Miliband decision 'good', says Ed
Published 29/03/2013 | 14:01
David Miliband's decision to quit British politics was a "good" move in the sense that it has brought "clarity", younger brother Ed has said.
The Labour leader admitted "it was quite clear" when he scooped the top party job that David probably did not want to serve in the shadow cabinet but he had believed that might change.
In an interview with the LabourList blog, Ed Miliband said it was good for both of them that the resignation "sort of came out in the right way".
The party leader insisted he would not describe his feelings about the move as a sense of relief, adding: "I suppose I feel at one level, obviously, sad that he's leaving the country and going to America. I'm going to miss him.
"On another level I feel he's obviously - and it's been obvious to me over the last few months talking to him about the job - that he feels very excited by it and quite happy to be doing it. And so it's a mixed sense, really. It's good in the sense that it's brought clarity."
David, who is stepping down as South Shields MP and moving to New York to take up the position of president and chief executive of the International Rescue Committee, said he wanted to put an end to the "soap opera" surrounding the two brothers, but Ed suggested the focus had lessened.
He told the blog: "I think, to be fair, the 'soap opera' had died down a lot - it wasn't like it was a continuing thing - but there was clearly a sense of uncertainty about what he was going to do, and so it's brought a sense of clarity.
"So, in that sense I think it's good. For him - and for me - that it sort of came out in the right way. I think there was generosity on all sides of the Labour Party for the contribution he has made. I think what I tried to do was to say, when I said the door was open for the shadow cabinet, I was serious about that. And I wanted him to feel that there was a choice.
"At the same time, I didn't want to try and push him into doing something that he didn't want to do. And it was quite clear to me from the moment I became leader that he probably didn't want to come into the shadow cabinet.
"I thought that might change, but it became increasingly clear to me over the past few months when this opportunity arose - I think he said to me in our second conversation 'If I get offered this, I'm likely to take it'. So in a way I think the die was cast in terms of what was going to happen if he was offered the job. It was a big opportunity, it speaks to our family history, it suits his talents."