Ed and David Miliband face communication breakdown as radio interview is cut short

Ed Miliband beat older brother David to become Labour leader in 2010Getty

Ed and David Miliband have not been seen or heard in public together since the younger brother narrowly won the 2010 Labour leadership contest. David, a former foreign secretary, quit the House of Commons two years later and became the chief executive of the US-headquartered International Rescue Committee (IRC).

Ed went on to lose the 2015 general election to David Cameron's Conservatives, with the Tories takking a majority of MPs. He has stayed on as the representative for Doncaster North and stepped in to cover for Radio 2's Jeremy Vine this week.

It was under the guise of a newcomer DJ that Ed interviewed his brother live on air on Friday 23 June, on the first anniversary of the Brexit vote that cost Cameron his job.

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The interview was notable for as much as what the duo did not discuss as what they did.

The Miliband brothers made no mention of their personal relationship, apparently strained after Ed's victory, and they did not discuss the state of the Labour Party or Jeremy Corbyn.

Instead, Ed quizzed David over his work regarding the refugee crisis. "Last year, every minute 24 more people were displaced from their homes from because of conflict and violence," the elder Miliband said. He also suggested that the UK should have taken more than 5,000 refugees from next to war-torn Syria.

"If you take my figure of the 5,000 resettled refugees, you know from your own constituency [Doncaster North] that is eight refugees per parliamentary seat across the UK. No one is going to persuade me that eight refugees arriving in South Shields [David's old seat] is going to overwhelm the system," David said.

He added: "25,000 a year would be much more in line with what the UN define as the most vulnerable around the world."

David later urged the UK government to take a stand and shared his disappointment that 3,000 unaccompanied children in mainland Europe were not resettled in the UK after the so called "Dubs Amendment", which was not passed into law but some MPs and peers thought the government would honour the number.

Elsewhere, David warned that Donald Trump's anti-immigration moves could hand the Isis a propaganda victory. "The Isis social media channels were celebrating when Donald Trump issued his executive orders, trying to limit the number of refugees," he said.

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Unfortunately, the phone line between New York and London cut out and eventually Ed had to cut the interview short. "I'll see you very soon," he said.

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