30 Sep 2011

He unites the Milibands – in embarrassment

Step forward Tim Reid, the man who surely brings the Miliband brothers together, in his own strange way.

Reid is a political correspondent for BBC Scotland, among the less well-known of the gang of political reporters which the BBC has in its stable at Westminster.  Indeed Reid’s obscurity – at least in England – helped the BBC in 2008 get one of the best political scoops of recent times.

It was Reid who was standing in the lift at the Labour conference in Manchester and overheard David Miliband tell an aide he didn’t want “a Heseltine moment” at the conference, i.e. he didn’t want to be seen to be too openly challenging his leader (in his case Gordon Brown).

David Miliband clearly didn’t realise who the man next to him in the lift was, and the BBC’s subsequent revelation of his remarks just about scuppered David M’s obvious ambitions (though he always denied saying any such thing).

Now Tim Reid has embarrassed the younger Miliband almost as much. In an interview for BBC Scotland yesterday, Reid pressed Ed Miliband to name the three contenders for the leadership of the Scottish Labour Party.

Miliband brushed the question aside at first, but Reid pressed him.  So Ed Miliband named two of them, but then clearly couldn’t remember the third – Ken Macintosh, the favourite for the job.

Oh dear.  You can imagine this morning’s headlines in Scotland. And perhaps David Miliband will now forgive Reid over what happened in the lift.

But if I were called Miliband I’d steer well clear of Tim Reid, providing I could remember what he looks like.

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