David Miliband - whom many in Labour believe could have won yesterday's general election had he beaten his brother for the Labour leadership - has been attacked for being cryptic in a tweet he sent about the result that implied he could seek a return to British politics.
Miliband quit parliament in 2013, ending speculation he might seek to return to the Labour frontbench or even try to challenge his younger brother to be party leader before the election.
After Ed Miliband resigned, David tweeted his thoughts of how the Labour party should recover:
Heart goes out to great colleagues who lost seats, Labour teams who worked so hard and of course to Ed. (1/2)— David Miliband (@DMiliband) May 8, 2015
Deep and honest thinking required to rebuild progressive politics. (2/2)— David Miliband (@DMiliband) May 8, 2015
The tweets fuelled speculation among political journalists that he might seek to return to parliament as Labour politicians prepare to launch campaigns to become the next leader.
But Damian McBride, former spin doctor to Gordon, Brown was angered and attacked Miliband for his comment, saying he should stop asking "media cryptographers to tell the public what you're saying".
For once @DMiliband, why not say what you mean, rather than ask media cryptographers to tell the public what you're saying. Or just shut up.— Damian McBride (@DPMcBride) May 8, 2015
McBride is no fan of Ed Miliband, having previously called his policies "a steaming pile of fudge".
In an update to his memoir of his spin doctor days published last year, McBride wrote: ""Labour currently has no clear idea who its target audience is, no positive messages to communicate to anyone about why they should vote for the party, no policies which will persuade them, and is being run in a totally dysfunctional way."
He added: "What, at present, is the common denominator of their policies? A great, steaming pile of fudge."
Miliband senior has repeatedly refused to rule out a return to British politics. In December, The Financial Times asked whether he would and he said: You just don’t know, do you?"
John Rentoul, the Blairite columnist, wrote that David Miliband could have won the election for Labour.
"Instead, Labour is one of three parties that emerges from last night facing questions about its viability," he wrote.
"When Neil Kinnock welcomed Ed Miliband's election as leader, saying, 'We've got our party back,' he spoke true. The party went back to the past, and back to the kind of election results it won in the past."
Louise Mensch, who, like David Miliband, stood down as an MP to move to New York, told Channel 4 on election night that she expected to "lose David Miliband as a neighbour very soon".
When Ed Miliband was grilled by Jeremy Paxman in March, Paxman said: "A lot of people when they look at your candidacy for the most powerful job in the land, they look at you and they say, “What a shame it’s not his brother."
Miliband said: "That's obviously not the way I see it. You need a toughness in this job. People have thrown a lot at me but I'm a pretty resilient guy."
Immediately after the interview ended, Paxman asked Miliband: "Are you alright?"
GENERAL ELECTION 2015