Ed Miliband says he is keen to return to the frontline of the Commons battle alongside Jeremy Corbyn, adding: “I’m relatively young”.
The former Labour leader made clear, in an interview with the BBC’s Nick Robinson, that he was itching to take a frontbench job and that he expected to stay in politics for the next two decades.
Asked if considered himself a “minister in waiting”, Mr Miliband said he did and, on the subject of a frontbench return, remarked: “I don’t rule it out – definitely not.”
“After I lost the election it was never really a serious thought in my mind that I would give it all up and go off and be an academic.
“I said when I resigned that I’m someone who believes you can play a role as a leader, or not a leader. I totally believe that.”
Mr Miliband has been on the backbenches since resigning the day after his catastrophic 2015 election defeat to David Cameron and the Conservatives.
Given Mr Corbyn’s settled top team, the prospect of an immediate return to the frontbench looks unlikely – despite the former leader’s recent warm support for his successor.
A model could be William Hague, who disappeared from the political frontline for many years after defeat in 2001 – only to re-emerge as Mr Cameron’s Foreign Secretary.
“I’m relatively young by the standards of a member of parliament, I’m 47,” Mr Miliband told Robinson.
“So I’m not about to give it all up – I think there is a lot to be fought for actually in the next 10 or 20 years.”