Russell Brand: Ed Miliband relationship explained, what did former Labour leader say in 2015 interview?

The former Labour Leader Ed Miliband was endorsed by Brand in April 2015

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Ed Miliband says he now regrets doing an interview with Russell Brand in 2015.

Ahead of the general election Brand who was open about never having voted, interviewed and endorsed former Labour Leader Miliband on his YouTube channel The Trews. Miliband has since opened up that he regrets the interview, explaining: “hindsight is a wonderful thing”.

Comedian Russell Brand has been accused of serious crimes in a joint investigation by The Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches, which aired on Saturday (16 September). The former Hollywood actor has been accused of rape, sexual assault and abuse, with four women alleging Brand assaulted them between 2006 and 2013, when the star was at the peak of his fame.

Brand denied the criminal allegations against him in a video on his YouTube and social media accounts on Friday (15 September), questioning whether there was “another agenda at play”. YouTube has also suspended monetisation of his channel following the allegations.

So, who is Ed Miliband, what is his relationship to Russell Brand and what happened during their interview in 2015? Here’s everything you need to know.

Who is Ed Miliband?

Edward “Ed” Miliband is a British politician from the Labour Party. The 53-year-old has been the Member of Parliament for Doncaster North since 2005 and was the Labour Leader and Leader of the Opposition between 2010 and 2015.

Miliband has been serving as the Shadow Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero since 2021. He is married to Dame Justine Thornton DBE, with the pair sharing two children.

In 2015, the Oxford educated former Labour Leader was interviewed by Russell Brand on his YouTube channel The Trews. He sought endorsement from Brand who backed Miliband for the election.

Russell Brand interviewed Ed Miliband in 2015 (Photo: Getty Images/Jeff Spicer/ Stringer, Getty Images/Rob Pinney / Stringer)Russell Brand interviewed Ed Miliband in 2015 (Photo: Getty Images/Jeff Spicer/ Stringer, Getty Images/Rob Pinney / Stringer)
Russell Brand interviewed Ed Miliband in 2015 (Photo: Getty Images/Jeff Spicer/ Stringer, Getty Images/Rob Pinney / Stringer)

When was Ed Miliband interviewed by Russell Brand?

In April 2015, the former Labour Leader met with Brand in his London home for an interview ahead of the upcoming election. Years prior, Brand had urged young people not to vote during an interview with Jeremy Paxman and had admitted that he himself had never voted.

He said at the time: “Don’t bother voting. Stop voting, stop pretending, wake up, be in reality now. Why vote? We know it’s not going to make any difference.”

What did Ed Miliband say in Russell Brand interview?

The 15-minute interview saw the pair sitting in Brand’s kitchen where they discussed the need for “credible change” in politics. Brand endorsed Miliband, telling the former leader: “I completely agree with you, Ed. We don’t want some giddy, Yes-we-can euphoria … People don’t want euphoria this time. People want security and stability and an end to this fear.”

Miliband faced criticism for the interview over Brand’s views on voting. He defended it, reported by the Guardian he said: “You’ve got millions more people who may well not vote who are not watching, frankly, who are not watching, not listening and are planning not to vote and therefore I will do anything and engage with anyone to try and persuade people to vote.”

What did Russell Brand say about Ed Miliband interview?

Miliband lost the election to the conservatives in 2015. Following the defeat, Brand claimed that it had impacted the result of the election. Reported by the Independent after Miliband’s defeat Brand said: “Thank you, Russell Brand, for f**king up the election by getting me to come round your house.”

What has Ed Miliband said about Russell Brand allegations?

Reported by PA, he was aked at Politico’s Energy and Climate UK event whether he regretted the interview following the publication of allegations against Brand, Milliband said: “Yes, of course. I think the allegations that have come to light are horrific and my solidarity is with the women who have come forward to tell their stories.”

He continued: “I did lots of interviews during that campaign. Russell Brand was going round saying people shouldn’t vote. I went and did an interview on his programme because I wanted young people to get out and vote. But obviously knowing what I know now, obviously I regret doing it.”

When asked if agreeing to an interview with Brand showed a lack of judgment, Miliband replied: “Look, hindsight is a wonderful thing. As I say, I did lots and lots of interviews. This was someone who was gaining notoriety at that point for saying to people, ‘Do not vote because it will make no difference’.

“And I felt duty-bound, if there was an opportunity to do so, to say to young people in particular, who he was targeting… that it would make a difference.”