Ed Miliband was yesterday elected on live television to be the new leader of the Labour Party, beating his older brother David in the final round of voting by just 1.3%.

He takes over from Gordon Brown as the party's leader, if you don't include Harriet Harman, who has been the temporary leader since May when PM Gordon Brown lost the General Election and stepped down.

Five Labour MPs were in the running to be the 23rd leader of the party (including the 3 temporary leaders there have been) - Ed Miliband, David Miliband, Ed Balls, Andy Burnham and Diane Abbott. Balls, Burnham and Abbott were not expected to win, the two Miliband brothers being so far ahead.

In a four month contest which had lasted since Labour were booted out of power in May, former Foreign Secretary David Miliband was for a long time the favourite to win. Not so long ago, former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband was almost unheard of amongst the British people and when he threw his hat into the ring to challenge his brother David for the leadership of the party David probably thought Ed would be out of his depth. But it was Ed who yesterday emerged victorious, just.

The voting for the Labour leadership was a very complicated affair. Amongst those able to vote were party members (one electoral college), members of the trades unions and socialist societies (another electoral college) and Labour's MEPs and Labour's MPs (the third electoral college).

Candidates could not simply declare they wanted to stand. Each had to be nominated by 33 Labour MPs in order to get onto the ballot paper. Three candidates - David Miliband, Ed Miliband and Ed Balls - secured sufficient nominations well before the deadline last month but Andy Burnham and Diane Abbott only passed the threshold on the day itself.

When the votes are counted, the winner is the candidate who gets over 50% of the votes. If no candidate passes this mark then the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated and their second preference votes are then distributed around the other candidates in a next round of voting. Voting continues this way until one candidate passes the 50% mark.

Yesterday there were four rounds of voting, and the results were read out in front of the five candidates and the hundreds of Labour Party members gathered in Manchester for the party's annual conference. However the five candidates were secretly told who had won before the numbers were read out. David Miliband won the first three rounds of voting with Ed coming second and most Labour members must have asumed David had won. Diane Abbott was eliminated in the first round, Andy Burnham in the second round and Ed Balls in the third round.

But in the fourth round of voting Ed went in front of David for the first time and passed the magic 50% mark, to gasps from the assembled delegates. A win for Ed Miliband, a virtual unknown, against his much more famous elder brother is not what most were expecting. And an examination of the votes has shown that whilst more Labour MPs voted for David Miliband, Ed Miliband got the support of the trades unions, leading to the Coalition Government already calling Ed a stooge of the unions.

In total, Ed Miliband received 175,519 votes and David Miliband received 147,220. It is the first time two brothers have gone head to head in a party leadership contest.

On Ed being declared the winner, his brother, clearly disappinted, immediately stood and embraced his younger brother in a bear hug.

During his victory speech last night to the Labour delegates in Manchester, the new leader, 40, spoke of his love for his brother and defeated political rival David, 45: “I love you so much as a brother and I have so much extraordinary respect for the campaign that you ran, the strength and eloquence you have shown. We all know how much you have to offer this country in the future.”

Later, David said: “This is Ed’s day and I’m genuinely delighted for him.”

Ed Miliband has vowed to give his brother a top job in his Shadow Cabinet. It's likely that David will either remain as Shadow Foreign Secretary or even be made Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. First, it's up to the Labour MPs to vote on which MPs they think should go into the Shadow Cabinet.

But David's friends says it's likely that he may quit politics altogether within 18 months and pursue another career in the wake of his surpise defeat by his younger brother. But both brothers will have to ensure that the Labour Party is not now riven by a Miliband E/Miliband D rivalry similar to the Blair/Brown rivalry which once bedevilled the party.

Ed Miliband is the son of a Belgian Jewish father and Polish Jewish mother who fled their countries to escape the Nazis. His late father, Ralph, was a Marxist and the two Miliband brothers were used to their home being visited by an assortment of left-wingers and communists when they were kids. Their mother, Marion, a lifelong Labour Party member, is currently in New York to escape the attention her family is inevitably receiving.

The Tories are probably happier that Ed Miliband is now the new Leader of the Opposition as he is a left-winger, and has the nickname "Red Ed." They feared more Ed's right-wing brother David, and many Labour MPs, more of whom voted for David rather than Ed, must now be worried that Ed will make their party unelectable, as they were in the 1980s, by lurching their party too far to the left.

Ed Milband will make his first speech as the new leader of the Labour Party on Tuesday at the party conference in Manchester and will first take on Tory Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday at Prime Minister's Questions.

Ed Miliband's top celeb crushes are Teri Hatcher and TV host Davina McCall. He's a maths whizz who once did a Rubik's Cube in 80 seconds. He lives in London's Primrose Hill but is the MP for Doncaster North in Yorkshire. His favourite biscuits are Jaffa Cakes and said that he would choose Chinese food as his last meal.

It remains to be seen whether this man has what it takes to be elected as the leader of the British people in 2015.

Ed Miliband edges out brother David in Labour leadership cliffhanger

By Vincent Moss, Political Editor
Sunday Mirror

Left-winger Ed Miliband is the new Leader of the Opposition

Ed Miliband was crowned Labour leader yesterday, crushing his older bother David’s dream of leading the party.

But he took the title by a tiny margin of just 1.3 per cent in a ­nail-biting finish to the four-month contest.

Moments before the result was revealed at 4.40pm, the two brothers and their three rivals were ushered into a private room at the Labour conference in Manchester.

Labour general secretary Ray Collins then broke the news that Ed, 40, had triumphed – and will now take on PM David Cameron in the Commons.

The two brothers ­immediately embraced one another.

Crushing moment: David Miliband, with his back to the camera, accepts a hug from victorious brother Ed in Manchester yesterday as the leadership battle result came through

Sibling rivalry: The brothers share an embrace after Ed's victory speech

Rival Ed Balls spoke of the moment candidates were told the result, when Mr Collins announced: “Ed’s won it.”

He said: “We were all stood there, the five of us, with Harriet Harman and Ray Collins, and Ray said, ‘You have all done brilliantly. Ed Miliband, you have won’.

“In a sense it was a relief for everyone to know the final result – and David and Ed hugged straight away.”

Then the brothers strode out in the Manchester ­Central arena with Mr Balls, plus fellow candidates Andy Burnham and Diane Abbott for the results to be ­publicly announced.

Both tried ­desperately to hide the outcome from the audience and the TV cameras.

Settling in: Ed Miliband on the Andrew Marr show this morning

But it became clear from David’s forced grin and the stony-faced expression of Ed, anxious not to appear triumphant, that the younger man had won.

Ed’s union support outweighed former foreign secretary and early front-runner David’s lead among Labour MPs and rank-and-file members.

It was David, 45, who led on the first, second and third count of the votes in Labour’s complicated leadership election structure. But Ed inched ahead in the fourth and final count.

On an afternoon of high drama Labour delegates had listened in hushed silence as Ed’s total crept closer and closer, as first left-winger Diane Abbott was eliminated from the race, followed by former Health Secretary Mr Burnham and finally Mr Balls.

Support: David's wife Louise Shackleton stands and applauds as her husband embraces Ed

In the announcement of the fourth and final round of vote-counting, there was an audible gasp as Shadow Energy Secretary Ed squeezed past the crucial 50 per cent mark and formally took over from Gordon Brown as party leader.

And then, in remarkable scenes, it was David who reached out to Ed, wrapped his right arm around him and embraced him a bear-hug.

He fixed David in his gaze and said: “I love you so much as a brother and I have so much extraordinary respect for the campaign that you ran, the strength and eloquence you have shown. We all know how much you have to offer this country in the future.”

Their mother Marion Kozak, 75, a lifelong Labour member who chose not to vote in the contest, away in New York on purpose to avoid being seen as favouring either son.

High emotion: David Miliband looks bereft as he absorbs defeat and sees his brother take the job he coveted

Amid fevered speculation about whether David will serve under Ed, the older Miliband last night said: “This is Ed’s day and I’m genuinely delighted for him.”

Ed said a “new generation” had taken over the Labour Party. And he insisted, “I get it” when it comes to understanding why Labour lost the general election in May.

Labour’s new leader vowed: “I am proud of the leadership of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, but we lost the election and lost it badly.”

In a plea for party unity following the ­fiercely fought contest, Ed said: “Today, we draw a line under this contest and move forward united as a team.”

Ed allies swiftly rushed out the number of votes to show that 175,519 were cast for him against 147,220 for David to quash suggestions Ed had relied on the unions for victory.

In his first article as Labour leader, Ed Miliband reveals in the Sunday Mirror today that he will NOT oppose every spending cuts planned by Chancellor George Osborne.

In a move to combat criticism that he is too left-wing, he writes: “Of course we need to reduce the deficit. There are cuts that have to be made. But I will not let the Tories use the deficit as an excuse to slash services.”

Allies of Mr Cameron last night tried to paint the result as a sign that the Labour Party would be dragged to the left by “Red Ed”.

But in a clear sign of his determination to kick the Tory leader out of Downing Street, Ed insisted: “I believe in Britain. Today’s election turns the page, because a new generation has stepped forward to serve our party, and in time I hope to serve our country.”

Paying tribute to the victor, Mr Balls said: “We have got to come together now and say, ‘This is our leader, this is the man we have got to unite behind’.

“David was ahead for the beginning but every round Ed caught up, and he caught up right across the three sections, and just got there in the end. He is now our leader. I will back him 100 per cent.”

Mr Burnham said: “We will now unite behind Ed and concentrate all our efforts in making sure this coalition is a one-term Government.”

Former Labour cabinet minister David Blunkett said: “We’ve never seen anything quite like what we’ve had with two brothers neck-and- neck.”

And in a reference to the feud between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, he said: “These are brothers. They can’t afford to fall out in the way we had with Tony and Gordon, and neither can we.”

Ed Miliband is the eighth Labour leader that Mr Blunkett has seen in his time in the party. He added: “Only two of them so far have won elections. Ed’s got to be the third.”

Prime Minister Mr Cameron said: “Congratulations to Ed Miliband. I was Leader of the Opposition for four years and know what a demanding but important job it is. I wish him and his family well.”

Bookmakers William Hill said Labour’s odds of winning the General Election had lengthened from 15/8 to 2/1, while the Tories’ chances shortened from 7/4 to 6/4.


Ed Miliband: My vision for Britain

By Ed Miliband, Labour leader

Labour's new leader writes exclusively for the Sunday Mirror

It is a great privilege to have been elected leader of the Labour Party.

This is the party that founded the NHS in the 1940s, helped take Britain into the ­modern industrial age in the 1960s and, most ­recently, rebuild our schools and hospitals after 18 years of Tory rule.

At its best, Labour is the party of the working people of Britain and I am proud to lead it.

I will lead a strong team which draws on all the talents of my fellow candidates in this leadership election and people across our party.
Having had our contest, now we need to be a team that takes on the ConDem government.
We need to start by learning lessons about ­ourselves.

For all the good we did in government, we were not at our best often enough.

By the end of our time in office, people felt we were out of touch and remote.

We did not listen enough – on the economy, on immigration, on Iraq and our relationship with America. As the party of government, we could have done more to tackle MPs’ expenses.

As Labour leader, I am determined to put that right. My commitment to you is that I will not let Labour lose touch again.

I will unite our party behind a new approach. A new approach to the economy which tackles the deficit and rewards ­responsibility throughout our society.

A new approach that a­ddresses the causes of people’s concern about ­immigration by protecting ­workers’ rights and making it easier for people to access housing.

A new approach to foreign policy which is built on our values, not just our ­alliances.

I will take the fight to the Tories when they put the livelihoods of British families at risk.

Of course we need to reduce the deficit. There are cuts that have to be made. But I will not let the Tories use the ­deficit as an excuse to slash services.

I know how important our public services are. I went to my local comprehensive school, my child was born in my local NHS hospital and my new baby, due in November, will be too.

I know how dangerous it would be if we let the Government hack away at these ­services. People who already feel squeezed would lose out the most. I will fight to stop that happening.

When so many people are feeling it is harder than ever to make ends meet and feel insecure in their work, I know how important it is to create new jobs in this country.

That is why I think the Government should be helping the manufacturing industries of the future, not cutting the loans that would allow them to grow.

It is not just bad for our children that they have cut support for new school buildings, it also puts ­construction workers out of a job.

The Labour Party should be the party of the hardworking ­majority in this country. We should be the party that stands up for you when you want better education for your children, a fairer deal in our ­economy or action on crime in your neighbourhood. We were that party once and, under my leadership, we will be again.

Last edited by Blackleaf; Sep 26th, 2010 at 11:32 AM..