Ed Miliband candidate to lead Britain's Labour: reports

15th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain's former energy minister Ed Miliband will stand against his older brother, former foreign secretary David, in the race to lead the opposition Labour party, reports said Friday.

Ed Miliband will announce in a speech Saturday that he intends to enter the race for the job made vacant by the departure of former prime minister Gordon Brown, The Times newspaper reported on its website.

The younger Miliband will call for the party to rediscover its "radical edge" following its defeat in last week's general election, which produced a coalition government of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

Several reports said he had told Labour party members in his constituency in Doncaster, northern England, of his intentions on Friday evening.

The LabourList website reported that he said: "I am telling you first that I am standing for the leadership. I've thought long and hard about it.

"My brother and I agree that the party needs the widest possible choice. The party has lost touch with our voters and we have lost our radical edge. We must reconnect and regain our sense of idealism."

Ed Miliband, 40, is a close ally of Brown and was among the inner circle of colleagues with him at Downing Street in the final minutes before he announced he was resigning on Tuesday to make way for new premier David Cameron.

The Times reported he would argue Saturday that Labour's radical instincts have been muzzled by 13 years in government, citing the party's response to "the excesses of the banks" as an issue on which it should have been bolder.

His 44-year-old brother is the frontrunner in the leadership race after announcing his candidacy on Wednesday and has already attracted the support of senior party figures such as former home secretary Alan Johnson.

Ed Balls, the former schools minister, is also expected to throw his hat into the ring.

© 2010 AFP

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