Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Ed Miliband is New Leader of Labour Party

By Ben Aulakh

The former Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband has been sworn in as the new leader of the Labour party.

The joint front-runner in the Labour Leadership contest with his brother David, the former Cabinet minister was announced as leader on Saturday September 25 at the party conference in Manchester.

He won a final run-off vote, finishing just 1 per cent ahead of his brother when second, third and fourth preference votes were added up.

Mr Miliband gave his first major speech as party leader to the conference this afternoon.

He launched a broadside at the coalition government, criticising their attempts at deficit reduction, which he said have come at the expense of economic growth.

He also stated the need for the party to “draw a lined under the Iraq war,” saying how he believed that Iraq had “divided the party and country and that I believe it was wrong because it was not the last resort.”

The Labour leader also criticised the previous government for failing to “build proper alliances” whilst “undermining the United Nations” in the run up to the Iraq conflict.

Former Education Secretary Ed Balls finished third in the leadership contest with former Health Secretary Andy Burnham coming in fourth and Diane Abbott fifth.

The former energy secretary was overwhelmingly more popular amongst union members and the grassroots of the party, with his brother winning over a majority of the party’s mp’s.

The coronation of Ed Miliband as Labour Leader comes as his party has moved ahead of the Tories in the polls for the first time since before the last general election.

The Yougov pool showed Labour on 40 per cent, with the Tories 1 point behind on 39 per cent. The Liberal Democrats finished a dismal third on just 19 per cent.

A disillusioned former Lib Dem voter gave his views on the new labour leader, “The election of Ed Miliband suggests that the party has decided to look to its real roots again and become a genuine labour party.

He added, “If this turns out to be a real break from the Blair years it would be very welcome as it would make them potentially electable once again, especially now that the Lid Dem’s are in bed with the Tories.

Photograph from Mandate for Change.

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