Doncaster MP Ed Miliband 'still recovering' from time as Labour leader after 'gut-wrenching' defeat

Doncaster MP Ed Miliband says he is still recovering from his time as Labour leader, more than six years after his ‘gut-wrenching’ defeat to David Cameron.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 12:17 pm

He told the BBC's Political Thinking podcast leading the Labour Party to defeat at the 2015 election was something he was still getting over.

"Frankly, your confidence gets shattered by losing," he told host Nick Robinson.

And he said the party's defeat was "in many ways" a personal rejection of him.

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Ed Miliband

"More people wanted David Cameron to be prime minister than me, and I've got to accept that," he added.

Mr Miliband, who led Labour between 2010 and 2015, has since April 2020 served as shadow business secretary under current leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Asked whether he had recovered from his time as leader or was still recovering, he replied: "definitely recovering".

He added that being Labour leader had been "all consuming, and then it wasn't there any more".

He told Nick Robinson early polling data on election night 2015 "looked quite good" but turned out to be wrong and added: "You think you're going to be having the conversation with Barack Obama the next day, and then you're grateful for a call about your PPI.”

Reflecting on his time as leader, he said: "I've come to the view that I had a big analysis of the problems of the country," but that his solution for dealing with them "were not nearly as bold, and not equal to the moment".

He added that he had "never really regretted" being Labour leader, a role which he took after defeating his brother David at a leadership election.