Ed Miliband has declared he’s “not a Centrist Dad” and praised Jeremy Corbyn for mobilising young voters and proving his doubters wrong.
In an interview for HuffPost UK’s Commons People podcast, the former Labour leader joked that the label – applied to middle-aged fathers who patronise Corbyn followers – could not be applied to himself.
Dad-of-two Miliband, who now hosts his own weekly ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful’ podcast, also revealed:
he turned down an invitation to appear on the Great British Bake-Off
a Cabinet minister had told him his tweet attacking the Government’s Brexit “piss up in a brewery” chaos was “very restrained”
his office had rejected a request to appear in a Walkers’ Crisps advert with Gary Lineker
he saw Brexit as a ‘mandate’ for a Labour government to radically change Britain.
Miliband said that the dramatic upswing in young voters in the June general election had been sparked by their ‘shock’ at the Brexit referendum and by Corbyn’s fresh appeal.
“One of the reasons for that was the way Jeremy mobilised young people. I think that is a massive positive,” he said.
“I am not a ‘centrist Dad’. I think the sense of the desire for change among young people, the sense of ‘we want big things to be different’, whether it’s on tuition fees or climate change or inequality is incredibly positive.
“Jeremy’s galvanizing young people in politics is a remarkable success, it is a reason to be cheerful. There were people who were more or less sceptical about Jeremy, but I think he proved his doubters wrong in 2017 in the election.”
The former Labour leader, who has nearly three quarters of a million followers on Twitter, went viral again this week after he ridiculed the Tory government’s attempts to get a deal on Brexit.
He explained that the tweet, which garnered 114,000 likes, was sent in exasperation after he listened to a minister try to defend the DUP.
“We voted late on Brexit on Monday night and I woke up the next morning listening to the radio and I was hearing some minister say something that made it sound like the DUP were running the country.
“And I just thought ‘oh for goodness sake’. The whole fiasco of ‘manic Monday’, really and truly!
“A member of the Cabinet just said to me, I won’t name him, ‘very restrained Tweet’.”
Miliband said he was enjoying the freedom of being a backbencher and the licence it gave him to use…