row, Mr Hague was forced to issue a highly personal and lengthy statement revealing that he and his wife Ffion were trying for a baby but that she had suffered several miscarriages.
"I'm no friend of William Hague, but I'm a great defender of his in relation to this issue," Ed Miliband told politics.co.uk.
"I think politics is profoundly depressing if this is what it becomes about."
The Labour leadership contender said the row had not appeared to affect his work as foreign secretary, meaning there was no legitimate reason to discuss it.
"He is entitled to his privacy and it's very regrettable where he felt he had been put in a position where he felt he had to provide all these personal details about his life and his marriage and all of that," Mr Miliband said.
"I think he and Ffion should be left to get on with it. I'm interested in his performance as foreign secretary. I don't think anything that I've seen around this issue goes to his performance as foreign secretary."
The shadow climate change secretary insisted that talented people would be discouraged from entering politics if reporting of the kind Mr Hague suffered became widespread.
"It's a really important lesson for our politics," he argued.
"Otherwise, people aren't going to go into politics. If they think that their personal life will be racked over in this way, people will be turned off and we want good people to be attracted into politics from all sides."
The new Labour leader will be unveiled just before the party's autumn conference, on September 25th. Ed Miliband is the front runner, along with his elder brother, David.