“Social justice is what gets me up in the morning”. Goodbye, David Miliband

David Miliband has stepped down as MP for South Shields to work for an international aid charity, ending a twenty year career in politics.

David Miliband has stepped down as MP for South Shields to work for an international aid charity, ending a twenty year career in politics.

Here are some choice quotes as well as a brief history of a career cut unexpectedly short.

Our generation has a chance to play with new ideas

1994 – Having worked for the Institute of Public Policy Research for 4 years, Miliband was appointed as Tony Blair’s head of policy by the prime minister in waiting and proceeded to contribute heavily to the 1997 manifesto.  Alistair Campbell nicknamed him “brains”.

Everything about my politics has been about the future

2001 – Miliband stood as MP for South Shields and won with 63 per cent of the vote, leapfrogging to the front benches as school standards minister a year later.

Social justice is what gets me up in the morning

2005 – Following Labour’s third consecutive election victory, Miliband replaced Ruth Kelly as Communities and Local Government Minister

We need to act with imagination and innovation

2006 – Miliband replaced Margaret Beckett as Environment, food and rural affairs minister after a major reshuffle. A keen advocate of climate change awareness, he called for all 27 nations of the European Union to unify in backing proposals to cut greenhouse emissions by 30 per cent by 2020. He also became the first cabinet minister to have a blog.

The world can be a scary place

2007 – The day after Gordon Brown was appointed prime minister, Miliband became the third youngest politician ever to be appointed as foreign secretary. In office he presided over the release of British detainees in Guantanamo bay and the government’s response to both the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008 and the end of the Sri Lankan civil war, flying to both countries for diplomatic talks.

Interestingly, during the victory celebrations after the defeat of the Tamil’s in Sri Lanka a burning effigy of Miliband was thrown over the gate of the British high Commission after he had attempted to halt the killing of civilians during the government offensive against the rebels.

I still believe we can win the next election.”

2008 – Miliband wrote an article in the Guardian outlining his vision for the Labour Party without mentioning Gordon Brown. The article was widely received as a leadership challenge. He denied he was trying to provoke an early leadership election.

 “I am the ‘change Britain’ candidate

2010 – After the defeat of Labour in the general election and the resignation of Gordon Brown, Miliband began his campaign for leadership of the party. He fended off the challenges of Ed Balls, Diane Abbot and Andy Burnham and entered the final round with only his brother, Ed Miliband, to beat.

He lost the Labour crown by a margin of 1.3 per cent and four days later announced that he would be retiring from front line politics.

I will forever be Labour.”

2013 – David Miliband resigns as South Shields MP for his “dream job” as president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.