David Miliband’s advisers are confirming that he is leaving Manchester and is heading back to London. That is surely not the behaviour of a politician who is about to say he will run for the shadow cabinet and unite behind his brother. I could still be wrong – but it seems increasingly likely that he will quit frontline politics.
A key moment today, picked up by Channel 4, was when Ed Miliband criticised the Iraq invasion. David, stony-faced, refused to clap. He turned to Harriet Harman, politely applauding next to him, and whispered:
“You voted for it. Why are you clapping?”
She replied: “I am clapping because, as you know, I am supporting him.”
This follows yesterday’s moment when the brothers spoke after David’s triumphant speech. A lip-reader employed by Channel 4 (again) is sure that the younger brother said it was a very good speech: “I’ll be honest I thought it would be three or four minutes,” Ed said.