Wednesday, September 29, 2010

David Miliband's political future

Over this past weekend David Miliband lost to his younger brother, Ed Miliband, by less than 2% of the vote in the UK's Labour Party leadership contest. David had long been the favourite to win with endorsements from several major Labour Party figures, including Tony Blair, John Prescott, Jack Straw, and Peter Mandelson. After four months of campaigning, one can only imagine the disappointment felt by coming so close to something so important.

Today, we will learn whether he will put himself forward for consideration for a post in his younger brother's new Shadow Cabinet. It is thought that he could command about any position he desired, including Chancellor. The BBC has details here.

I predict that David Miliband will not serve in the Shadow Cabinet. I also believe this will be best for the Labour Party.

There is no doubt that he is very popular amongst colleagues and party members. He won more votes from MPs, MEPs, and party members than any other candidate in the leadership contest and held a close second place on votes by affiliated members. He has become a major figure in a relatively short time period.

There is also no doubt that he is highly talented. He has served the party in a variety of capacities, including Foreign Secretary in the last Government. These talents would be warmly welcome in any Labour frontbench. Any frontbench but this one though.
We have not seen the last of David Miliband. But I suspect we have already seen the last of him in the Shadow frontbench in this Parliament. We will know whether or not I'm correct today.

UPDATE: My prediction has proved correct.

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