Jeremy Corbyn has what it takes to become prime minister at the next election, according to former Labour leader Ed Miliband.
Miliband, who stepped down as leader following a humbling defeat in May's general election, said, "Of course," when asked if Corbyn is suited to becoming prime minister, but added that "predictions aren't my thing".
Miliband made a rare media appearance on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, presented by Jim Naughtie, who asked if Corbyn could become prime minister.
On Corbyn's chances of entering Downing Street, Miliband said: "In the end that's a decision for the electorate, which I discovered to my cost – that's a decision the electorate has to make."
He added that he wouldn't advise Corbyn on how to run the Labour party, saying he wouldn't be a "backseat driver". Naughtie replied "Having crashed the car it's difficult to do that," to which Miliband responded: "Thanks."
"I made this decision as soon as I stepped down as leader that I wasn't going to tell my successor or provide a running commentary on my successor," said Miliband. "He's going to argue in his own way and he's set out what he believes his mandate is for which is anti-austerity, a different approach to foreign policy, and participatory politics."
Asked if Corbyn will win the general election in May 2020, Miliband gave a cautious answer, saying his defeat in May has stopped him from making political predictions.
"I'm not in the predictions game and, if you'll forgive me, after my experience at the general election, predictions aren't my thing."
Miliband's backing of Corbyn is at odds with what he reportedly said about Corbyn's leadership to a group of Labour MPs last week. According to the Mail on Sunday, Miliband told the group: "I bet you didn't think things would actually get worse."
Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.
Contact Jamie Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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