Ed Miliband gave his first speech as leader of the Labour Party today and cited changes in attitudes to homosexuality as proof of Labour’s achievements.

Addressing the party’s conference in Manchester, he said that the new generation of Labour has “different attitudes, different ideas, different ways of doing politics”.

He told delegates he was “privileged” to join Manchester Pride last month and said the party should be proud of introducing civil partnerships.

Mr Miliband said: “The old way of thinking said that you couldn’t change attitudes towards gay men and lesbians.

“Let me tell you that last month I was privileged to be in this great city, at Pride, to see not just thousands of people marching but thousands of people lining the street in support.

“We should be proud that our commitment to equality means we have couples forming civil partnerships across the country and celebrating with their family and friends.”

Writing for PinkNews.co.uk last month, Mr Miliband said he supported marriage equality and promised that if elected leader, he would fight for an end to homophobic hate speech and better treatment of LGBT asylum seekers.

Speaking today, he admitted that Labour had had a “very bad result” in the general election

He said: “We need to learn some painful truths about where we went wrong and how we lost touch.

“We must not blame the electorate for ending up with a government we don’t like, we should blame ourselves. We have to understand why people felt they couldn’t support us.”

Mr Miliband, who defeated his brother David in the leadership race on Saturday, also addressed some of the unflattering nicknames he was been saddled with during the campaign.

He said: “This new generation must find a new way of conducting politics.And that brings me to some of the names I’ve been called…

“Wallace out of Wallace and Gromit…I can see the resemblance. Forrest Gump…Not so much. And what about Red Ed? Come off it.

“Let’s start to have a grown up debate in this country about who we are and where we want to go and what kind of country we want to leave for our kids.”