back to top
Politics

Ed Miliband Called Himself "Ted Miliband" At University

The Labour leader led rent strikes protesting for cheaper accommodation during his time at the University of Oxford.

Posted on

Ed Miliband spent his time at university leading rent strikes, while calling himself "Ted Miliband".

BuzzFeed News

BuzzFeed News has obtained pictures and newspaper cuttings of the Labour leader's time as a student activist named "Ted Miliband", where he complained about the lack of trust in politicians and urged the university to control rents.

In one report from student newspaper Cherwell, "Ted" Miliband is quoted attacking his university college for threatening to raise rents by 27%.

BuzzFeed News / Cherwell

Miliband, president of his university college's JCR – equivalent to a student union – led a protest against rent increases at Corpus Christi College, Oxford in 1991.

The newspaper reported that the 21-year-old said proposed rent increases were "unacceptably high" while leading a noisy protest of 60-70 people, before being invited in to negotiate with the head of his college.

Miliband told the newspaper at the time that "an impressive cross-section of the college turned up – it showed that we are united in our feeling".

Miliband – this time using the name "Edward" – also wrote letters to the university paper to complain about portrayals of students as politically apathetic.

Cherwell / BuzzFeed News

Miliband, already chair of the university Labour club, said: "Student apathy in Oxford and elsewhere will prevail until the government of the day convinces students that their will be heard, and not ignored, as it has been for the last eleven years."

He also blamed "the unbroken reign of Margaret Thatcher" for students believing political activity is worthless.

Miliband's time as "Ted" was again highlighted when ITV Meridian unearthed footage of Miliband speaking about the strikes.

EXCLUSIVE: Watch @Ed_Miliband 's first ever TV appearance from 1991. Copyright @itvmeridian http://t.co/NLj1e2UOuu

ITV Meridian happened to record a young Miliband talking about the strike back in 1991. On Tuesday they played it back to the current Labour leader, who looked baffled at their ability to find it and said it was "a long time ago".

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.