Introducing Ed Miliband 2.0, king of the Twitter burn

Cheeky chappy: Ed Miliband 2.0
Cheeky chappy: Ed Miliband 2.0 Credit: AFP

Hold the front page!

It's the news that's surprised an industry that deals in news. A back bench MP, formerly one of the country's leading politicians, reinvents himself by boldly moving into editorship on a widely-read publication.

That's right: Ed Miliband has today revealed that he will soon take over at celebrity news and gossip magazine Heat.

Okay, so that's not quite right. The real news is that George Osborne is set to become editor of the Evening Standard

Miliband's tweet was the simply the latest example in a string of zingers and jibes that have won the former Labour leader new followers and fans over recent weeks.

Of course, it's no great news that Ed likes Twitter – he got rid of his iPhone to curb his usage of it in the run up to the 2015 election – but he's really upped the ante of late, firing out a string of snarky, sassy tweets during last week's OmNICshambles budget. 

Here he is in the immediate aftermath of Phillip Hammond's attempt to raise National Insurance Contributions, quickly pointing out that David Cameron had pledged not to do so in the Tory manifesto.

And here's Ed not-so-subtly twisting the knife, as the budget begins to unravel.

The very next day, this new, no-holds-barred version of Ed Miliband continues to dish out Twitter burns, dropping a sweary, three-letter acronym. 

Wowzers. Can this really be Ed Miliband, the man widely lampooned for looking goofy while eating a bacon sandwich? The same Miliband who mispronounced "Am I tough enough enough?" The politician who apparently forgot to mention the economy in his keynote speech to 2014's Labour conference? The leader who oversaw the Ed Stone, a gravestone to poorly-conceived public relations?

In truth, Ed Miliband 2.0 has been in testing for a while. It all started with a tweet back in July 2016 when, in her first statement as Prime Minister in Downing Street, Theresa May said to the people of Britain that "when we take the big calls, we’ll think not of the powerful, but you". Miliband took to Twitter to imply she was copying his shtick.

The initial test was a success – you can't quibble with 3,000 likes – and, emboldened, Miliband took aim at Mrs. May once more with another sly quip. It would prove to be his first successful use of the 'quote tweet', a format that would go on to become his modus operandi.

In front of our eyes, Miliband has morphed into a new man: bigger, bolder and far more natural than the Milibot we knew before. His wit is quick and slick – charmingly, it's also laced with self-deprecation, like the time he surfaced on America's NBC News as a stock photo of a man sneezing.

In January, Miliband scored his biggest retweet haul yet with a jibe against Piers Morgan.

February saw him getting sarky with another political foe, Donald Trump.

And now March, with such burns as this: 

Ok, maybe that one's not so great. But the point is that Ed Miliband is reborn, free from the need to be a tight lipped leader who advocates a party line. He seems to be enjoying life on the back benches, and airing his views with a sass that bypassed him while Leader of the Opposition.

It all bodes well for the first issue of Heat under its new helmsman.

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