Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has revealed that he is going to marry the mother of his two children in a small ceremony later this year.
Mr Miliband was elected as his party’s leader last autumn, becoming the first leader of a major British political party to live with his family outside of wedlock.
Mr Miliband, who previously claimed that he was “too busy” to get married, faced further embarrassment when it emerged that he was not named on the birth certificate of his eldest son.
Mr Miliband revealed his intention to marry Justine Thornton on 27 May during an exclusive interview with Doncaster Free Press earlier this week.
He said: “This is going to be a fantastic day for us both and I feel incredibly privileged to be marrying someone so beautiful and who is such a special person.
“It’s the right time for us to do this and I’m really looking forward to a lovely day.”
He added: “At the end of the day we’re in our 40s and we’ve got two kids – so it wasn’t a case of me suddenly popping the question.
“This is just something we think is right for us.”
The couple said they had agreed that they would get married about one year ago, and that their plans had not changed after Mr Miliband became the Labour Party leader.
Earlier this year Mr Miliband received an onslaught of criticism from the public for his failure to marry the mother of his children or name himself on his first son’s birth certificate.
Mr Miliband was taking phone-in questions from the public on BBC Radio 2′s Jeremy Vine Show.
One member of the public, Paul Henry, questioned Mr Miliband’s personal commitment, asking: “Why isn’t he committed in his own life? Why hasn’t he got married? Why hasn’t he committed his life to his partner?
“I know it is the modern thing to live together but comes a time in life surely when you’ve got to be a couple and commit.”
Another member of the public, Kevin O’Neill from Birmingham, said: “Mr Miliband, how can we trust anybody who didn’t even put his name down as the father of his first child on the birth certificate?”
Critics have also raised concerns about Mr Miliband’s stance on traditional marriage after he pledged last year to redefine marriage and impose it on society.
He told homosexual news website PinkNews: “I want to see heterosexual and same-sex partnerships put on an equal basis and a Labour Party that I lead will campaign to make gay marriage happen.”