A FORMER adviser to Ed Miliband has claimed the then Labour leader shunned attempts to portray him as a “Yorkshireman” because he lived in Leeds as a child.
Matt Lazo revealed Mr Miliband resisted media demands to visit Horsforth with BBC reporter Tanya Arnold who attended the same school.
He was speaking after current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was accused by Virgin Trains of walking past empty seats on a service between London and Newcastle before being filmed sitting on the floor describing the train as “ram-packed” and calling for renationalisation of the railways.
The row has triggered a debate over how politicians make their arguments through the media.
Mr Lazo told the BBC: “Actually in Ed’s favour authenticity did matter to him.
“I remember people here in the BBC were desperate to try and get him, because he spent 18 months of his childhood in Leeds and went to primary school there with a woman who is now the rugby league reporter for BBC Yorkshire, and I got so many phone calls from this building saying ‘oh, please please take him to this school’.
“To be fair Ed said ‘I’m not going to pretend to be an authentic Yorkshireman, I’m not.”
Mr Miliband was interviewed by Ms Arnold last year ahead of the General Election although not at their former school.
Mr Corbyn today claimed he had chosen to sit on the floor after being unable to find two seats together so he could talk to his wife. He said the train manager subsequently found seats for him.
Virgin Trains is facing investigation from the Information Commissioner for releasing CCTV images of Mr Corbyn on the train.
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