Hillary Clinton emails reveal David Miliband's reaction to losing Labour leadership election

David said it was particularly 'tough' to lose 'when it's your brother...'

Adam Withnall
Tuesday 01 September 2015 09:38
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David Miliband confided in Hillary Clinton about his pain at losing the 2010 Labour leadership election to Ed Miliband, admitting it was worse “when it’s your brother”.

New emails released from then Secretary of State Clinton’s private server shed more light on the close relationship with the elder of the Miliband brothers.

The full cache of emails, released amid controversy in the US over the use of a non-secure private email address for state business, includes a wealth of information relating to British politics and infighting within the Labour party.

Many emails come from the controversial and unofficial aid Sid Blumenthal. Clinton has previously said his advice was “unsolicited”, yet in response to a lengthy message about the 2010 coalition negotiations she wrote: “I shared your emails w Bill who thought they were ‘brilliant’! Keep ‘em coming when you can.”

One email, dated 29 September 2010, has the subject “From David Miliband”, and was sent by “d.gunners” – David is a proud Arsenal fan. In it, he thanks Clinton for her support in the aftermath of his defeat to Ed.

He writes: “Your message on Saturday was poignant. Losing is tough. When you win the party members and MPs [it is] doubly so. (When it’s your brother…).”

“Thanks for all your encouragement over the last couple of yours,” he finishes the email. “I will let you know when I am in DC. All best, David.”

In another email, sent to Blumenthal four days earlier as it emerged David Miliband had lost the contest, Clinton writes that the result was “clearly more about Tony [Blair] than it was David or Ed”.

Clinton also reveals that David Miliband was “very worried” about the result of the general election earlier in 2010. She tells Blumenthal: “Just had drinks w Miliband who is still very worried, I have crossed fingers!”

Blumenthal’s own messages are revealing. On 9 May 2010, after the election resulted in uncertainty, he advises Clinton: “The plot thickens: Ed Miliband, David’s younger brother, will run for leader against his brother if Brown loses. Ed has more of a common touch. The outcome of that contest would be more than uncertain.”

Away from Labour, the new emails also reveal that former journalist Blumenthal warned Clinton David Cameron would be “no partner” to the US and that William Hague would be a “disingenuous” UK foreign secretary.

The advisor also regularly sent Clinton memos on domestic issues in the US, as well as broader foreign policy issues like conflict in the Middle East.

In particular, Republicans have called for more clarity on Blumenthal’s influence over Clinton on Libya as it fell into civil war in 2011. In May that year, Clinton wrote that his advice helped her avoid getting “caught in the bubble” of official and verified information.

On Monday night, the State Department released around 7,000 pages of Clinton emails, including around 150 which contain “classified” information that has been redacted.

Clinton has previously said she sent no information via the private email server that was classified at the time and received none marked that way.

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