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Chuka Umunna tipped for Labour leadership battle

2015-05-08 12:47:34

Chuka UmunnaLABOUR'S NEXT LEADER?: Chuka Umunna

Labour leader Ed Miliband is now almost certain to stand down after a disappointing night for his Party and shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna is in the running to replace him.

According to reports, Miliband will announce his resignation as Labour leader in the next few hours following a disastrous night for his party at the polls.

Labour MP Simon Danczuk said he "understands" Miliband will be standing down but denied the party was in crisis.

He said: "I'm not suggesting everything is tickety-boo - quite the contrary, it's not been a good night for the Labour Party, there is no doubt about that.

"I don't believe it is a good night for the vast majority of people in the United Kingdom because I think they would have been better served by a Labour government."

He continued: "It's interesting times in which we find ourselves, politically, and what Labour now has to do is examine what went wrong with the election campaign, how we can get it right, how we can appeal to the electorate, whatever policies we need to talk more about."

Danczuk added: "I understand Ed Miliband is going to announce he is standing down so yes, we will move towards a leadership election. I think that should be welcomed and it will be interesting to see who puts themselves forward."

Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary is almost certain to run for the position and is the bookies favourite to win.

Ed Balls's wife Yvette Cooper is the second favourite for the position, with rising star Umunna in third.

Despite losing the election, last night, Umunna continued to back Miliband.

The Streatham MP said he was "really proud" of Miliband's campaign and said he was "absolutely" behind the Labour leader - even though this morning (May 8) it is Conservative Party leader David Cameron who is poised to return as Prime Minister.

In the early hours of the morning after he was re-elected in his seat with a vastly increased majority, Umunna said: "I think Ed's had a fantastic campaign, fantastic campaign, I'm really proud of the campaign he led."

There were cheers as Umunna, who has increased his majority from 3,259 to 13,934, was declared the winner at the count at Brixton Recreation Centre, reported the Evening Standard.

In a victory speech, Umunna, who got 26,474 votes, paid tribute to the south London constituency he grew up in.

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