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Straw praises 'steely' Miliband
Jack Straw has praised Ed Miliband for "changing the political weather" after his "extraordinary" speech at the Labour Party Conference last month.
The former Foreign and Home Office Secretary under Tony Blair said that Mr Miliband had had a positive month, in which he had helped turn around political discourse and made people take note.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4's World at One, Mr Straw said: "He surprised everybody by this extraordinary, very positive speech that he made, which has changed the political weather.
"He has shown great determination and even reserves of steel, a kind of of ethical fibre, which I think are very impressive."
Mr Straw, who originally backed David Miliband, instead of younger brother Ed in the party's leadership contest, admitted that his energy price freeze "took everybody by surprise", but he insisted it was the right decision.
Asked about suggestions that the party was moving to the left, after Mr Miliband told a member of the public that he was "bringing back socialism", Mr Straw replied: "I certainly believe in the ideas of democratic socialism which are about the ideas of a fairer society and a fairer distribution of life's rewards."
Commenting on the Daily Mail row over its claims that father Ralph Miliband hated Britain, he said: "I think it's been a car crash for the Daily Mail. Although I don't agree with the paper, I have a lot of respect for it. Not least for its editor [Paul Dacre], since we were at university together."
Mr Straw said he could not see how the newspaper's controversial headlines were "conceivably justified". He also questioned Mr Dacre's decision not to defend the paper in person, following the furore.
"I find it odd that Mr Dacre is not putting himself forward. Surely as an editor of a national newspaper you are a public figure," he said.
Mr Straw said that the Daily Mail had "done some quite courageous things", including leading the campaign to bring the racist murderers of Stephen Lawrence, killed in 1993, to justice.
But on this occasion, he said, it had got it wrong. He added: "An apology would make a huge difference."
Separately, Mr Straw revealed that he may not stand at the next election. He said: "I've yet to make up my mind."