Ed Miliband praises Jeremy Corbyn's "bolder vision"

The former leader also shared his sympathies with Philip May.

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Ed Miliband has praised Jeremy Corbyn for offering a “bolder vision” than the one he put forward as Labour leader, saying he “overplayed” the tension between “the need to change and the need to get elected” while he was in post, and expressed his regret at using his wife as a political prop, wishing that he had refrained from doing so.

The Doncaster North MP made the remarks on a new podcast, Football, Feminism and Everything In Between, hosted by Alastair Campbell and his daughter, the comedian and activist Grace Campbell, in which Miliband looks back on his defeat to David Cameron in May 2015.

Miliband, who reveals he took 18 months to recover emotionally from his defeat in the 2015 election, also said he regretted using his wife Justine Thornton as a political prop, saying also that he “underestimated the stress, anxiety and the nightmare” of his leadership for Justine. “You  care so deeply about the person but there is nothing you can do about what you are going through; when things went wrong, ups and downs, she could not do that much about it. It is intrinsically hard. It must be hard for Phillip May now. I was not appreciative enough, and she was expected to be there at all these events, my team did their best to support her, but I was not cognisant enough of it.”

Grace Campbell reveals a story of the time that Nick Clegg’s wife, Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, like Thornton a highly successful lawyer, suggested that she, Justine and Samanth Cameron should arrive at the same event wearing the same dress to protest her frustration at the way the press focussed on their clothes and makeup.

Miliband and Campbell Senior clash over a People’s Vote, which the former Labour leader describes as “a last resort”, saying “If the [first] vote was about discontent with the system, I think to go back to them is difficult. I have not said no, never, but you have to see if there is another way forward.”

The three also discuss Campbell’s time at Number 10, when Miliband was a staffer to Gordon Brown, in which the former climate change minister described Campbell as “uncompromising, and incredibly driven, and I think he would recognise sometimes it went too far.”

Future guests on Football, Feminism and Everything in Between include Countdown’s Rachel Riley, former footballer Jamie Carragher and Burnley manager Sean Dyche.

 

Stephen Bush is political editor of the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.