In a surprise move, David Miliband, former Foreign Secretary once seen as a future Labour Prime Minister, has decided to resign his seat in Parliament and quit frontline politics to join a New York-based international charity.
Mr. Miliband said he had “wrestled” with what was a “very difficult” decision to make but believed that his departure would allow his younger brother Ed Miliband, to whom he sensationally lost the Labour leadership election in 2010, to focus on building the party ahead of the next general election.
He was alluding to relentless speculation about his future and his place in Labour Party since losing the leadership election.
“I didn’t want to become a distraction. I think it’s the right decision for the party as well as for me. It is something I have struggled to accept but I have come to accept,” he told Sky News.
“I have wrestled with this because I want to do everything possible to ensure a Labour government and support Ed in what he is doing.”
In an interview to the BBC, Mr. Miliband said that after serving as an MP for 12 years, he had to make a choice about “how to give full vent to my ideas and ideals”.
“I feel a sense of sadness because I am British. I love Britain. I am passionate about Labour, but I have had to make a choice about where I can make my best contribution,” he said.
He heaped praise on his brother, whom critics have accused of “stealing” the party leadership from him.
Mr. Ed Miliband said his brother’s exit would leave British politics a “poorer place” and praised the “huge contribution” he had made to British politics.
“We went through a difficult leadership contest but time has helped to heal that,” he said. in a statement adding: “I will miss him. But although he is moving to America, I know he will always be there to offer support and advice when I need it”.
Mr. Miliband (47), whose wife is American, will move to New York in September to work for International Rescue Committee.
Son of the distinguished Marxist thinker, Ralph Miliband, he came into prominence when Tony Blair picked him up in 1997 to head his policy unit in Downing Street. He was famously nicknamed “brains” by his Downing Street colleagues.