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Neil Kinnock The Observer this morning carries an interview with Lord Kinnock, in which the former Labour leader declares his support not for the favourite, David Miliband, but his younger brother Ed.

"Ed [Miliband], I think, is very bright, including politically bright. He is hugely energetic. He is fluent. He has got the capacity to inspire people, which we need. And that marks him out as a special kind of young potential leader.

"I am certain that he is a modern democratic socialist because he has got strong values and he is very practical. His attitude is that it is no good wandering around with convictions unless you want to put them into practice, and that really is his motivation. And vitally, absolutely vitally, he is comfortable among people of every kind, young and old, men and women, inside and outside the movement. We really do need a leader who can reach out for the rebuilding of the Labour party, but particularly to give coherence to our thinking."

So has the former energy secretary, got qualities to inspire and communicate that his brother lacks? "Yeah," says Kinnock. "I rate David Miliband very highly and he is also a good guy. I like him very much. I argued for him to be the head of the policy unit at No 10 when Tony [Blair] was prevaricating. But in addition to his high intelligence I think the party needs leadership qualities, and Ed's got more of them."

"Where we are fortunate is that we have four very capable men, and what you're looking for therefore is the extra qualities of approachability, of listenability, of the capacity to lift and inspire, of understandable language. That is fundamental to the ability to reach out, and Ed's got that, Ed's got that."

For me, Kinnock's emphasis on his candidate's personal skills only goes to emphasise that there is nothing between the four declared candidates who served in Gordon Brown's Cabinet (the Milibands, Balls and Burnham) when it comes to policy.

Jonathan Isaby

27 comments for: Neil Kinnock declares his support for Ed Miliband

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