The former foreign secretary – who was pipped to the Labour leadership by his younger brother, Ed, in 2010 – had been touted as a possible candidate in the forthcoming byelection prompted by the death of Michael Meacher on Wednesday.
Senior Blairite Labour figures are reported to have discussed Miliband standing in the safe Labour seat of Oldham West and Royton. But rather than preparing to pound the pavements of Oldham, Miliband has been hobnobbing with the Clooneys at the Palm restaurant in Beverley Hills.
The actor and his wife, a prominent human rights lawyer, are supporters of the International Rescue Committee, the New York-based humanitarian agency Miliband runs.
The photographs come after newly released emails revealed that Miliband confided in another A-list celebrity friend, Hillary Clinton, when he lost the Labour leadership race.
He told the then secretary of state that losing the Labour leadership election was “tough” and that doing so having won the support of the party members and MPs made it “doubly so”, adding ruefully: “When it’s your brother …”
Following Labour’s election defeat in May, Miliband criticised his brother’s leadership of the party. He said: “Unless Labour is able to embrace a politics of aspiration and inclusion, a politics that defies some of the traditional labels that have dogged politics for so long, then it’s not going to win.”
But he has played down speculation that he plans to return to British politics.
This article was written by Matthew Weaver, for theguardian.com on Friday 23rd October 2015 11.52 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010