Excl: Miliband set to return to Shadow Cabinet in NHS or Defence role

Financial Times 2015 Summer Party hosted by FT Editor Lionel Barber at the Mondrian Hotel in London
Ed Miliband

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband is looking to return to a front bench position with the Labour party. Insiders say he wants a ‘big job he can get his teeth into’ – an NHS or brief looks likely.

Miliband remained MP for Doncaster North when he resigned as party leader.

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  1. Ed Miliband in the Shadow cabinet is a good move. He is a very able politician and when Labour wins the next election will make a very good Minister as he did under Gordon Brown.

    1. He’s a far better fit than many current Labour MPs. Corbyn needs experienced MPs in his shadow cabinet like it or not and I think Miliband is a good choice in that category at this volatile time. I believe he has integrity unlike too many others.

    2. I think that’s a bit unfair on Ed as he was never a Blairite or a Brownite, he was just himself. Where he made his mistake (IMO) is that he was left but listened to the so-called centrists who said he shouldn’t go too far to the left, had he followed his natural instincts I think the outcome of the 2015 election would have been different. Many people who voted for Ed as leader did so because they thought he was on the left, I remember them being so disappointed in some of his policies etc. I also think he knows this and tbf he has always been respectful of Jeremy and has never caused problems, so on average I think he could be a very good member of the shadow cabinet.

      1. Sticking to his socialist beliefs over decades is what separates Corbyn from the rest, with only a few honourable exceptions.
        Pretending that centrism offers any kind of defence against the predations of the 1% is what defines Blair and his Tory-enabling followers – Miliband ‘listening to the centrists’ makes him unreliable at best.

        The lie that Labour can only win from the centre has been well and truly scotched.
        Ask centrists how they propose to reverse the growing wealth gap and listen to them prevaricate and dissemble – they’ve got nothing. Not a clue.

        Nick Wall, ‘Brownite’ is less than faint praise. A dismissal, not a recommendation.
        He failed us with his gullibility, his boasting and his cowardly failure to admit having taken credit for Thatcher’s bubble – which was the real cause of the crash and could easily have been proved at that time – a failure for which Miliband has to share the blame.

  2. It irritates me when I see the word ‘Blairite’ being used indiscriminately to refer to any Labour Party member who’s not a Corbyn supporter. If anything, our Ed is a Brownite, not a Blairite.

  3. I do have some regard for Ed Miliband.

    I think he made a big mistake during the general election, when, following a disgusting attack from Michael Fallon, he tried to appeal to his mythical better nature.

    He should have attacked him vigorously!

    As Labour leader, he also caved in to the demands of Labour’s nuclear mafia. He should have faced them down too.

    Those people are absolutely disgusting.

    This example shows just how sick they are:

    During the 2017 general election, they insisted on the removal of this statement that had appeared in the draft version of Labour’s general election manifesto.

    ‘any prime minister should be extremely cautious about ordering the use of weapons of mass destruction which would result in the indiscriminate killing of millions of innocent civilians’

    The British General Election of 2017 by Philip Cowley and Denis Kavanagh, p182/3.

    That example shows why Labour needs to start opposing nuclear weapons.

    People need to hear a choice on this issue not an echo.

  4. I think only the counterparts to the Tory Brexit True BLeavers will object to that notion.

  5. Ed is no Blairite. He could have won in 2015 with the current set up I reckon. He wouldnt have had to bow down to the likes of Balls for a start and wouldnt have been talking austerity. I would have liked him back in Environment role but thinking about it getting rid of Nia Griffith would be quite satisfying.

    1. Ed is no Blairite. He could have won in 2015 with the current set up I reckon.

      You reckon wrong, then.

    2. Environment in the next parliament is going to be vitally important. The scope for Green jobs etc is massive and needs someone on top of their brief and game and like you I think Ed is right for that!

    3. Nia Griffith is absolutely dreadful. She has certainly embraced Trident and calls it a ‘deterrent’ just like the Conservatives do.

      But nuclear deterrence is not a fact it is only a theory.

      Ironically, David Cameron has admitted this.

      “All our political lives we have been nurtured on the theory of nuclear deterrence.”

      “Call Me Dave” by Michael Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott, p169

      If that theory goes wrong, billions of people could die. He did not seem to have a problem with that. Presumably, Nia Griffith does not either.

  6. Why not Brexit? To constantly remind those whining that Corbyn won’t “stop Brexit” that Brexit happened because a coalition of UKIPers and the big businesses backed Cameron who promised the referendum and effectively punished Milliband for not matching the promise.

  7. and he won’t undermine Corbyn the way Starmer evidently takes pride in doing.

  8. Moribund employed the postman (who should’ve remained a postman because he’s fit for f-all else) alan johnson as shadow chancellor; then promoted (from shadow home sec) to the post the creepy weirdo – ed balls (Gawd preserve us!).

    With judgement like that moribund isn’t fit to be an MP ne’ermind in a shadow cabinet position.

    No…Just no.

    ‘A big job that he can get his teeth into’ … Something else comes to mind, reading that..

    1. Bleeuurrgghh!

      Aw, Toff! Thanks for that delightful image just implanted in my brain: Ed fumbling, tucking into, not a bacon sandwich, but a shit sandwich!

  9. It is Ed Milliband who started to change the rules of the party that favoured the Blairites. I think he was undermined at every opportunity they could get including Balls “Austerity Lite” proposals as Shadow Chancellor. It will be great to see him back. He may not be a true Corbynista but he’s not been involved in all the shenanigans the PLP did to get Corbyn out.

    1. Perhaps he did implement the rules that led to greater democracy in the party. And maybe he was the choice of the (bigger) unions.

      And yes, there ARE worse – loads worse – than him, in the party**

      But surrounding himself with the likes of johnson? balls? mizzballs? harman? eagle? reeves? benn? byrne?

      Where was anyone, ANYONE from the left? They may as well have been on the moon.

      I wondered why he hadn’t won the contest by a larger margin…Until he chose his cabinet. Then the illusion was dispelled.

      **But there’s also better.

      1. His win in the electoral college was tiny. But I think that his win in the popular vote was actually around 20,000.

        Good consequences of his victory:

        1. Some Blairites left the party.

        2. Labour membership went up as he inspired them to a certain extent.

        3. The approved list of Labour parliamentary candidates was abolished. Some of the new MPs among the 2015 intake were crucial to JC’s nomination as leader.

        4 David Miliband resigned as an MP.

    2. One good think Ed did which did NOT help the Blairites was to change our voting system to one member, one vote.

    3. People forget that the change to OMOV was actually a right wing, Blairite policy that backfired. Read Alex Nunns’ book The Candidate. The idea was that extending the leadership vote to all members and beyond (Labour voters/supporters, emulating US primaries) would help the RIGHT because ordinary members and voters would be far too sensible, supposedly, to vote for left wing wing policies.

      Why has Miliband decided to serve in the SC NOW after three years of refusing to do so and not lifting a finger ONCE to help Corbyn throughout all the media mudslinging?

      I wouldn’t trust himself as far as I could throw him.

      1. Yes, but you have hardly scratched the surface of irony here:

        1. The original plan was that nomination would require 20 or even 25% of the PLP. Step forward Jim Murphy who worried that a true Blairite would not get nominated. He sought 10% and it ended up as 15%.

        2. Rightwinger Mary Creagh stood and got just 10 nominations. She dropped out before nominations closed thus releasing her nominees.

        3. Four of these nominees then nominated Corbyn. It appears that some were encouraged to do so by the Yvette Cooper camp who thought having JC on the ballot would improve her chances of winning.

        I must admit that I predicted that JC would not get nominated.
        I was not far off, as you can see, but I was delighted that he was. At the time of his nomination, I did not think that he would win. Again, I was delighted to be proved wrong.

  10. I had high hopes when Ed was elected and not his brother. He started well but watered down his principles. He was the victim of a vicious MSM campaign and didn’t have the backing that JC now has of a large and enthusiastic membership to support him. He now has a chance to contribute, let’s hope he takes it because he has a lot to offer.

    1. Absolutely agree with this. I wish he’d stuck to his guns and his obvious left-wing principles because had he done so he could have mobilised huge support. the message on the doorstep was loud and clear in 2015 “why should I vote for Labour they are np different to the Tories” the electorate was ahead of us they were starting to change they were looking to Labour to be Labour and thanks to Umunna, Mann, Cooper, Balls etc we missed a trick and his brother’s petulance throwing his toys out of the pram resigning and stomping off and then continually carping about his own brother from the sidelines did not help. Everytime Labour went ahead in the polls his brother would write something in one of the Tory papers attacking him, what the hell was the matter with him? It was a contest he lost and he never got over it. Now apparently he’s thinking of making a comeback, heard it all before David, you haven’t got the guts, however, Ed has and I hope he does come back into the shadow cabinet he’ll be good for Labour and Corbyn can trust him.

      1. Even putting oneself forward to be a parliamentary candidate takes enormous self-belief – as we constantly discover in hindsight, justified in many fewer cases than we would wish.

        Surely such self-belief must grow tenfold in one elected leader of his party?

        After nearly five years as leader in opposition to be replaced by a previously marginalised back-bencher would have been a very deep injury.

        Applying to that new leader for a subordinate position suggests either a degree of self-awareness and humility previously unknown in parliament – or an unstated agenda we can only guess at.

        I don’t know what drives either Miliband brother or both though – or what percentage is principle, fraternal competition, personal advancement or other.

      2. edit:
        …a previously marginalised back-bencher who now looks like a winner and a PM-in-waiting…

  11. Now that JC has made inroads with ignoring the vicious press, hopefully they will not resume their campaign against Ed M. People are seeing through the Murdoch spin and the Mail readers are off the scale anyway. No hope for them! Ed should go for it. He has integrity, a huge contrast to the current government.

  12. Good to see some acknowledgement of his role in the ongoing democratisation of the Labour Party in the comments above. As to picking the wrong people for his cabinet … I’m looking at some of those that JC has had to contend with…

  13. I have very many misgivings about Ed Miliband joining the shadow cabinet, one – he has made several anti Corbyn statements on News channels, two – his idea of saving the NHS was to leave the market in place in the NHS saying that he would protect it, knowing that services would go out to tender, which was not only hypritcally dishonest but would end being the NHS as we knew it. He is a neo-Liberal he also said that we must pay down the deficit, that is utterly false and bears no relation to the facts, A currency issuing government like our’s doesn’t have to borrow its own money or raise taxes in order to spend in the economy. So for all those reasons and not least I don’t trust him, I don’t welcome him into the shadow cabinet.

  14. The time to ask for a shadow cabinet post was the day all the Blairites resigned. Too little too late.

    1. Good point. Wouldn’t be the first to cling to a popular leader’s coat tails hoping to inherit.

  15. Defence means foreign policy. No chance of Miliband being on Corbyn’s side there. The games continue.
    We now have an exciting and popular manifesto. Under Milliband we had probably the most embarrassing electoral photo ever, with Milliband standing beside a vacuous mission statement about fairness and values and all the PR rest of it listed on the promise of stone. All the insulting phoniness of the past twenty years summed up in one image. Why on earth would we want to go back to the deviser of that and pretend it is a good move?

  16. In team terms adding EM wouldn’t be a ba idea. Based on the one occasin I met him, he seems a genuinely nice bloke – BUT someone persauded him to add the dog whistle “controls on immigration” to the pre election pledge list (as kept for posterity on mugs and the “Edstone”). I also remember as a then CLP Secretary being badgered by one of his senior campaign team members to pass on our CLP membership list – which I resisted as I did all the demands from the various campaigns. That “senior member” ? One Emily Thornberry.

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