Fact File: Ed Miliband


Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party, grew up in a family of left-wing intellectuals. 

Although he now locates himself more centrally on the political spectrum, his father Ralph Miliband was a Marxist academic, who fled Belgium to escape the Nazis. Family friends included Labour grandee Tony Benn and Joe Slovo, a leading member of the ANC.

Miliband’s relationship with his older brother, the former Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, defined his early political career. Upon the Ed’s promotion to cabinet in 2005, the Milibands became the first brothers to serve simultaneously in Cabinet since 1938.

This was initially an advantage. During his years at the Treasury, Ed Miliband was nicknamed “the emissary from the Planet Fuck”, a reference to his status as a reliable mediator with the Blairite camp, which included his brother as a member.

As leader, he has spoken of wanting to move past the Blair / Brown divisions which over-shadowed New Labour’s press coverage. He’s succeeded, if only through diversion; the reported rivalry between the Miliband brothers seems a more than adequate replacement. 

If the younger Miliband’s reputation as ruthless usurper has an upside, it’s as a useful counterbalance to that other plank of his public persona; nerdiness. Miliband’s PMQ performances have improved, however, and in the wake of the Government’s “omnishambles” budget, so too have his ratings in the polls. None of which stopped him getting egged on a walkabout.

The Numbers

£7,670 – Total second home claims by Miliband, then Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change during the 2007/8, making a “saint” of the expenses scandal. Source: The Telegraph

1.3% – Percentage of votes by which Ed Miliband beat his elder brother David in the Labour leadership election, after second, third and fourth preferences were counted. Source: BBC News

40 – Ed Miliband’s age in September 2010, when he was elected leader of the Labour Party.

34% – Those surveyed who describe themselves as satisfied with the way Ed Miliband is doing his job, as of May 2012. The Prime Minister’s approval rating for the same period was 32% and the Deputy Prime Minister’s was 25%. Source: Ipsos Mori

Further Reading

The patriotism of a refugee, Ed Miliband, New Statesman, 2012

At this rate Ed Miliband will be in Number 10 by default, Matthew Norman, The Independent, 2012

When Piers met Ed Miliband, Piers Morgan, GQ, 2011

Don’t bet on Ed Miliband to win it for the Tories, James Forsyth, The Spectator, 2012

Time to rethink, not reassure, David Miliband, New Statesman, 2012

The Sketch: Ed Miliband looks like a leader, then the face gives him away, Simon Carr, The Independent, 2012


May 2005 – Miliband is elected to parliament in the safe Labour seat of Doncaster North

June 2007 – Under Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband is appointed Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, becoming a member of the cabinet

Feb 2010 – Ed Miliband’s Twitter followers are greeted with the message “Hhey [sic], i’ve been having better sex and longer with this here.” It later emerges his account was hacked

May 2010 – During the leadership campaign, Miliband condemns the war in Iraq, claiming it led to a “catastrophic loss of trust in Labour”

Sept 2010 – Ed Miliband wins the leadership of the Labour party

Sept 2011 – Miliband uses his key note speech at the Labour Party Conference to distance himself from Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, saying “I am my own man.”

March 2012 – After a donations row sparked by Conservative co-treasurer Peter Cruddas, Ed Miliband releases a list of all his meetings with donors who have given more than £7,500

May 2012 – Following a humiliating defeat to George Galloway in the March Bradford West by-election, Labour gain more than 820 seats in the local elections.

June 2012 - Ed Miliband appears before the Leveson Inquiry

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments