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Ed Miliband reveals he’s ditched one of his famous two kitchens at his £2.5m mansion

Ed Miliband has ditched one of his famous two kitchens at his £2.5million north London mansion.

The former Labour leader, 51, sparked a row in 2015 after he was filmed by the BBC with his wife, the High Court judge Dame Justine Thornton, drinking tea in an austere-looking kitchen in the run-up to the general election.

It later emerged that the couple have a second, larger family kitchen, which led to claims he used the other smaller room to portray his family life as more humble than it is.

Mr Miliband then sought to cool the row by insisting he prefers the ‘functional kitchenette’ upstairs – which a family friend revealed was used mainly for ‘tea and quick snacks’ – while the live-in nanny preoccupied the larger one.

Ed Miliband has ditched one of his famous two kitchens at his £2.5million north London mansion

The former Labour leader, 51, sparked a row in 2015 after he was filmed by the BBC with his wife, the High Court judge Dame Justine Thornton, drinking tea in an austere-looking kitchen in the run-up to the general election

The former Labour leader, 51, sparked a row in 2015 after he was filmed by the BBC with his wife, the High Court judge Dame Justine Thornton, drinking tea in an austere-looking kitchen in the run-up to the general election

Speaking to The Sunday Times Magazine, the shadow secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy and MP for Doncaster North revealed he’s since turned the smaller kitchen into a ‘bathroom/laundry’.

‘I can let you into a secret: there’s only one kitchen now. The one the tabloids slagged off has gone — it’s a bathroom/laundry. Our kitchen is in the basement and it’s chaos,’ he explained.

The father-of-two added that his family is ‘lively’ in the mornings and want ‘loud, meaningful conversations’ while he is ‘staggering about hoping for intravenous coffee’. 

At the time Mr Miliband denied choosing to be filmed by the BBC in the smaller kitchen because it was less imposing.

It later emerged that the couple have a second, larger family kitchen, which led to claims he used the other smaller room to portray his family life as more humble than it is

It later emerged that the couple have a second, larger family kitchen, which led to claims he used the other smaller room to portray his family life as more humble than it is

Speaking to The Sunday Times Magazine , the shadow secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy and MP for Doncaster North revealed he's since turned the smaller kitchen (pictured) into a 'bathroom/laundry'

Speaking to The Sunday Times Magazine , the shadow secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy and MP for Doncaster North revealed he’s since turned the smaller kitchen (pictured) into a ‘bathroom/laundry’ 

‘The house we bought had a kitchen downstairs when we bought it,’ he told the Birmingham Mail. ‘And it is not the one we use. We use the small one upstairs.’

Pressed again on why he was shown in the smaller kitchen, Mr Miliband added: ‘This is the kitchen Justine and I use.’

He joked: ‘I think Justine would probably say she wishes I’d spend more time in the kitchen.’

Mr Miliband also revealed he learned to ride a bike during lockdown, at the age of 49, and now cycles to Westminster and to his mother’s home.

‘I was 49 before I learnt to ride a bike,’ he said. ‘My wife is very persistent. During lockdown she said I should try. I thought, “Absolutely no way”. But I found I could ride an electric bike, sort of.’

In his Christmas card in 2014, Mr Miliband posed with his wife and children in what appeared to be a larger kitchen

In his Christmas card in 2014, Mr Miliband posed with his wife and children in what appeared to be a larger kitchen

At the time Mr Miliband denied choosing to be filmed by the BBC in the smaller kitchen because it was less imposing

At the time Mr Miliband denied choosing to be filmed by the BBC in the smaller kitchen because it was less imposing

The politician has also been on a ‘big fitness kick’, enjoying cold-water 5:30am swims in Highgate Pond.   

Mr Miliband, who has penned a new book entitled Go Big: How to Fix Our World, out this week, also opened up about the pain he endured following the 2015 election defeat.

After putting his ‘heart and soul’ into it, he admitted it took a ‘long time’ to get over it as he struggled with a sense of ‘terrible emptiness’.

‘As leader every second is scheduled by your support team and people hang on every word. Suddenly they don’t give a damn,’ he recalled. 

‘I grew a beard and got into making muffins. What was I thinking? It was definitely post-leadership trauma.’ 

His wife’s career however took off, with Justine going from QC to High Court Judge. During lockdown he explained how he took on the role of homeschooling while working from home because she spent a lot of time in chambers.   

When his wife goes to bed, he revealed he stays up to make their two sons Daniel, 11, and 10-year-old Sam’s packed lunches and starts working again.

‘Gordon Brown used to send emails at 5am, so there’s a lot to unlearn,’ he said. 

‘I occasionally dream about prime minister’s questions — it’s more of a nightmare, to be honest. I’m generally underprepared.’ 


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