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David Miliband may quit politics

world Updated: Sep 27, 2010 12:30 IST

Speculation is rife that David Miliband, the defeated brother of Britain's opposition Labour Party's new leader Ed Miliband, may quit politics, a media report said.

The 45-year-old former British Foreign Secretary could quit frontline politics rather than serve under his 40- year-old younger brother Ed, the 'Daily Express' reported.

In fact, Ed, the former British Energy Secretary, won the Labour leadership after narrowly beating brother David and three other candidates in a cliffhanger internal poll held on Saturday, nearly four months after the party was ousted in general election, following 13 years in power.

David, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, stayed away from the new leader's first address to Labour MPs in Manchester on Sunday, which added fuel to the speculation that he could be looking for a dignified exit, the report said.

The newspaper also quoted sources as saying that David was in a quandary about whether he could accept a subordinate shadow cabinet role under his younger brother.

Ed said yesterday: "He needs time to think about the contribution he can make, and we've got shadow cabinet elections next week, so there is time for that."

Though it's believed that Ed will press his brother to become Shadow Chancellor, but sources indicated David would resist the offer.

Party insiders say David would prefer to continue in his current job for a year before making a dignified exit to a diplomatic post, possibly in the US.