Labour leader Ed Miliband is to marry his partner Justine Thornton in a civil ceremony in May.

The couple will tie the knot in front of 50 guests at Langar Hall country house hotel near Nottingham on May 27.

Ed Miliband and Justine Thornton have been together for six years and have two sons: Daniel, 21 months, and Samuel, four months. 

Ed will not have a best man.

Some conservative critics have slammed the couple for having two children outside of marriage, especially when Miliband said he’d been “too busy” to get married.

The couple told the Doncaster Free Press that they had agreed to get married a year ago.

Ed Miliband Labour chief after David Miliband defeated

Justine Thornton told the paper: “Ed wasn’t even an MP when I met him and at the end of the day I am marrying him because of who he is and not because of what he’s doing now. We’re planning on a small ceremony, all at the hotel with everything at the same place and we’re lookingforward to it very much.”

Miliband 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.”

Justine Thornton was an actress before going to university, appearing in 1980s sitcom Hardwicke House, along with Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson, and children’s show Dramarama.

She then went to Cambridge university to study law in 1989. Thornton was called to the bar in 1994, going on to specialise in environmental law.