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27 May 2011

Ed Miliband marries Justine Thornton in civil ceremony

Labour leader weds long-term partner in civil ceremony in Langar, near Nottingham.

By Samira Shackle

Ed Miliband has married his long-term partner, Justine Thornton, in a low-key civil ceremony attended by roughly 50 family members and old friends. Miliband’s brother, David, whom he challenged for the Labour leadership last year, was there with his family.

The happy couple did their best to keep the press at bay. The ceremony took place in the tiny village of Langar, south-east of Nottingham, and screens were erected to keep any long lenses out. There were no high-profile guests, though David Cameron and Gordon Brown both sent their best wishes.

Until now, Miliband was the only leader of a major political party to live with his family out of wedlock, which provoked raised eyebrows in the right-wing press.

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Mr Miliband has declared that his marriage is not a political event, in either guest list or symbolism: “Marriage is a good institution – it is right for me and Justine – but the thing that really matters to people is stable families and they come in different forms.” Quite so. We wish the couple much happiness.