Justine Thornton

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Justine Thornton
Justine Thornton Miliband.jpg
Thornton campaigning in 2015
Personal details
Born 1970 (age 44–45)
Manchester, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Ed Miliband
(m. 2011–present)
Children Daniel Miliband
Samuel Miliband
Alma mater Robinson College, Cambridge
Profession Lawyer

Justine Thornton (born 1970)[1] is a British barrister,[2] and the wife of Ed Miliband, the current Leader of the Labour Party. She is a former child actress who appeared in Dramarama and Hardwicke House.

Early life and education[edit]

Thornton was born in Manchester, to Margaret and Stewart Thornton.[3] Her mother was born in Wales, and her general practitioner grandfather who was based in Ammanford was a speaker on social affairs.[4] The family moved to Nottingham, where Justine was educated at West Bridgford School.[5]

Thornton was a member of the Central Junior Television Workshop at the age of 16.[6] In 1987 she starred as Erica, a rebellious schoolgirl, in the hour-long pilot episode "The Visit" of Hardwicke House, a controversial ITV sitcom that was later pulled from the schedules after only two episodes had been transmitted following a backlash over its content.[7] In 1988, she appeared as Chrissie in an episode of the long-running children's programme Dramarama titled "Snap Decision", which was aired in January 1989.[8]

Thornton read Law at Robinson College, Cambridge, graduating in 1992. She was called to the bar in 1994.[2]


Thornton practises in environmental law, now at 39 Essex Street.[9] The 2010 edition of Legal 500, the lawyers’ directory described her as “first class”.[10]

She was appointed as an adviser to the British Government on biotechnology and the environment in 2000, a role she held until 2005 and was later on the Attorney General's C Panel. She was later Chair of SERA, the Labour environment campaign. She has also acted for the Welsh Assembly Government, and in 2009 was shortlisted for Chambers and Partners Environmental and Planning Junior of the Year.[2]

Thornton has worked on several law related publications, as general editor of Sweet and Maxwell's Encyclopedia of Environmental Law, and a co-author of Sweet and Maxwell's textbook on environmental law. She also co-authored the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 Law Society Legislation Guides.[2]

Thornton became an Associate Governor of Brookfield Primary School in 2009.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Thornton's husband is the Labour party leader Ed Miliband. They met in 2002, and live together in North London.[12][13] The couple were engaged in March 2010,[14][15] and married at Langar Hall near Nottingham on 27 May 2011.[16] They have two sons – Daniel Miliband, born 2009, and Samuel Miliband, born 2010.[17]

Thornton is a friend of Frances Osborne, the wife of current Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, whom she met at university whilst studying law.[18]


  1. ^ Birth registered GRO Volume 10e, page 299, July-Sept 1970
  2. ^ a b c d "Chambers Partners - Firms - Justine Thornton". Chambersandpartners.com. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  3. ^ "How setting up chairs led to romance for Doncaster North MP Ed and Justine". The Star. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/news-opinion/general-election-2015-justine-miliband-9098248
  5. ^ "Ed Miliband to marry Justine Thornton at Langar Hall". Nottingham Post. 31 March 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Justine Thornton in banned ITV sitcom Hardwicke House (1986)". 
  7. ^ Stratton, Allegra (26 September 2010). "Ed Miliband's partner Justine Thornton is shy but steely". Guardian Online (London: Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  8. ^ Snap Decision at the Internet Movie Database
  9. ^ "Members Profile - 39 Essex Street". 39essex.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  10. ^ Sawer, Patrick (3 October 2010). "Justine Thornton Mrs. Milibands secret history". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  11. ^ "Brookfield Primary School - Who We Are". Camden. Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  12. ^ Brady, Brian; Merrick, Jane (7 June 2009). "Battle for survival at No 10: Mandelson key to defeat of rebels". The Independent on Sunday (London). Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  13. ^ "Ed Miliband 'will marry' but politics 'got in the way'". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 29 September 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  14. ^ "Doncaster MP Ed Miliband to wed". Doncaster Free Press. 30 March 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  15. ^ Bingham, John (30 March 2011). "Ed Miliband to marry partner Justine Thornton - but no best man". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  16. ^ White, Michael (27 May 2011). "Ed Miliband wedding day – a very private affair". The Guardian (London: Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 27 May 2011{{inconsistent citations}} 
  17. ^ "Ed Miliband's partner Justine gives birth to second son". BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation). 8 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  18. ^ McElvoy, Anne (28 September 2010). "Anguish of the Miliband women". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 

External links[edit]