Miliband brothers rift is ‘healing’

David says he's moving on after defeat by Ed. Picture: BBC
David says he's moving on after defeat by Ed. Picture: BBC
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David Miliband has said his relationship with brother Ed is “healing” in the wake of their bitter battle for the Labour leadership.

The former foreign secretary admitted he would “never erase” the memory of his defeat in the 2010 contest.

But he insisted there was no point “looking in the rear view mirror”, and leaving British politics would end the “soap opera” – although he did not rule out a comeback.

Interviewed on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, the former-MP said he was “excited” to be moving to New York to head up the International Rescue Committee charity. “The truth is I did not think I would be in this position,” he said.

“But I am now, I’m excited, I am engaged. Of course, I am sad to go, but I am excited by the challenge ahead.”

Mr Miliband added: “The truth is that these things, you can never erase them from memory or history. But Ed and I are brothers for life. That is something that you value and that you nurture whatever the difficulty of the circumstances.”

Asked if his relationship with Ed was “healing”, Mr Miliband replied: “Of course.”

Comparing the brothers to Wimbledon finalists Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, he said: “The important thing, though, is that you’ve got to never lead our lives by looking in the rear view mirror. You can’t afford to end up eating yourself up with that kind of struggle.

“You’ve got to try and say, there are the Murrays of this world who win and there are the Djokovics who come second. You’ve got to be gracious when you don’t win.”

Mr Miliband rejected the idea that Britain was entering a period where the only governments would be coalitions. He added: “Remember, the polls are meaningless at this stage because they start with the question: ‘How would you vote if there was an election tomorrow?’ There isn’t an election tomorrow.

“People will come to a judgment about the future of the country in two years’ time, and I would say it is all to play for, it is open. I don’t think anyone on either side should be banking on the fact that it is bound to be a coalition, I don’t see it that way.”

On the crisis in Egypt, Mr Miliband said ousted president Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim brotherhood had previously “staged their own coup”.

“They were elected at the beginning of last year,” he said. “In November President Morsi suborned his own constitution – he put himself above the constitution and that’s really what has precipitated the total collapse of the Egyptian state, from the 15-20 million people on the streets.

“I think the key now is whether or not the army fulfil their initial commitment, which was to restore democracy.”

Mr Miliband said it would be a “disaster of really huge proportions” if the fledgling democracy is undermined, as happened in Egypt in 1954 and Algeria in 1992.

“We can’t just have the old guys back,” he said. “The people who are appealing to the argument that the Arab world can’t have democracy is al-Qaeda.”

Marr back on BBC for first interview after stroke

ANDREW Marr has conducted his first television interview since suffering a stroke last year which almost killed him.

The former BBC political editor, who started his career on The Scotsman and went on edit the Independent, spoke to former foreign secretary and failed Labour leadership candidate David Miliband in a pre-recorded interview for his own Sunday morning show.

Yesterday’s Andrew Marr Show was presented by Jeremy Vine, but Mr Miliband welcomed Marr back to work. “I know you’ve been to hell and back,” Mr Miliband told Marr. “And although viewers will be pleased to see me maybe, some of them, I think they’ll be more pleased to see you and I certainly join them in that pleasure.”

Marr’s first live show will be at the Edinburgh International Book Festival next month.