Gilmore Welcomes New Labour Leader

The Leader of the Irish Labour Party Eamon Gilmore has this morning welcomed the election of his new British counterpart.

Speaking this morning, Mr Gilmore said he wished to extend warmest congratulation of the Irish Labour Party to Ed Miliband on his election as Leader of the British Labour Party.

"In just five years in the Commons Ed Miliband has established himself as one of the most formidable figures in British politics and he was particular impressive in his role as Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change in the last Labour Party government," Mr Gilmore said.

Ed Milliband won this weekend's contest by just over 1%, beating his brother David in the tight leadership race.

It is now believed David is considering whether to serve in the shadow cabinet.

Speaking ahead of the Labour conference, the current shadow foreign secretary said he would make his decision after the conference because he would "not do anything to take attention" from the new leader.

He said he would take his time with the decision and speak to colleagues regarding the next step. There is a possibility he will be offered the shadow chancellor's role.

Meanwhile, the current shadow chancellor Alistair Darling has revealed he will be stepping down from the front bench in the near future.

He is expected to make a speech later to defend his original plans to halve the budget deficit over four years.

Ed Miliband described Mr Darling's plans as "broadly the right starting point", but said he wanted to look at how they could be improved.

Nominations have now opened for the 19 shadow cabinet posts which are elected by a ballot of MPs. Other leadership candidates, including David Miliband, are expected to take prominent jobs if they stand for election. The vote takes place until 7 October.

David Miliband, who will remain shadow foreign secretary until the elections, will speak to delegates in a question and answer session on foreign affairs at the Labour Party conference in Manchester.

In his comments today, Mr Gilmore concluded said he had no doubt new leader Ed Milliband will lead the British Labour Party back into government in the near future.

"I look forward to working with him in the Group of Labour and Social Democratic Parties in the EU and I also look forward to the continuation of the good relationship that has always existed between the British and Irish Labour Parties," he said.


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