Rivalry between Miliband brothers overshadows Labour conference

Simmering tension between the Miliband brothers was apparent yesterday at the new Labour leader's debut conference

Despite initially putting on a public show of loyalty to his younger sibling Ed, a barbed remark by David Miliband was caught on camera at the new Labour leader’s debut conference yesterday.

The incident occurred as 40 year-old Ed attempted to turn the page on New Labour, disowning several areas of the previous government’s policy, but primarily condemning the decision to invade Iraq.

It was Ed Miliband’s description of the invasion as ‘wrong’ which provoked the angry response from his brother during the keynote address.

The shadow foreign secretary turned to the Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman and said: ‘You voted for it, why are you clapping?’

Mrs. Harman responded by saying: ‘I’m clapping because he is the leader. I’m supporting him.’

The simmering tensions between the Miliband brothers has been clearly apparent since Ed beat David to become the new Labour leader by the narrowest of margins due to support from trade unions.

Since the leadership election, speculation has been mounting over David’s political career after he refused to confirm whether he would stand in shadow cabinet elections.

The episode reinforces the growing sibling rivalry between the two politicians, which is expected to see David Miliband’s career on the frontbenches come to an end this evening.

Ed Miliband commented on his brother’s decision saying, ‘He has just been through a leadership contest, and a leadership contest he lost. He has got to decide what he wants to do. I know he will make a big contribution to politics in the future, either inside the shadow cabinet or outside the shadow cabinet, but I think that is his decision.’

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