'I Have No Plans to Return to Front Line Politics - at the Moment That Is' DAVID MILIBAND INTERVIEW: Defeated Leadership Contender May Be out of the Limelight - but He's Not out of the Game

Article excerpt

Byline: Andy Hughes

Comment DAVID Miliband last night refused to rule himself out of running for the Labour leadership in the future. In an exclusive interview with The Journal the former Foreign Secretary explained how he still had high hopes of taking his party forward, but insisted his role for now was to champion the North East.

The South Shields MP has broken his silence on his future plans since losing the Labour leadership election and warned voters not to overlook the damage he believes the Conservatives will cause in Government.

The 45-year-old revealed how he fears the North East could become a "forgotten land" under the coalition Government's regime and told of his fight to ensure the region's voice is heard in Parliament.

He said he has no plans to return to front-line politics "at the moment", but did not rule out running for the Labour leadership again if the opportunity arose in years to come.

Mr Miliband was the early favourite to succeed Gordon Brown and received backing from party heavyweights.

But his younger brother Ed pipped him to the post in an agonisingly close contest and David subsequently announced he was to step away from front line politics, with many fearing he would quit politics all together.

Speaking from his constituency office, Mr Miliband said he was proud to be a North East MP and pledged to continue the role at least until the next general election, due in 2015.

But he did not rule out standing for the leadership again.

He said: "I have a burning passion for the Labour Party to be in Government.

I've never been one of those politicians who thinks about personal goals and I don't think about my personal career path.

"I have no plans to return to front line politics - at the moment that is.

"For now, I'm doing what's best for the party and leaving the field open for Ed to lead the party.

"I've got to admit I wish the leadership campaign had gone differently, but who knows what will happen in the future? …

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