My London: Ed Miliband

·3-min read
 (Alamy)
(Alamy)

Home is…

Tufnell Park, with my wife, Justine, and kids, Daniel and Sam — we’ve lived here for 11 years. We’re incredibly close to Hampstead Heath, we’ve got nice shops nearby, so we’re very happy here.

Where would you recommend for a first date?

Lemonia, a Greek restaurant that I used to go to as a kid in Primrose Hill. It’s got fantastic food. Afterwards you could stroll up the hill for a romantic view of London.

Lemonia (Alamy Stock Photo)
Lemonia (Alamy Stock Photo)

Which shops do you rely on?

I love Monsoon, an Indian restaurant round the corner. There’s a local deli called Truffles, which is great, a few pubs including The Dartmouth Arms — and we’re near Daunt Books, where you can buy my book!

What’s the best thing a cabbie has said to you?

‘I voted for you.’

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?

Free bus travel and e-bikes for all, jet-skiing on the canal, and I’d put the Ed Stone [a stone tablet commissioned by Labour for the 2015 election] on the fourth plinth for a day. A street party with every nationality represented, and A-ha would be headlining, I’m afraid.

If you could buy any building in London and live there, which would it be?

The Royal Court theatre. I used to be on the board and I associate it with energy, history, politics and joy. I would just live there and let it carry on as it is.

The Royal Court Theatre (Alamy Stock Photo)
The Royal Court Theatre (Alamy Stock Photo)

Where would you most like to be buried?

Highgate Cemetery, where both my father and Karl Marx are buried. It’s an extraordinary place, and it’s about 10 minutes’ walk from where we live.

Have you ever had a run-in with a London police officer?

When I was the leader of the Labour Party, I didn’t have to drive myself around very much. After I lost the election, I was driving to work one day and my dodgy driving drew the attention of a police officer. I apologise profusely.

Biggest extravagance?

Nike Vaporfly trainers. They’re supposed to make you run faster, although I’m not sure they work on me.

What’s the best meal you’ve had?

A fantastic bacon sandwich at New Covent Garden Flower Market… a rather notorious sandwich.

Where do you go to let your hair down?

At home with Justine and the kids. I know this may surprise you, but I don’t tend to be clubbing at 3am.

What’s your London secret?

I don’t think it’s much of a secret, but cold water swimming in Highgate Ponds. I took it up during lockdown. I swam in four-degree water on Christmas Eve, which is also my birthday.

What are you up to at the moment for work?

Being the MP for Doncaster North, the Shadow Business and Energy Secretary and I’ve written a book of big ideas called Go Big, which is all about giving people a sense of optimism that we can make the world a better place.

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What do you collect?

Dad jokes.

Who is your hero?

My parents. They’re both Jewish refugees and they taught me most of all that politics can make a difference to people’s lives.

What have you learnt during the lockdowns?

How to ride a bike properly. You see London in a way that you don’t see in a car. And how much I miss human company.

‘Go Big’, by Ed Miliband, is out now (£18.99; Vintage)

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