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Miliband quits: I take full responsibility for Labour defeat

RESIGNATION: Ed Miliband

ED MILIBAND has stepped down as Labour leader after his party suffered insurmountable losses in the general election.

In a speech in London, Miliband said he took “absolute responsibility for this result” and announced his resignation with immediate effect.

“Now it’s time for someone else to lead the Labour Party,” he admitted and went on to thank his campaign team adding that their work was an "incredible achievement."

"I want to thank those people who ran our campaign,” he said. “It was the most united and enjoyable campaign I've ever been involved in."

Labour was left with the lowest number of MPs since the party under Neil Kinnock was hammered by Margaret Thatcher.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls, who lost his Morley and Outwood seat to Conservative candidate Andrea Jenkyns by 422 votes, was among the party's big-name casualties.

It also lost its election campaign chief Douglas Alexander and its leader in Scotland Jim Murphy.

“This has clearly been a very disappointing and difficult night for the Labour Party,” he said. “We have not made the gains we wanted in England and Wales, and in Scotland we have seen a surge of nationalism overwhelm our party.”

Labour also lost previous leader Gordon Brown's former constituency to the SNP as the nationalist party almost swept the board in Scotland.

“I want to say to all the dedicated and decent colleagues in Scotland who have lost their seats that I am deeply sorry for what has happened.”

Labour backbencher Simon Danczuk backed Mr Miliband’s decision to stand down, saying: “In terms of the general election campaign, it’s my view that we had in some regards the wrong personnel in place to lead that campaign.”

Ed Balls commented: "Any personal disappointment I have at this result is as nothing compared to the sense of sorrow I have at the result Labour has achieved across the UK, and the sense of concern I have about the future," he said.

Mr Balls said questions would arise about the future of the United Kingdom and Britain's position in Europe over the next five years.

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has been tipped for the Labour leadership battle.

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