Ed Miliband's wife tells how Plymouth meeting inspired
THE wife of Ed Miliband has revealed it was after seeing her husband at a working man's club in Plymouth that she was inspired to "do my bit" to help Labour win the next general election, writes Graeme Demianyk.
Justine Thornton, a top lawyer, is poised to be seen more often at the side of her husband during conferences, and has been dubbed Mr Miliband's "secret weapon".
Speaking to delegates at regional receptions, Ms Thornton told them when Mr Miliband was considering standing as party leader in 2010 one event "stuck clearly in my mind".
She said: "It was actually a question-and-answer session in the Plymouth working men's club in the August of the leadership campaign.
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"This was actually the first leadership event I had been to as I work so I had not been to the others.
"I remember it vividly. Question after question after question asked of Ed revealed concerns and anxieties about lives that felt a million miles away from the concerns of people around me in London.
"As I listened to Ed's answers I realised firstly he knew and understood about the lives of people there and secondly he wanted to create a society that didn't feel like it did to me that day, which was the people in that club and the people living around me in London were living in two different countries."
She added: "That was it for me. That was the day I understood why Ed had stood for the Labour party, difficult though that was for many reasons, it was the day I psychologically threw my lot in with the Labour Party and with what Ed and the Labour Party are trying to achieve. That is why I will be on the barricades in 2015."
Ms Thornton has made few appearances since Mr Miliband defeated his brother David to win the Labour leadership three years ago.
Mr Miliband repeatedly said he would not copy David Cameron's habit of eye-catching photo opportunities while opposition leader, and would instead focus on policies.
The couple met in 2005 and got married in 2011. They have two sons.