British opposition urged to forget brothers' 'soap opera'

The former foreign minister begged the party to unite behind Ed and bury the bitter infighting seen between former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, but refused to say if he would serve under his brother.

Ed defeated his better-known older brother by a narrow majority in a surprise outcome to the centre-left party's leadership race on Saturday, leaving David considering his future.

Ed Miliband was a close Brown aide, while David was firmly in the Blair camp, putting them on opposing sides of the warring factions during the party's 13 years in power which were ended by defeat in May's general election.

But David Miliband told Labour's annual conference in Manchester, northwest England, that the party must give its undivided loyalty to his brother if they wanted to oust the Conservative-Liberal coalition from government.

"No more cliques, no more factions, no more soap opera, one united Labour Party taking on one divided government," he said.

"I have been incredibly honoured and humbled by the support you have given me but we have a great new leader and we have to get behind him.

"Above all I'm incredibly proud of my brother. Ed is a special person to me. Now he is a special person to you and our job is to make him a special person for all the British people."

David Miliband arrived in Manchester hoping to deliver the leader's speech tomorrow, but had to deliver his back-up address as the foreign affairs spokesman instead.

His rousing speech, made without notes, gave party members a glimpse of what they might have had with him as leader.

Watched by Ed Miliband from the platform, his address received a lengthy standing ovation and cheers from party members in the auditorium, before he hugged his brother.

But though they stood arm in arm on stage, David Miliband is still refusing to say whether he will put himself forward to serve in Ed's shadow Cabinet.

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