News and Views
The 50th birthday snub that proves Ed’s feud with his brother has gone nuclear: David invites all the major players from the Blair era… except his younger brother
The invitations for David Miliband’s 50th birthday party next month have already been sent out. Tony Blair, Lord Mandelson and Dame Tessa Jowell, the frontrunner to be Labour’s London Mayoral candidate, are on the guest list.
Appropriately enough, the gathering is at the chi-chi Rotunda restaurant at King’s Place in North London in the shadow of the bien-pensant Guardian newspaper headquarters.
All the major players of the Blair era — such as the former culture secretary James Purnell, who is now director of strategy at the BBC — have been invited by Mr Miliband, the former foreign secretary who has lived in New York for two years.
But there is one conspicuous omission. Ed Miliband, who stabbed his elder brother in the back to narrowly win the Labour leadership after securing the support of the trade unions, is not invited. The carefully calculated snub is the clearest sign to date that the feud between the two brothers over the Labour leadership is as bitter as ever.
In fact, Labour’s crushing election defeat has made the rift even deeper. If Ed had won, or even come close, rather than presiding over Labour’s worst result for 30 years, it would have made it easier for his brother to bear the fact that he had beaten him to the party leadership.
Even though David is fully committed to his £300,000-a-year role as director of the charity the International Rescue Committee — a job he has held since the spring of 2013 — he still takes an obsessive interest in British party politics.