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The new Labour Party leader Edward Samuel (Ed) Miliband was born in London on Christmas Eve 1969. His parents, Marion Kozak and Ralph Miliband were Polish Jewish immigrants (although Ralph was born in Belguim he came from a Polish family) and Ed is the youngest of two sons.
His brother David is four years older, is a Labour MP, and also took part in the contest to become Labour leader. Ed lives with his partner Justine Thornton and they have one son.
Parents, Early Life & Education
Milibands parents both had to flee the Nazis, Ralph managed to board the last boat from Belgium to England along with his father, they entered the UK illegally on forged papers. Ralph's mother and younger sister stayed in Belguim and had to go into hiding to avoid capture by the Nazis who were rounding up jews. The family were not reunited until 1950.
Marion also managed to avoid capture in Poland at one point changing her name to Maria to disguise her Jewish identity. The Daily Telegraph quotes by Michael Newman who says that Marion and her family spent much of the war "in constant danger and owed their lives to several brave people, Jewish and non-Jewish, many of whom were themselves killed.” Marion herself said her survival was down to “kindness and generosity of acquaintances in Warsaw.” She came to Britain in 1947 aged 12.
Marion and Ralph parents held similar left wing views, Ralph wrote several books on politics and socialism and was described by The Guardian "as arguably Britain's most charismatic and influential leftwing intellectual", he died in 1994. Marion was an activist and academic and is a member of the Labour Party. Ed joined the Labour party when he was 17.
Like his brother Ed attended Haverstock Comprehensive School in north London and studied philosophy,politics and economics at Oxford University. He has said that his favourite four weeks at university was when he was involved in a rent dispute with Corpus Christi college. The BBC quotes him as saying that at university "I wasn't particularly bookish, Politics always motivated me more than academia." After graduating he attended the London school of Economics where he studied Economics and obtained a Master of science degree.
After a brief stint as a television researcher Ed worked for Harriet Harman in 1993 who was then Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, a year later he worked for the then shadow chancellor Gordon Brown. After Labour's landslide victory in 1997 Ed became a speechwriter and special adviser to the now chancellor Gordon Brown.
The relationship between Gordon Brown and Prime Minister Tony Blair was often fraught and Ed was often seen as someone who could act as a peacemaker, possibly because he had a close relationship with his brother who was firmly in the Blair camp. Between 2003 and 2004 he spent a year lecturing at Harvard University's centre for European studies.
In 2005 Ed was elected Member of Parliament for Doncaster North and rose rapidly through the Labour governments ranks, within a year Tony Blair appointed him Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office. In 2007 with Gordon Brown now Prime Minister he was made Minister for the Cabinet Office and promoted to the Cabinet. In 2008 he was secretary of state for the Department of Energy and Climate Change and attended the 2009 Copenhagen summit on climate change.
He was given the task of writing Labour's manifesto for the 2010 General Election although there are claims in the New Statesman that he was prevented from writing the manifesto he wanted by Gordon Brown because there was a "culture against ideas and debate within the cabinet".
During the Labour leadership contest he even admonished David for backing the manifesto after the election defeat saying "How can you possibly say you're going to stand on every aspect of our manifesto? We lost the election." The Daily Telegraph named him as one of its "Saints" of the expenses scandal for the minimal amount he claimed.
In May 2010 he announced his intention to stand for leader of the Labour party after the resignation of Gordon Brown, there were four other candidates for the job including David Miliband who was the favourite to win in the eyes of most observers.
However it was Ed who was declared winner on 25th September 2010 defeating his brother by 1.3%. Ed had positioned himself to the left of his brother, saying he will campaign for a "living wage" and the retention of the 50p tax rate he also secured support from Trades Unions and is already being nicknamed "Red Ed". He also criticized the invasion of Iraq describing it as a "tragic error" adding that he would have voted to give weapons inspectors more time had he been an MP at the time. Ed is the first Jewish leader of the Labour Party.
Relationship with David
David has much of his life in the shadow of his elder brother David. They attended the same school studied at the same Oxford College and Ed followed David into Parliament.
They have remained close for most of their political careers, at one point they lived in flats in the same house, but when Ed decided to run for the Labour leadership there are reports that their relationship became strained and that their mother was said to be upset. Being older David did everything first - attend university, get into parliament and was first to sit in the cabinet - he was also favourite to win the labour leadership contest but this time it was Ed who pipped him.
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