Leadership elections – the Labour way

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 …

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  • Seymour Major

    “Ed Milliband too busy to marry pregnant girlfriend” is the headline in the Daily Telegraph

    I suppose that if they did marry, David would be best man. Now there is a future speech that will be rather interesting!

  • Should warrant live coverage on Sky News and BBC News Channel … followed by a family boxing match on Sky Sports!

  • Munsterview

    Both brothers should have the measure of each other !

    This is going to have an interesting outworking, they will not be indifferent to each other and even if there are political differences, they will have a shared intimacy between two siblings that usually can only come from family bonds.

    Whether this intimacy turns to out to be productive or corrosive in the coming weeks and months remain to be seen. However the early omens looks good and if so it may be just what the doctor ordered. Factor in Ed Balls coming on board and there is a strong collective leadership at the top that clearly represent a diversity of views but also the majority of the party membership and aspirations.

    A strong Labor cohesion as the cuts bite and the collation starts fraying around the edges ? Not a bad place to be when the cuts bite as I predicted months ago, not a bad place at all!

  • It sounds as though David M is going to bow out of front line politics.

    Meanwhile, I think the Conservative Press may have been a premature about their preference of David Milliband to Ed.

    I am in a sort of awe that he has won this contest. It demonstrates not just a ruthless streak, which you need to get to the top of politics, but an indication of a top draw political power player and thinker. He may have given away some hostages to fortune but this afternoon, he brushed them all aside in his first major speech as party leader.

    It sort of reminds me of how Margaret Thatcher first took on Ted Heath for the Conservative leadership.

  • Munsterview

    I have not heard the speech as yet. Hopefully Dave is still a bit shell shocked and just needs to time to reflect ?

    Could it be that while as party leader he was willing for his brand of politics, that in his new situation he is not prepared to go into conflict and toe to toe on the issue with his younger brother ?

    They are a remarkable pair and it would be such a shame if either were in the position where they felt they could only make a contribution to politics at home and on this island at the expense of the other !