James Forsyth

An evening of two Milibands

An evening of two Milibands
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Tonight offered the opportunity to compare and contrast the two Miliband brothers as they were interviewed one after the other by Steve Richards. Any comparison of their performances should recognise that Ed Miliband has the far easier brief. He gets to sound bold and green and the vast majority of Labour members agree with what he is trying to do. By contrast, David Miliband has to defend Iraq and Afghanistan. But having said that, Ed Miliband struck me as being far more impressive. He is more comfortable in his own skin and connects with the audience more. Indeed, watching Ed Miliband with a Labour audience is rather like watching David Cameron with a Tory audience: one senses that the oparty members instinctively trust his judgement. But Ed Miliband doesn’t use this trust to argue for any positions that are unpopular with the party.

However much it irritates them, the two Miliband brothers are always going to be compared. The press’s interest in the question of how they will deal with the leadership question will only grow as a contest nears. Ed’s stock is very much on the rise right now—he seems human, plausible and party members just like him. But the real test for him will come when he has to give the party a message that it does not want to hear.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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