Rumours: Miliband HAS EU High Rep job – believe it or not

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    5th November, 2009


    Swallow with pinch of salt. Apart from a denial from Downing Street AND Mr Miliband’s own office, and apart from the fact that no candidate is awarded the high representative’s job “just like that” (especially when he is not even an official candidate) this ‘news’ has a certain whiff about it.

    When Mr Blair says he is out of the race for the presidency I’ll believe this story. Until then I suggest there is some politicking afoot.

    Still, worth a read. From comes this:

    Miliband heading to Europe

    Thursday, 05, Nov 2009 12:44, by Emmeline Saunders

    miliband-heading-to-europe-FCODavid Miliband has accepted the European foreign policy minister role he was tipped for, a Labour source has told

    The foreign secretary could announce his new position within the next fortnight, triggering a by-election in his South Shields constituency seat which might be contested by Peter Mandelson.

    The business secretary could even take over leadership of the party after what is widely anticipated to be a dire election result for Gordon Brown and Labour.

    There is speculation within the Labour party that Lord Mandelson could become a caretaker leader after the general election – assuming Labour lose – for a single term, before handing power over to Mr Miliband, the source claimed.

    Now the Lisbon treaty has been ratified by the Czech government, EU officials want the new ‘foreign minister’ post of high representative and that of the presidency of the European council filled in the next month, to be operational by January 1st.

    Mr Miliband has distanced himself from the EU’s first high representative for foreign policy role, but has not ruled himself out of the running. He could only be a realistic contender if former prime minister Tony Blair’s candidacy for the presidency fails.

    A Foreign Office spokeswoman said today she had not heard that Mr Miliband had accepted the job. Officials had previously denied his interest in the post.

    Sources close to Mr Miliband strenuously denied the reports this morning.

    The prime minister and foreign secretary were involved in a terse exchange at a Brussels press conference last week when they were asked about the shortlist of candidates. Mr Brown quickly dismissed rumours that Mr Miliband had been proposed for the job.

    “Let me just say, I have been at the meeting,” Mr Brown said.

    “That was not their decision, just let me tell you. Also if there is a shortlist I am sure David would be on it because he has excellent qualifications. But he doesn’t want to be on it. And indeed there is no such list.”

    Mr Miliband laughed off the suggestion, replying he was “not available”.

    Speculation about his candidacy had been fuelled by a series of speeches he had given on how to campaign for a “global Europe”, which had been viewed as attempts at canvassing for the post.

    Lord Mandelson is currently barred from running as an MP as he is a lifetime peer.

    But on Sunday the Independent reported he had recently appeared in South Shields to deliver the town’s annual lecture.

    For him to stand for the constituency – and have any realistic hope of becoming prime minister – Lord Mandelson faces a significant legislative hurdle.

    The constitutional reform bill allowing life peers to resign from the House of Lords is currently at committee stage in the Commons, leaving weeks of procedure remaining.

    The writ for a by-election would have to be moved within three months of Mr Miliband stepping down. His term in Europe would begin on January 1st.

    But, if timed correctly, there may not be a need for a by-election at all. Seats are often left vacant towards the end of a parliament, to be filled at the general election.



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    4 Responses to “Rumours: Miliband HAS EU High Rep job – believe it or not”

    1. margaret walters Says:

      this article seems to be getting ahead of itself advocating miliband as next leader of labour party don’t the peoples votes count

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        The people’s vote doesn’t choose the leader, margaret. The parties vote internally in their own different ways for their leader.

        Though the leader counts when the people are voting for a party from which the PM will come. Thus Blair was the right leader in 1997. Oh and in 2001 and 2005.

        Miliband is NOT a leader, imho. But then very few in any of the parties have what it takes, imho, in the absence of you-know-who.

        Having said that, the article is ahead of itself in advocating Miliband instead of Blair for a top EU job. Now that eventuality, if it were to happen, would really be to shoot ourselves in the foot.

        Miliband, to me, is like Obama. Hasn’t done anything (much) but is looked on as some great hope for the simple reason that he isn;t somebody else. DAFT reasoning.

        Give me a man or woman who has proved they can DO somthing any day. But then I value experience. We don’t all.

    2. Caela Says:

      Interesting. I just heard David Milliband at Aljazeera saying “I have said it again and again. I am not a candidate and I am not available.”

      Looks like Milliband is really determined to secure another top job for his former boss and would not want to risk a misunderstanding undermining his candidacy if (or when) he decides to declare it.

      • keeptonyblairforpm Says:

        Who knows?

        I would sincerely hope Miliband woud never dream of undermining Blair’s ‘candidacy’. But loyalty and politics don’t always go together, sadly. Miliband can always say in the end that he, like Blair, did not put himself forward – others did.

        It’s generally believed that Blair’s candidacy is dead.,0

        If so, all Europeans should be in mourning, imho.

        From the Downing Street press call yesterday:

        Europe Presidency

        Asked for an update on the EU Presidency and the position of Tony Blair and David Miliband, the PMS said again that the Prime Minister continued to support Tony Blair; that he would campaign for his candidacy, but that Tony Blair had not yet made his views known. As the Prime Minister talked to his European counterparts he continued to impress on them the merits of a Tony Blair candidacy. The Foreign Secretary had made his position clear.

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