Tom Sutcliffe: Labour's loss could be the Boden catalogue's gain

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The Independent Online

I don't know if Boden are looking for new models right now but David Miliband may be available – and his appearances yesterday suggested he might be a good fit for their products. He is the better looking one, and he doesn't seem averse to rapid costume changes either. Earlier in the day he'd appeared on the doorstep of his London home in a floral shirt. A little later he was inside again – now in a purple V-neck sweater and matching shirt – and sitting alongside what looked like a photograph of the family he's going to be spending more time with.

His statement to his constituency had explained that he feared "perpetual, distracting and destructive attempts to find division where there is none" and, he told the BBC's Nick Robinson, he'd already had experience of such wilful misinterpretation. Would you believe it, even his lifting of a "wry eyebrow" at Harriet Harman yesterday had been misconstrued as anger at his brother's statement on Iraq. Robinson, understandably confused by the fact that wry eyebrows don't generally raise in tandem, with an enraged furrow between them, questioned this belated bit of spin, but didn't get very far. "I will be a very, very loyal supporter of Ed's leadership from the back benches," David insisted. He wasn't, he implied, planning to use them as a sniper's roost.

Then it was Ed's turn – in suit and tie as befitted a man still at the office – to try to upstage his brother again, in the rueful mutual admiration game. For any other newly elected leader an immediate political go-slow by one of his party's brightest talents would surely have come as something of a blow.

But Ed came out to face the cameras all smiles. While it would have been "fantastic to have him serving in my Shadow Cabinet", it was – we should all understand – equally fantastic that he wouldn't be. It had been "a thoughtful and gracious decision for the party", his door would always be open and he believed "David has a big future in whatever he chooses to do in politics". Well, not "whatever", obviously. One job's ruled out. He'll be hoping his brother's look is smart casual for a good while yet – however hard it might be to keep the facial expression matching the neckline.