Sir Keir Starmer’s high allies are lining up Ed Miliband for a return to front-line politics, The Telegraph learned.
Now the favorite on the run to succeed Jeremy Corbyn, shadow secretary Brexit has repeatedly said that he won’t start making appointments until the contest is over.
But sources close to Sir Keir on Wednesday said Miliband, one of his most high-profile supporters, was a contender to replace John McDonnell as the party’s second oldest character.
Praising Miliband as a “strategy giant”, an important Labor figure claimed to have been seen as someone who could help shape the party’s future and was “valued” by Sir Keir’s campaign team.
“He’s a really big strategy giant and he’s a great figure,” they continued. “He is a great supporter of Keir and is highly respected within the party.”
However, others have reported that Miliband may be offered a less prominent prominent role, citing concerns that keeping two male figures at the top of the party may prove unpopular among the members.
Work remains the only major party to have never elected a female leader.
Alongside Miliband, older women appointed to be named shadow chancellors include former cabinet minister Yvette Cooper and Rachel Reeves, president of the economic committee of municipalities.
There are also hints that Rebecca Long-Bailey, Sir Keir’s closest rival, may receive the role in an attempt to end the ongoing split between moderates and tough leftists.
A second ally said that Sir Keir was determined to end the bitter faction chaired by Jeremy Corbyn, who saw Labor’s pediment increasingly dominated by those loyal to the leadership.
“What made it clear that he wants to create a broad-based team based on talent,” they added.
“Obviously it will have to balance gender, politics and geography as you would expect. But one thing that has always tried to impress is that you want capable people. What they want is when people hear a Labor voice on radio waves that seem credible.”
On Wednesday, an elderly member of Sir Keir’s team refused to rule out Mr. Miliband returning to the front row.
However, they insisted that Sir Keir hadn’t made any decisions and was completely focused on winning the contest.
It comes a few days after Ms. Long-Bailey, the so-called “continuity” candidate, said she would offer Jeremy Corbyn a role in his shadow cabinet.
Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon, who is about to become deputy chief, also said that Corbyn would become an “ideal” foreign shadow secretary and should be rewarded with excellent work.
However, Corbyn’s inner circle is unlikely to survive the change in leadership, with Sir Keir’s allies calling for a cleansing of senior staff.
Following the resignation of Andrew Murray, senior adviser to the Labor leader, there are now widespread calls among MPs for Seumas Milne and Karie Murphy – the other two “M” that make up his “sofa” to be removed.
“That obviously will give rise to some financial obligation, but everyone believes it should be done,” said a senior source.
There is also growing anger towards Jennie Formby, Labor’s secretary general, accused of orchestrating a complaint to Britain’s data watchdog claiming that Sir Keir’s staff has been hacked into an internal party database.
Sir Keir’s allies believe that the complaint was politically motivated and have started discussing possible replacements.
They include Emilie Oldknow, a former senior Labor official and assistant secretary general of Unison, Sir Keir’s biggest union supporter.
Other suggested candidates include his campaign director Morgan McSweeney and Anneliese Midgley, the political director of Len McCluskey’s United union.
Separately, Sir Keir received a big boost on Wednesday evening when Laura Parker, a senior Momentum figure, supported him to become a “great party leader”.
Parker, who previously worked as a national coordinator for the pro-Corbyn organization, said it would unify the party and help build a “lasting coalition”.