If what could be either a cruel blow or a huge boost to his brother, David Miliband will be stepping down as an MP on Wednesday, to take a job at a top charity in New York.

david miliband

David Miliband is reportedly quitting as an MP

The role, with the charity International Rescue, is a "dream role" for the former Foreign Secretary, who will move his young family to his wife Louise Shackleton's native US.

In his resignation letter, Miliband wrote: "In every job I have done, in and out of Parliament, I have sought to make a difference to the disadvantaged and vulnerable.

"The IRC does this on a daily basis and a large scale for some of the most desperate people in the world.

"Of course it is very difficult for me to leave Parliament and politics, friends and colleagues. As you know, I see every day the damage this shocking government is doing to our country, and passionately want to see Labour back in power.

"I will forever be Labour. But after writing two election manifestoes in 1997 and 2001, and serving as a Minister for eight years, I now have to make a choice about how to give full vent to my ideas and ideals.

"I hope you will understand that the opportunity to lead the IRC represents a unique chance to put my experience into practice on behalf of some of the least fortunate people on Earth."

A source close to Miliband, who has been MP for South Shields since June 2001, told The Mirror he will step down on Wednesday. “David has landed a dream job in charge of a charity in New York and wants to take it. But it means leaving politics.”

A senior Labour source told The Huffington Post UK they were "genuinely shocked" by the news, but added: "It's a major loss for the party, but I don't think it'll affect Labour's electoral chances. It may be that he just wanted to make a clean break before 2015."

Since losing the leadership election to his brother by a margin as thin as a cigarette paper, Miliband has repeatedly turned down offers of jobs in the Shadow Cabinet, including the job as Shadow Chancellor.

His party's MPs were quick to pay tribute to the man a majority had hoped would be Labour leader.

Labour MP Stella Creasy said it had been "an honour" to work with the former Foreign Secretary, and fellow Labour MPs Jamie Reed and Toby Perkins also expressed gratitude to Miliband for his work in politics.


stellacreasy
been an honour to be in parliament with - can only wish for him and his family an amazing future in America in his new role..


Toby Perkins MP
Sad to hear that is quitting as an MP. Will be a big loss to British and Labour politics.


Jamie Reed
Well...if this is true, thanks for absolutely everything.

David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, confirmed his close friend was indeed departing the Commons.


David Lammy
David Miliband a big loss to PLP.Will miss him.Very loyal friend.The right decision however for him Louise and his two boys.Great new job.

Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi, who backed the elder Milband for Labour leader, told HuffPost UK: "It's a really sad loss for British politics, the loss of an incredibly intelligent, principled and honest man. We need more people like him. I do wish him every success."

Miliband's resignation will trigger a by-election in his South Shields constituency. The MP, who is vice-chairman and non-executive director of Sunderland Football Club, secured a majority of 11,109 at the 2010 general election with 52% of the vote.

Earlier this month, in an interview with the Times, Miliband hinted he was looking for fulfilment beyond the front benches.

“I still think you have got to do both,” he told the paper. “I can speak about what I think about the welfare Bill in Parliament, which I did, but I can also try to make a difference on the ground. So much of politics is people saying yada yada, but what’s it actually going to mean?

“It sounds a bit like a soundbite but ‘front line not front bench’ does sum it up.”

Loading Slideshow...
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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: Former foreign secretary David Miliband (R) is embraced by his brother party leader Ed Miliband after giving a keynote speech to delegates during the second day of the Labour party conference at Manchester Central on September 27, 2010 in Manchester, England. David Miliband rallied the party faithful and declared that 'Ed's a great leader' in his brother Ed Miliband. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • David Miliband Gives A Statement On His Political Future

    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband and wife Louise pose for photographers on the steps of their home on September 29, 2010 in London, England. Mr Miliband is expected to announce his future plans later today, after losing in his bid to become the new Labour leader to his brother Ed Miliband. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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  • David Miliband Gives A Statement On His Political Future

    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband and wife Louise pose for photographers on the steps of their home on September 29, 2010 in London, England. Mr Miliband is expected to announce his future plans later today, after losing in his bid to become the new Labour leader to his brother Ed Miliband. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • Britain's opposition Labour Party's Andy

    Britain's opposition Labour Party's Andy Burnham (L), David Miliband 2nd (L), Harriet Harman (2nd R) and Ed Balls, listen as their party's new Leader, Ed Miliband (not pictured), addresses delegates on the third day of the annual Labour Party conference, in Manchester, north-west England, on September 28, 2010. New leader Ed Miliband set out his vision Tuesday for returning Britain's opposition Labour Party to power on Tuesday by making a break with the past of ex-prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. AFP PHOTO/LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The Labour Party Hold Their Annual Party Conference - Day 3

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: Former foreign secretary David Miliband listens to a speech on the second day of the Labour party conference at Manchester Central on September 27, 2010 in Manchester, England. David Miliband rallied the party faithful and declared that 'Ed's a great leader' in his brother Ed Miliband. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • The New Labour Party Leader is Announced

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: The new leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband (R) embraces his brother David after Ed was voted the new leader of the labour party at the annual Labour Party Conference on September 25, 2010 in Manchester, England. David Miliband, Ed Miliband, Ed Balls, Diane Abbott and Andy Burnham all fought for the leadership of Labour when Gordon Brown stepped down after the general election defeat. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Former British Foreign Secretary David M

    Former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband listens as his brother and former British climate change minister Ed Miliband addresses Labour supporters after being elected new leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party in Manchester, north-west England, on September 25, 2010. Milliband succeeds former Prime Minister Gordon Brown as leader of the party. Brown resigned following Labour's defeat to a Conservative Party coalition with the Liberal Democrats, which formed a new government earlier this year. AFP PHOTO/LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

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  • Ian Dunt

    To those saying David Miliband is a loss to British politics, please suggest one memorable policy or idea he had

  • Dan Johnson

    Good luck to David Miliband with what he does next. Looking forward to helping in another by-election up North

  • Posh_tiger

    Can't believe it, David Miliband is going to be a Thunderbird! "F.A.B. Ed!" #internationalrescue #miliband