From 2007 to 2010, David Miliband was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and the hottest topic in British politics.
As the Labour Party approached the 2010 General Election, many considered then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown a liability. Miliband, on the other hand, was fashioned as young and exciting – a fresh face from a decade of Brown-Blair politics and ultimately the future of the Labour Party.
However, despite great media speculation, Miliband never challenged Brown for the party leadership.
Worse still for David, in the Labour Leadership election that followed the 2010 British General Election, he was beaten out by his younger brother, Ed Miliband. Ed was later to suffer electoral defeat to then Prime Minister David Cameron at the 2015 British General Election.
After his own defeat at the hands of his brother, David Miliband stepped back from frontline politics, and in 2013 he resigned from Parliament to become the President and Chief Executive of the global charity, International Rescue Committee. He is currently based in America.
What does David Miliband do now?
Living as an Englishman in New York, Miliband is far away from his old South Shields constituency in the North East of England.
Miliband is President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a charity whose mission, according to its website, ‘is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future’.
Focusing on humanitarian crises, the IRC is said to have extensive reach and has previously been described as ‘the most under-recognized yet influential non governmental aid group in the world’.
He very occasionally still pops up on the British media to make comments about the state of UK politics.
Before becoming the MP for South Shields at the 2001 election, Miliband was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, and from 1992-1994, Secretary of the Commission on Social Justice – a commission set up by then Labour Leader John Smith.
During Tony Blair’s first term in office from 1997 to 2001, Miliband was the Head of the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit in 10 Downing Street. In this period, Miliband was said to have been nicknamed ‘Brains‘ (apparently after the Thunderbirds puppet) by Alastair Campbell.
In 2002, Miliband, now an MP, was made Minister of State for Schools before being promoted to Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 2004. From 2005, Miliband became a Minister of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government – a position he held until 2006.
Miliband was then made Environment Secretary (2006-2007), before becoming the youngest Foreign Secretary for 30 years under Gordon Brown.
Following Labour’s defeat at the 2010 election in Britain, Miliband stood for the Labour leadership against his brother, Ed. However, it was Ed Miliband who won the contest, and, in turn, David stepped back from front-line politics, eventually resigning his Commons Seat in 2013.
David Miliband and Keir Starmer
Miliband was a strong critic of Jeremy Corbyn during his time as Leader of the Labour Party. In an interview following the 2019 election, Miliband accused Mr Corbyn and his allies of being in ‘denial’ about the 2017 and 2019 election losses.
Miliband has welcomed Sir Keir Starmer’s election as Labour leader.
Return to British Politics
Mr Miliband is frequently asked about a potential return to the United Kingdom. And on every occasion of his asking, he has been deliberately noncommittal.
As recently as July 2020, Miliband said in an interview with Times Radio, ‘I don’t want to get into the ruling in [or] ruling out’.
David Miliband and Ed Miliband
David and Ed Miliband were born the sons of Jewish refugees. Their father, Ralph, was one of the leading Marxist theorists of his generation – and a fierce critic of the Labour Party – including his sons’ role within it.
As part of their upbringing, the Miliband brothers were always encouraged to voice their political opinions. They both joined the Labour Party an early age-much to the consternation of their father.
David and Ed were both MPs and Cabinet members in the ‘New Labour’ years. The brothers then stood against each other in the 2010 Labour Leadership election. The race was well-publicised and much was made of their brotherly rivalry.
Neil Kinnock told a Channel 4 documentary at the time: ‘David’s response to Ed running has been deeply resentful’. Ed ultimately beat David in the contest by appealing to the left of the party. Following David’s resignation from parliament, it was reported that the brothers didn’t speak for years.
David Miliband Family
David Miliband was born on 15th July 1965 in London. Miliband is married to violinist Louise Shackelton, who herself previously played the violin for the London Symphony Orchestra. The couple have two adopted children.
Twitter Handle –@Dmiliband
Facebook Address – @dmiliband
Personal Website – https://www.rescue-uk.org/david-miliband