British opposition leader to marry, after criticism

30th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

After William and Kate there is now, well, Ed and Justine.

The leader of Britain's opposition Labour party, Ed Miliband, is to marry his long-term partner and the mother of his two sons, Justine Thornton, on May 27, the couple announced in their local newspaper Wednesday.

The wedding date is just under one month after the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29.

Miliband had faced months of criticism in Britain's right-wing press for being the first leader of a major political party to live with his family out of wedlock.

It was the "right time" for the couple, both 40, to get married, Miliband told the Doncaster Free Press, the newspaper for the northern English town he represents in parliament.

"This is going to be a fantastic day for us both and I feel incredibly privileged to be marrying someone so beautiful and who is such a special person," he said.

"At the end of the day we're in our 40s and we've got two kids -- so it wasn't a case of me suddenly popping the question. This is just something we think is right for us."

Thornton said: "Ed wasn't even an MP (member of parliament) when I met him and at the end of the day I am marrying him because of who he is and not because of what he's doing now."

Miliband said they decided to get married about a year ago -- when Labour was still in government and several months before he beat his older brother David, the former foreign minister, to the party leadership in October.

When asked at the time why he had not married Thornton, he said he was "too busy" to tie the knot.

Their second son Samuel was born in November and Miliband faced further embarrassment at the time when it emerged he was not listed as the father on his first son Daniel's birth certificate.

Miliband told reporters outside his house in London Wednesday that his brother was the second person to whom he broke the news, after his mother.

"He is delighted for me and he will obviously be there," he said.

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article