Twenty-three years ago, on the morning that a cornered Margaret Thatcher announced she was standing down as prime minister, Ed Miliband was a student at Oxford. "Ted", as he was known then by his university friends, was a slightly fogeyish, contained young man, remembered for his awkward jumpers and kind but serious manner. Yet that morning, "He was ecstatic," a friend told his biographers Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre. "We didn't leave the college TV room for 24 hours. It was the biggest event of our lives."
Since then Miliband has risen, sometimes smoothly and sometimes not, from student politician to New Labour backroom player, MP to respected minister, dark horse party leadership contender to shock winner, written-off opposition leader to increasingly possible prime minister. In many ways, Britain has changed profoundly since that morning in 1990. Thatcher herself, once a ubiquitous public figure, is now a frail 87-year-old, rarely seen or photographed.
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