Ed Miliband is Labour's first Jewish leader

By Jennifer Lipman, September 26, 2010
Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband has become the first Jewish leader of the Labour party.

The 40-year-old former Energy Secretary, who is MP for Doncaster North, triumphed with just a 1.3 per cent lead over his elder brother David in the fourth round of the vote. 

David Miliband had the backing of several Jewish MPs, including Liverpool Riverside’s Louise Ellman and Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton.

However the former director of the Labour Friends of Israel and newly elected Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger, put Ed as he r first preference.

The brothers, who grew up in north London, are the sons of the late Marxist theoretician Ralph Miliband, a Belgian-Jewish refugee from the Nazis, and his Polish-born Jewish wife, Marion Kozak.

Although Labour has never had a Jewish leader before, 19th century Conservative prime minister Benjamin Disraeli was born Jewish.

In 2005 the Conservatives, led by Jewish politician Michael Howard, lost to Labour in the general election.

Meanwhile, the woman hoping to become London’s first Jewish mayoral candidate had less success. Oona King lost to Ken Livingstone, meaning that the former mayor will once more take on Boris Johnson in May 2012.

Last updated: 12:48pm, November 8 2010