James Forsyth

David Miliband back for a second lunge at the leadership cherry

David Miliband back for a second lunge at the leadership cherry
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David Miliband has given a provocative interview to the Evening Standard’s Anne McElvoy. Here’s how he replied when McElvoy asked him if he was up for another tilt at the leadership:

“I really won't go there. I rule nothing in and nothing out and it's invidious, where we are now, to talk about it.” He's talking fast at this point: almost breathlessly. So he's not counting himself out? “I said what I meant.”

This intervention is going to have a lot less impact than his infamous Guardian article did last year. The number of those who see Miliband as the next Labour leader has shrunk dramatically since then. Those who favour a change this side of the election view Alan Johnson as their best candidate. While those on the Blairite wing who are thinking ahead to a post-defeat leadership election are increasingly coalescing around James Purnell. This leaves Miliband with a very small constituency. Indeed, watching the fluent TV performances if his brother, one of the few politicians to come out of the expenses scandal with his reputation enhanced, one senses that David will soon be the other Miliband.

Update: I hear that Miliband's people are taking issue with the way the interview has been written up. Expect a rebuttal from them shortly.

Written byJames Forsyth

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

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