Ed Miliband stands down as Labour leader
Ed Miliband has confirmed that he is to step down as the leader of the Labour Party following disappointing results at the general election.
With all but 25 seats declared, Mr Miliband was set to address staff at Labour Party HQ, but the Conservatives looked set to take an overall majority.
On officially announcing his resignation as party leader, to loud cheers, Mr Miliband said: “This is not the speech i wanted to give today. I believed that Britain needed a Labour government.
He said he rang David Cameron to congratulate him, and said that he takes “absolute responsibility” for the result.
Continuing, he said: “So sorry for all of those colleagues who lost their seats”, and congratulated those who had been elected or re-elected.
“Britain needs a strong Labour party. a Labour party that can rebuild after this defeat.”
He said: “And now it is time for someone else to take forward the leadership of this party. So I am tendering my resignation, taking effect after this afternoon’s commemoration of VE Day at the Cenotaph.
“I want to do so straight away because the party needs to have an open and honest debate about the right way forward, without constraint.”
Writing on Facebook ahead of the announcement, he said: “I’ve just thanked Labour’s staff. They are a credit to our party, and, driven by a passion to serve, they are a credit to our country. Defeats are hard, but we’re a party that will never stop fighting for the working people of this country.”
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On Twitter, he wrote: “I am grateful to the people who worked on our campaign and for the campaign they ran. The responsibility for the result is mine alone.”
A strong supporter of LGBT rights Mr Miliband recently asked questions in Q&A session with PinkNews readers. The Labour leader said he would “do his best” to support his children if any of them came out as transgender, revealed he has attended a same-sex wedding, and backed the legal recognition of humanist weddings in England and Wales.
Disagreeing with Brand, the Labour Party leader called the idea of not voting “totally wrong”, suggesting that it is not only politicians who make change happen, but also voters.
He said: “Workers rights, the national health service, a minimum wage, lesbian and gay rights… the whole point about this is that they happen.