Team Miliband Insider's Guide: David Miliband's circle of power

David Miliband has insisted he is not 'campaigning' for the Labour leadership. But the Foreign Secretary has a formidable network of political strategists and communications professionals working behind the scenes to smooth his path to power. David Singleton reveals the key players on board the 'Milibandwagon'.

KEY
* The private office stars
** The union set
*** The business crowd
**** The PR agency chiefs
***** The old Blairites
****** The new Blairites

* SARAH SCHAEFER - Special adviser to Miliband

Ex-journalist and former partner of Spectator editor Matthew D'Ancona. Handles media relations for Miliband.

* MADLIN SADLER - Special adviser to Miliband

Former head of government relations at Ford, whose father is Labour MP Barry Sheerman. Advises on strategy.

* RAVI GURU-MURTHY - Speech co-ordinator to Miliband

The brother of Channel4 newsreader Krishnan Guru-Murthy is a little-known but established member of Team Miliband.

** MICHAEL DUGHER - Special adviser to Geoff Hoon MP

Former senior official at the AEEU. Went on to be the top lobbyist at EDS.

** MARK TAMI MP - Assistant government whip

Former head of policy at AEEU who participated in last year's plot to force out Tony Blair. A close ally of Tom Watson.

** TOM WATSON MP - Cabinet Office minister

One-time political officer at the AEEU. Played a key role in last year's 'coup' against Tony Blair. Now said to have switched allegiance from Brown to Miliband.

** D-J COLLINS - European comms director, Google

Former press chief at the AEEU. Was head of news at the Department for Education and Skills when Miliband was schools secretary. Later moved to Weber Shandwick. Lined up to oversee comms at Downing Street.

*** JONATHAN KESTENBAUM - Chief executive, Nesta(1)

Has worked with Ronald Cohen and is close to Lord Levy. Helping Miliband to forge links with business. Sources suggest Kestenbaum is being lined up as Milband's chief of staff.

(1) National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts

*** SIR RONALD COHEN - Chairman of Apax Partners

British businessman and one of the founders of European private equity. A long-time supporter of Gordon Brown.

*** LORD LEVY - Formerly chief fundraiser for the Labour Party

Longstanding friend of Tony Blair who made his fortune in the music industry.

**** ALAN DONNELLY - Chairman, Sovereign Strategy

Ex-MEP for Tyne and Wear. Now chair of Miliband's constituency party and boss of lobbying firm Sovereign. Well connected in Labour's 'North East mafia', he is said to be ready to run Miliband's campaign.

**** Michael Prescott - UK corporate comms MD, Weber Shandwick

Former political editor of The Sunday Times. Moved to Weber Shandwick in 2001, later recruiting DJ Collins as his deputy.

**** COLIN BYRNE - UK CEO, Weber Shandwick

Was Labour Party chief press officer under Peter Mandelson. Now runs one of the UK's most powerful PR agencies. An ardent Blairite.

***** ALAN MILBURN MP - Labour MP for Darlington

Ultra-Blairite former health secretary and a key figure in Labour's 'North East mafia'. Believed to have held discussions with Miliband about a return to the cabinet, although both men have firmly denied this.

***** TONY BLAIR - Former prime minister

Headhunted Miliband to lead the Downing Street policy unit when the latter was 29. Blair has regarded Miliband as a potential heir ever since.

***** ALASTAIR CAMPBELL - Former Downing Street communications director

Left Downing Street in 2003 after nine years at Tony Blair's side. Labour sources say he is keen to return to the front line.

***** MATTHEW TAYLOR - Chief executive, RSA

Was director of the IPPR, New Labour's favourite think-tank, when Miliband was running the Downing Street policy unit. Miliband and Taylor jointly cooked up many of Tony Blair's flagship policies.

****** DAVID LAMMY MP - Skills minister

The Labour MP with the closest links to Barack Obama. Provides valued counsel on harnessing the powers of the internet to engage voters.

****** ANDY BURNHAM MP - Culture secretary

A key member of the so-called 'Primrose Hill Gang' of MPs.

****** JAMES PURNELL MP - Work and pensions secretary

The fastest-rising star in the Labour firmament and a leading member of the 'Primrose Hill Gang'. Miliband's closest friend in the cabinet.

****** PHIL COLLINS - Speechwriter to James Purnell

Former speechwriter to Tony Blair. Said to have rejected attempts to lure him back to Number 10 to pen speeches for Brown, but is happily helping Miliband.

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