David Miliband criticises brother's British election bid

London, May 11: David Miliband criticised his brother Ed's British election campaign today, while ruling himself out as a candidate to take over as Labour leader after a failed bid that caused a sibling rift.

Ed Miliband, who suffered a deep defeat at the polls last week, beat his brother David for the leadership of the centre-left party in 2010. "This election was devastating for the Labour Party and for every Labour supporter," David Miliband said an interview with the BBC from New York.


Seen as the more centrist of the two brothers, David left British politics to lead a charity in New York after his younger brother unexpectedly beat him in the leadership race. Ed has said the relationship is "healing". But the subject was brought up during the campaign by the Conservatives, who accused Ed of planning "stab the United Kingdom in the back" like he did to his brother.

David said there was "no point" in speculating whether the party made the wrong choice, after Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives won a surprise majority in the House of Commons and Labour suffered its worst defeat in years last week.

Labour is now heading for a new leadership contest amid soul-searching over why the election went so wrong. Several candidates have indicated they may run, with the race shaping up to be a fight between the left-wing and centrist factions of the party.

David, once a protege of the business-friendly former Labour prime minister Tony Blair, said his brother had allowed himself to be "portrayed as moving backwards", echoing criticisms the campaign had been too left-wing.

"I'm clearly not a candidate in this leadership election. What I passionately hope for is that friends and colleagues that are in the UK now will take up the mantle of a dynamic, progressive politics that's able to speak to millions," David said.

David called for "an aspirational and inclusive politics", a reference to criticism of Ed for appealing too much to a core working-class vote instead of trying to woo the middle classes. Yet he did not rule out potentially making a return to British politics in the future, saying his passion for Labour was undiminished.

"I don't know what the future holds. 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," he added.


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