Ed Miliband took advice from his older brother David over conference speech

  • @NigelpMorris

Ed Miliband took advice from his older brother, David, over his widely-praised conference speech, the Labour leader disclosed today as he insisted the rift between them was over.

He confirmed he wanted to bring David back into his top team at some point - but stressed his brother preferred to remain on the backbenches for the moment.

The Independent reported today that one option being discussed within the leadership is asking the former Foreign Secretary to co-ordinate Labour's general election campaign in 2015.

Interviewed as the party conference in Manchester ended, Ed Miliband said family relations had returned to normal two years after he beat David for the Labour crown.

"I talked to David this week before my speech, about my speech, what was going to be in it, we talked quite a lot about the issues we face in politics," he said.

"Yes, the contest two years ago was a difficult time for us. We're over it and I think the Labour party is over it too."

Asked about the Independent's report, he replied: "I would like him to be back on the front bench at some point, I make no bones about that, but frankly that is a judgement we can make over the coming years."

He said his brother did not want to return "at the moment" because he was pursuing projects on youth unemployment and the environment as “part of the Labour party family”.

Mr Miliband also said he believed immigration levels among lower-skilled workers were too high and came close to ruling out a Labour government scrapping or means-testing universal benefits for the elderly such as the winter fuel allowance.