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1/10/10 | The new Labour Leader - and his brother

Duration:
28 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 01 October 2010

The battle between two brothers for the leadership of the Labour Party ends with victory for the younger man. He's been labelled Red Ed. But has Labour really lurched to the left? And what will the unions expect in return for their support? When kid brother becomes king of the castle, what is the right course for big brother? Presented by Susan Hulme.

The elder brother in the leadership contest, David Miliband, had long been the favourite, but younger brother Ed was the eventual victor - by a very narrow margin. Lance Price, a former journalist and also former advisor to Tony Blair in Downing Street, is writing the biography of Ed Miliband and outlines the brothers' background and relationship.

Ed is seen as politically to the left of his brother, partly because he gained many of his votes in the leadership contest from the unions. Some Conservatives are said to be rejoicing at the prospect of a swing to the left by Labour. Steve Richards of the Independent newspaper and James Forsyth, of The Spectator, analyse whether this portrayal of the new leader will damage the party's election prospects.

Derek Simpson, joint leader of the public sector union Unite, maintains that although he believes Ed Miliband will listen to unions' views, that doesn't mean they expect to be granted any special favours from the new leader in return for their backing.

In Ed Miliband's first speech since his election, he has already distanced himself from the last Government, by criticising the Iraq War. There are also signs of a change in Labour's policy on reducing Britain's deficit. William Keegan from The Guardian newspaper and Philip Booth from the free-market think tank, the Institute of economic Affairs, discuss whether he is taking his party further to the left.

A few days after his brother's victory, David Miliband announced that he would bow out of the front line of Labour politics, rather than work under his little brother. Tim Lott is a writer who has employed his older brother in the past and is writing a novel based on the experience. He thinks David Miliband made the right decision.

  • CURRENT READING OF GUESTS AND THE PROGRAMME TEAM

    Lance Price: 'Whatever it Takes' by Steve Richards and 'Wonderboys' by Michael Chabon;
    William Keegan: 'Five Days in London: May 1940' by John Lukacs;
    Professor Philip Booth: 'How China Went Capitalist' by Ronald Coase;
    Tim Lott: 'Travels with Charley: in Search of America' by John Steinbeck

    The team:
    'Dracula' by Bram Stoker;
    'Ordinary Thunderstorms' by William Boyd

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