Peter Hoskin

David Miliband torpedos his brother’s big speech

David Miliband torpedos his brother's big speech
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Make no mistake: David Miliband has handled himself with a fair amount of dignity over the past few days. But now some of his frustration has simmered to the surface. ITV news cameras were trained on him earlier, and caught him leaning towards Harriet Harman as she applauded his brother's claim that the Iraq War was "wrong" (see from two minutes into this video). According to the lipreaders, he says to her: "Why are clapping? You voted for it." To which she replies, "I'm clapping because he's leader and I'm supporting him." The elder Miliband does not look impressed.

To be honest – and although I didn't support the Iraq War myself – I feel some sympathy for his position here. There is something tremendously unedifying about this after-the-event posturing by politicians who voted for war. But, whether right or wrong, MiliD has just completely blown apart his brother's first speech as leader. Much of the coverage tomorrow will, once again, be about the fraternal soap opera. And with that, it now looks almost inevtiable that David Miliband will shuffle away from frontline politics.