Strangely, the (Daily) Telegraph seem to be leading the way on converage post-Labour’s leadership election. First they had Ed Miliband’s article in Sunday’s paper, and this morning they printed a behind-the-scenes look at the choreography and emotions of the announcement and aftermath.
Brother David was focussed on winning.
After a quick discussion, one of the group was chosen to warn David to prepare himself for the worst. Would it not be wise, the aide suggested, for him to think about how he would handle a devastating defeat? The older Miliband would have none of it. “I’m going to win, I’m confident of that; I will be leader,” he said. “And if I do lose, I will just have to deal with it. But I’m not going to.”
Ed met up with his team at 8am on Saturday morning to plan an acceptance speech.
Justine Thornton, his girlfriend and the mother of his baby son, arrived in the afternoon and the group had a late lunch of “butties and crisps”.
The five candidates were kept isolated in five different rooms and only brought together to be told the results.
[Ray Collins, Labour’s general secretary] made a short speech thanking all five for their efforts, before turning to Ed Miliband to say: “Congratulations.” According to one of those in the room, no one spoke for several seconds. Then David stepped forward to embrace his stunned brother.
Ed went off to finalise his speech while “the four losing candidates were kept in purdah”.
David is said to have eased what could have been an uncomfortable 45 minutes by cracking a series of jokes – his erstwhile rivals were impressed. Ed, however, was said to have been stricken. So focused had he been on the long campaign that he had lost sight of the impact victory would have on his brother. “David, what have I done to David?” he asked [his campaign manager Sadiq Khan].
With no mobile phones to leak the result, the campaign teams had come up with ruses to communicate the result to their supporters when they appeared in the hall. Cue buttoning of jackets, different coloured pass lanyards etc.
In the end, such ruses weren’t necessary last Wednesday night in the Waterfront hall!
The Telegraph’s last fascinating fact: Ed Miliband’s partner Justine is “a former child actress who starred in the television show Dramarama”. Now there’s a show that could be revived …
Alan Meban. Tweets as @alaninbelfast. Blogs about cinema and theatre over at Alan in Belfast. A freelancer who writes about and reports from civic, academic and political events, reviews cultural performances, chairs discussions, and live-tweets, streams and records lectures and conferences. He delivers social media training, coaching and consultancy, produces podcasts, is a member of Ofcom’s Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland, FactCheckNI board member, and is a member of the Corrymeela Community.