Steerpike Steerpike

New Labour’s children make hay in exile

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Clinton Global Initiative)

Life is good in the Labour party right now – which is perhaps why it’s no surprise that a few old faces could be making a comeback. In the late nineties and early noughties, a crop of talented young New Labour advisors were dubbed ‘the golden generation’. Much like their footballing equivalents in the England team of that period, they flattered to deceive, with many leaving politics in the arid years after the 2010 election. Some lost their seats; others declined to waste their prime years in opposition under the plodding leadership of Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn.

Now though, with the Starmer army 20 points ahead in the polls, one or two New Labour golden boys are looking to rejoin the fray. Earlier this week, David Miliband – a longtime Blairite prince over the water in New York – declined to rule out such a comeback to Andrew Marr on LBC. And now today, Douglas Alexander – an arch-Brownite turned globe-trotting academic – is reportedly exploring a bid to stand in the East Lothian constituency. Nominations are yet to open for the seat, which is currently held by the SNP but is likely to go red at the next election.

Opinion in Labour is divided as to whether either man should return. Still, at least they’ve both spent the years in opposition well, preparing once more for the penury of politics. Miliband, famously, has spent much of the last decade running the International Rescue Committee since flouncing off from parliament in 2013. He is now paid a handsome annual salary of more than £750,000 according to the aid charity’s most recent financial accounts. As for Alexander, he set up a political consultancy with his spouse six months after losing his seat in the 2015 election.

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