Ed Miliband's message on marriage is clear: 'I'm not ready yet'

ED MILIBAND has endured a grilling from interviewer Piers Morgan over his decision not to marry his partner Justine Thornton.

The Labour leader insisted he would not be bullied into marrying Ms Thornton, the mother of his two young sons, before quipping: "Thank God for that, probably".

Mr Miliband, who is the first leader of a major political party to live with his family out of wedlock, has been criticised for not marrying Ms Thornton, a 40-year-old Cambridge- educated barrister. Traditionalists have also attacked Mr Miliband for not putting his name on the birth certificate of his eldest son, Daniel. He claimed he was so busy he forgot.

During an interview for GQ magazine, which is out on Thursday, Morgan teased the Labour leader by continually referring to Ms Thornton as his "wife".

In an exchange, Morgan asked the MP about his decision to take two weeks' paternity leave after the birth of his second son, Samuel, which came shortly after he won the Labour leadership.

Mr Miliband said: "Justine would have killed me (if I hadn't taken the leave], and rightly."

Morgan replied: "She'd have murdered you?" to which the 41-year-old politician responded, "Well, no."

The interviewer quipped: "God, 30 seconds in and there's your headline: 'My Wife's Going To Kill Me, Says Miliband'."

Mr Miliband hit back: "She's not my wife. Thank God for that, probably."

Sensing he had touched a raw nerve, Morgan later persisted: "Are you a good husband?"

"I'm not her husband," Mr Miliband replied.

Later in the interview, the Labour leader told Morgan that Ms Thornton owns their 1.6 million house. "So you married a millionaire?" asked the Britain's Got Talent judge.

"I'm not married," replied Mr Miliband.

"So your wife owns the house?"

"She's not my wife," Mr Miliband hit back.

"So your girlfriend owns the house?"

Miliband replied: "My partner. Girlfriend sounds too temporary."

Asked for his views on marriage during the interview, which took place on the day he returned from paternity leave last November, Mr Miliband explained his decision.

"It's a good institution and part of having stable families, but there are also people in unmarried relationships with stable families. I don't think politicians should order people to get married," he said.

He insisted he would eventually tie the knot. "But the more people who challenge me on it from a political standpoint, the more resistant I will become," he added.

"We'll get married because we want to get married and love each other very much, no other reason."

Mr Miliband said he never took drugs at university, claiming he was a "bit square" in his youth.

The Labour leader told Morgan he would take a Rubik's Cube on to Britain's Got Talent if he was invited to audition.In answer to another inquiry, he refused to say how many women he had slept with.

Mr Miliband also declined to divulge whether he was good in bed but admitted that he was often beaten up in the school playground.

He said he would "not boast about his sexual prowess" and refused to say how old he was when he lost his virginity.

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