Scottish independence: Ed Miliband's wife Justine Thornton hits the campaign trail alone
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Wednesday 23 July 2014
Justine Thornton, the wife of Ed Miliband, will emerge from the shadows tomorrow when she campaigns against Scottish independence.
The environmental lawyer will tour Glasgow in the Labour Party’s referendum battlebus, meet ordinary people and go door-to-door canvassing in support of the Better Together campaign.
Tonight, Ms Thornton attended the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games with Mr Miliband. The significance of tomorrow's event is that she will be campaigning in her own right, meaning that the Labour leader will not accompany her.
A Labour source said that she wanted to campaign on the issue because “she feels strongly that the UK should stick together.” He added: “She won’t make a formal speech, but she will be out on the stump.”
Her intervention in the Scottish debate marks the start of a process which will put her increasingly in the public spotlight in the run-up to next May’s general election.
Ms Thornton has been reluctant to become a public figure. She is now ready to take on a more prominent role to boost Mr Miliband’s election prospects – but wants to do it in her own right rather than as a “politician’s wife.”
Friends describe her as independent-minded with strong views.
Labour politicians who have heard her speak at private functions describe her as a “brilliant speaker” who could be a “huge asset” to Labour. They believe her higher profile will help to tackle Mr Miliband’s image problem.
There is speculation that Ms Thornton will play a big role at the Labour conference in September. Sarah Brown, the wife of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, introduced him at Labour’s 2009 conference.
- 1 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 2 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
Isis 'jihadi bride' claims forced sex with Yazidi girls is never rape because Koran condones it
Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...