David Miliband launches stinging attack on brother Ed’s election campaign
Ex MP says campaign failed to to appeal to principles of ‘aspiration and inclusion’
Ex-MP rules himself out of Labour leadership race as he says voters delivered clear verdict on failure to embrace ‘aspiration and inclusion’
Ex-MP rules himself out of Labour leadership race as he says voters delivered clear verdict on failure to embrace ‘aspiration and inclusion’David Miliband launches stinging attack on brother Ed’s election campaign.
David Miliband has delivered a harsh critique of his brother’s election campaign, saying it appeared to push the Labour party backwards from the principles of aspiration and inclusion.
Speaking to the BBC on Monday from New York, where he works as president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, Miliband said last week’s election result was “devastating” for the Labour party and its supporters.
But he cautioned against blaming the electorate for failing to understand the party’s message. “There’s absolutely no point in blaming the electorate. Any suggestion that they didn’t ‘get it’ is wrong. They didn’t want what was being offered.”
Miliband said : “I think that the voters have delivered a very clear verdict. And unless Labour is able to embrace a politics of aspiration and inclusion, a politics that defies some of the traditional labels that have dogged politics for so long, then it’s not going to win.”
He said the choice was “very, very clear” - “either we build on what Labour achieved in 1997 and we have a chance to succeed, or we abandon it and we fail. That’s what’s happened in 2010, in 2015, and it mustn’t happen again.”
Miliband, who quit as an MP when his brother beat him to the Labour leadership in 2010, said he would not be returning to British politics for now, but hinted he might be more involved in discussions about the future of Labour now that he is finally free of the soap opera surrounding him and his brother.
“ I am clearly not a candidate in this leadership election,” he said. “I’m running a global charity. The commitment I have to the job I’ve got doesn’t change due to the result of the election. I passionately hope friends and colleagues in England will take up the mantle,” he said.
He added: “Maybe I’ll be freer to contribute to that debate because there isn’t going to be the soap opera associated with my name and Ed’s name and I hope to be able to do so but obviously I’m based here now.”
Asked about his relations with his brother he answered coolly. “We remain in touch. Many of the attacks on Ed were unpleasant and unfair and I think he dealt with them with enormous dignity and with courage.” He added: “I’ve always said you remain brothers for life and that’s something that has to be kept.”
Miliband insisted: “It is very important we learn from both general election defeats. I think those lessons are about direction and purpose and orientation of the party rather than about personalities.”
Asked if he felt he should have been elected leader in 2010, he said: “For my own sanity, there’s no point trying to press the rewind button in life. You don’t get second chances at things. You don’t get to rewind the tape. And I think it’s important not to fall into that trap.”
He refused to endorse any of the potential leadership candidates, explaining: “I hope that a range of leadership candidates will come forward. I’m not here to endorse any candidate. What I think is vital is that there is absolutely no delusion about what happened why it happened and the scale of the challenge that exists, not just in England and Wales but in Scotland as well.”
The Guardian service