Ed Miliband's resignation speech in full
Published 08/05/2015 | 12:43
Here is the full text of Ed Miliband's resignation speech:
"Thank you for your kindness, friends.
"Friends, this is not the speech I wanted to give today because I believed that Britain needed a Labour government.
"I still do, but the public voted otherwise last night.
"Earlier today I rang David Cameron to congratulate him.
"I take absolute and total responsibility for the result and our defeat at this election. I am so sorry for all of those colleagues who lost their seats - Ed Balls, Jim Murphy, Margaret Curran, Douglas Alexander and all the MPs and indeed candidates who were defeated.
"They're friends, colleagues and standard bearers for our party, they always have been and they always will be."
He continued: "I also want to congratulate all of our candidates who were elected yesterday, and who will help take our party forward as well.
"I want to thank those people who ran our campaign - it was the most united, cohesive and enjoyable campaign I have ever been involved in.
"I want to thank Douglas Alexander, Lucy Powell, Spencer Livermore, and most of all, all of you, the incredible team at the Labour party.
"And I also today want to thank the incredible team of Labour Party members, activists and all those people who pounded the streets over the past few months.
"Friends, Britain needs a strong Labour Party. Britain needs a Labour Party that can rebuild after this defeat so we can have a government that stands up for working people again.
"And now it's 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.
"Let me say that Harriet Harman is the best deputy leader anyone could hope for.
"I worked for her more than 20 years ago, I'm proud to have had her as my deputy for my term of leadership.
"She will take over until a new leader is elected.
"For me, I'm looking forward to reacquainting myself with Justine, Daniel and Sam. But before I do I want to say a few things."