The Prime Minister David Cameron, and Lib Dem Deputy Leader Simon Hughes have both congratulated Ed Miliband on his election as Labour Leader in what is surely one of the most narrow victories in the history of history!
I should like to offer my own personal congratulations. The Leader of HM Official Opposition is an important job with important Constitutional duties, and acts as a check and balance to the executive.
I should like to add my personal comiserations AND congratulations to David Miliband for his success too. Lets remember that he was beaten by much less than one percent - and even then, after four rounds of redistribution. I believe David is a good man, and certainly I have only ever had the nicest of dealings with him. I hope, and I am sure he will go on to support his brother Ed in challenging the executive.
I did think it was very nice for the PM to add his words.
The Prime Minister said,
"Congratulations to Ed Miliband. I was Leader of the Opposition for four years and know what a demanding and important job it is. I wish him and his family well."
The outgoing Shadow Chancellor Alistair Darling, in an interview for talkSPORT, told me,
"Ed has won, and he'll have my support, and the support of the party as a whole. He recognises that there's a huge job of work to be done. We've got to learn from the mistakes we've made, we've got to win back the trust we lost at the election, and Ed will have our support in doing that.
Also for talkSPORT, current Shadow Immigration Minister Phil Woolas told me,
"I was surprised. I thought from the body language that David Miliband had just pipped it, but if you look at the trade Union members who voted for Ed... JUST... I thought the most important thing that Ed Miliband was saying the Labour Party has voted for a new generation."
So it's fair to say that the party is supporting their new leader, but with such a narrow victory, Ed Miliband will have a fair job to keep everyone on side. I doubt we've seen an end to the tribal nonsense that harmed Labour so much of old, but I do suspect that Ed Miliband will be embraced by most of the party.
I thought the former Leader, and former PM Gordon Brown's speech today was the most comfortable I have ever encountered from him. He was calm, he was funny, and he had the most effective dig at Tony Blair - two in fact. He joked that Mr Blair promised to write a reference for him, but he never realised it would run in to 700 pages - and he said (without direct reference to TB) no one would ever see him on the TV, the radio, or read in the papers, him saying anything bad about the Labour team - and promising that he would always support the team.
I did laugh when Mr Brown spoke of his two children, Fraser and John, to which Fraser shouted out, "John, he's talking about you John" right behind where I was sitting. It's fair to say that I had a pretty good position - so good in fact that I felt slightly bad that Mr Brown came off stage and shook my hand rather than a party supporters - but I think this is just due to where he was seated, and since he called my name, this was obviously his intention. I merely said, "Well done Mr Brown.. very comfortable speech". Readers to this blog, and viewers of sky news political reviews, as well as listeners to talkSPORT will know that I do not say things I do not believe.
I was also pleased to have the chance to comiserate with, and congratulate David Miliband in person when on camera, he said some very nice things about me. Very grateful for that David.
So here I sit in my hotel room, sort of on a break before heading for a bite to eat, and back to the Conference Centre to do a piece with the excellent Matt Forde on the even better talkSPORT.
Incidentally - a final word on tweeting;
I intend to tweet quite a bit from conference. I hope you will stick with me, but I won't be offended if you choose to unfollow - so long as you come back after. It is my intention to bash out the main lines as quickly as I can.
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