London: Former British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband has quit frontline politics following his crushing defeat in the Labour leadership contest to his younger brother Ed Miliband.
David Miliband said he had to step back "because of the simple fact that Ed is my brother" and had beaten him to the top job.
"It is the right thing for now and certainly for the foreseeable future to support Ed from the back-benches. It's always important to look forward in life as well as politics," he was quoted as saying by the BBC.
David said he needs to "recharge his batteries" away from frontline politics and will not serve in his brother Ed's shadow Cabinet.
Looking relaxed and casually dressed, David Miliband said, "The party needs a fresh start from its new leader, and I think that is more likely to be achieved if I make a fresh start. Having thought it through, and discussed it with family and friends I am absolutely confident it is the right decision for Ed, for the party, and for me and my family. This is now Ed's party to lead and he must be able to do so as free as possible from distraction. This is because of the simple fact that Ed is my brother, who has just defeated me for the party leadership. I genuinely fear perpetual, distracting and destructive attempts to find division where none exists, and splits where they don't exist, all to the detriment of the party."
Shackelton, who has been calling for her husband to quit for the good of their young family, sported a broad smile as they joked with the press.
The 45-year-old said he would continue to serve as a lawmaker but would not serve in his brother Ed's shadow Cabinet, the top team of front-bench opposition spokesmen scrutinising the UK government.
Forty five-year-old David Miliband made the announcement to quit frontline politics at a news conference at his residence.
According to reports, David Miliband could quit British politics altogether and launch a bid to run the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The current head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Khan, is expected to stand down when his term is up in 2012, so he can focus on running against Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency.
David lost the top job to Ed by a tiny margin of just 1.3 per cent, thanks to the younger Miliband's support among trade unions.
His move to the back-benches is a bitter blow for a politician who was once held up as a potential heir to Tony Blair who had several chances to topple Gordon Brown as PM.
Story first published:
September 30, 2010 01:35 IST