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David to Ed: Miliband family must remain strong

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 13 May 2010

The prospect of Ed Miliband running against his brother in Labour's leadership contest will not undermine the family, according to David Miliband.

David Miliband, Labour leadership contestant

Former Labour foreign secretary David Miliband has talked about the prospect for running against his brother, Ed, in a Labour leadership contest.

Mr Miliband announced his intention to run for the job within 24 hours of Gordon Brown's resignation as prime minister.

At Westminster there is anticipation that Ed Miliband, climate change secretary under the last Labour administration, will announce his own leadership bid shortly.

David Miliband told reporters this morning: "The most important thing for both of us is that the family remains strong – and I'm absolutely confident that's going to happen, whatever my brother decides."

And he stressed the importance of a leadership contest involving several candidates. "It's very important as many candidates as possible are given the chance to declare themselves," Mr Miliband said.

Mr Miliband kicked off his campaign today by speaking to Labour activists in Harrow and Worcester.

In Harrow he said: "Leadership is about listening as well as speaking."

He went on: "In over 90 seats we lost, and we need to understand - really brutally and honestly - why we lost, and that is the basis on which we will bounce back."

Two other prospective leadership contenders, Andy Burnham and Ed Balls, today refused to rule themselves out of standing.

Mr Burnham, the former Labour health secretary, said: "We're just, almost only a week away from a difficult election result for Labour, and we really need to learn the lessons of that defeat.

"So I think everybody should just take a breath, and everybody needs to make their decisions in due course."

Ex-schools secretary Ed Balls reiterated Andy Burnham's view on the importance of taking stock in the wake of Labour’s poor showing at the polls.

"I think there's some real issues to look at," he said. "There's got to be a proper debate. People want a proper debate.

"I'm going to take that very seriously. I'm talking to  people in the parliamentary party and the wider Labour party – and the country, too. And I'll decide in due course.

Another challenge could come from Jon Cruddas, who told activists in Westminster last night: "We must not put ourselves down, but we cannot hide either.

"We have lost millions of voters, and a careful analysis of where they have gone is crucial."

Alan Johnson, home secretary until Tuesday and mooted as a possible candidate, has ruled himself out and pledged his support for David Miliband.

Harriet Harman appeared to rule herself out as a candidate by stating that she wished to remain Labour’s deputy leader.

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