Ed Miliband has met his number one fan, the founder of Milifandom, which he called the “most unlikely cult of the 21st century”.
Abby Tomlinson, 17, founded the online movement, which had thousands of teenagers tweeting their support for Miliband in the runup to the general election in May.
Miliband, who resigned as Labour’s leader after the scale of the party’s defeat became clear, met Tomlinson for lunch in parliament and they posed for photographs on the terrace overlooking the Thames.
“Currently having lunch with the brilliant founder of #milifandom @twcuddleston to say thanks for starting something so highly improbable,” Miliband wrote on Twitter.
Tomlinson tweeted on Thursday morning: “Watch out for me in Westminster today, if any of you lovely people see me, come and say hi!” Three hours later, she wrote: “Look where I am!” She also wrote: “I’m like 80% sure I was just stood next to Hilary Benn.”
In the months leading to the election, Milifans Photoshopped Miliband’s face on to pictures of fictional heroes, ranging from Superman to the fictional Cornish heartthrob Poldark.
Tomlinson, who got an early train from Lancashire to meet her political idol, has just finished her AS levels and will be deciding what she will do at university next year. “Because I caused a splash during the election by leading the Milifandom ... one of my teachers joked that if I don’t do well in my Russian history exam, he would go to the Sun to say it was Ed Miliband’s fault for distracting me,” she wrote in the New Statesman on Wednesday.
This article was written by Frances Perraudin, for theguardian.com on Thursday 25th June 2015 15.19 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010