Ed Miliband sidesteps booby trap that got Nick Clegg
Monday 31 January 2011
Ed Miliband has hit upon the easiest and most obvious way to avoid what might be called the Clegg-over Trap: you do not have to answer certain questions, and any answer you give will make you look a twit, so pass.
He was put to the test soon after becoming Labour leader when he was interviewed by Piers Morgan for an article in a men's magazine.
Morgan put the predictable questions – "How many women have you slept with?" and "When did you lose your virginity?" – both of which Mr Miliband brushed away, somewhat immodestly, by saying he "would not boast about his sexual prowess".
His reply contained a hidden dig at the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, who once told the same magazine, GQ, that he had slept with "no more than 30" women, to the horror of his advisers who were sitting in on the interview. The reply was meant as a joke, but landed the Liberal Democrat leader with the embarrassing nickname "Clegg-over".
Mr Miliband also refused to be drawn on when he plans to marry his partner, Justine Thornton, with whom he has two sons, although he did confirm that she is the owner of the £1.6 million house they cohabit in north London – giving Mr Morgan an opening to make a quip about the possibility that the leader of the Labour Party could be rendered homeless if their relationship breaks down.
But pressed about whether and when the couple intend to get married, Mr Miliband implied that the more he was pushed on this subject, the less inclined he was to rush ahead and make arrangements.
"The more people challenge me on it from a political standpoint, the more resistant I will become," he said. "We'll get married because we want to get married and love each other very much, no other reason."
On marriage generally, he said: "It's a good institution and part of having stable families, but there are also people in unmarried relationships with stable families."
He was more forthcoming when asked if he had experimented with drugs or shoplifted. He denied he had either, and owned up to being "a bit square" during his days as a student politician at Oxford. He also said he had "mixed feelings" about beating his brother David in last year's leadership contest, but denied that either had obsessively dreamed of having the job. "I was surprised when I even made it into the cabinet," he added.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Watch a man race the Circle line - and win
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
Islamic State: Pope is 'being targeted by Isis', Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See warns
Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton nude pictures exhibition cancelled after artist concedes photos were 'stolen property'
Scotland independence: A nation divided against itself: Brown says SNP are liars. Darling joins in. Salmond fights back
John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time: 'That was the lowest I'd ever felt'
Richard III: Two years after his body was found scientists discover how he died
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...
£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...