Ed rejects on-air proposal offer
Published 29/09/2010 | 08:49
Labour leader Ed Miliband has declined an opportunity to propose to partner Justine Thornton on live television, but insisted that their unmarried relationship would not be an obstacle to him becoming prime minister.
Mr Miliband said that he and Justine, 40, would get married "eventually", but when ITV1 interviewer Kate Garraway suggested he should pop the question straight away, he responded: "I think it's better to do it in person, really.
"I don't think it would exactly bring out my romantic side to propose on Daybreak, but thanks for the offer anyway."
He insisted that voters were "pretty relaxed" over whether or not politicians were married, and said that the important issue was whether a couple provided a stable home for their children.
Mr Miliband admitted he was "really embarrassed" not to have signed his name on the birth certificate for the couple's first child, Daniel - now 15 months old - and said he would make sure he does so when Ms Thornton gives birth to their second son, due in November.
He told Daybreak: "I have a huge belief in the importance of stable family and I think it is so important to say that. What really matters to me is Justine and Daniel and the second son that we have on the way.
"Stable families come in different forms. We happen not to be married. We will get married eventually, but I think it is really important to say that different people can provide stability to their kids - which is the thing that really matters - and to themselves in different ways."
Asked whether his unmarried status might stand in the way of him winning power, Mr Miliband told BBC1's Breakfast: "I think people are pretty relaxed about this, I don't think they care one way or the other what people do in their lives, as long as they show responsibility to each other. That's the most important thing."
Asked why he did not add his name to Daniel's birth certificate, Mr Miliband told Daybreak: "I'm really embarrassed about this. What happens is if you are partners, rather than married - as we found out after the event - is that when Justine went to register Daniel, she came back and said 'You will never believe it, I can't register you. You have got to go along to the council offices and make sure you do it'.
I am really embarrassed I haven't. We have got a second one on the way and I am going to make sure I do two for the price of one."