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DAVID Miliband is poised for a sensational return to frontline politics with a top job at the European Union.

Senior sources in Paris and Brussels have told the News of the World that European leaders want the defeated Labour leadership candidate to be their Foreign Minister.

Mr Miliband walked away from the Shadow Cabinet on Wednesday, five days after being narrowly defeated by his brother Ed.

But French President Nicolas Sarkozy has told the current EU Foreign Minister, Baroness Ashton, he wants her to "move on" and "make room for David".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also backing the move. The pair, along with Premier David Cameron, will effectively decide who takes the job.

Mr Miliband turned down the role in 2009 as he wanted to run for Labour leader. Mr Sarkozy, Mrs Merkel and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton all wanted him to take the job.

Mr Sarkozy called Mr Miliband to commiserate after he lost the leadership race last Saturday. He told the former Foreign Secretary: "Your career is far from over. I will see you in a major role again."


CALL: Sarkozy

In Brussels, a senior source from the European Commission said: "Baroness Ashton was a compromise candidate last year because Tony Blair was too toxic and David Miliband was not available.

"She is now involved in setting up the machinery of the new office of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security. But once that is completed next year the EU leaders want someone to take the role forward who has a higher profile and an ability to really get a grip on the job."

Mr Miliband is still working out what he wants to do after being narrowly beaten by his brother Ed. He is planning on taking time off and may write a book.

But he realises he will not be able to play an active role in domestic politics without undermining his brother. David Miliband's friends are refusing to say what he wants to do. But one said: "He will be raring to go again in a few weeks."

Yesterday Mr Miliband lived up to his promise to spend more time with his family by joining wife Louise and sons Isaac, five, and Jacob, two, at the London premiere of the new Thomas the Tank Engine film, Misty Island Rescue.



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