A union chief hailed Ed Miliband’s election as Labour leader today as a “clear sign that the party wants change”.
Tony Woodley, joint leader of Unite, called on the party to unite behind the new leadership.
He said: “We welcome Ed’s victory – this is a fantastic achievement for him and for the policies he has been promoting.
“His victory, coming from nowhere a few months ago, is a clear sign that the party wants change, to move on from New Labour and reconnect with working people.
“Ed has won by hitting the issues people care about – stopping the assassination of public services, fighting for a living wage, standing up for manufacturing, a better future for young people.
“Now the party must unite behind its new leadership and take the fight to the Tories.
“Under Ed, Labour can give a clear lead in opposing that threaten the very fabric of our society. That is what the party expects – a move on from the factionalism which weakened it in government.”
Left-wing Labour MP John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington) called on the new Labour leader to hit the deck running by pledging to lead the resistance to the Government’s cuts in public services and set a radical new agenda to tackle the deficit, including controlling the banks and bonuses, cracking down on tax evasion, creating jobs by investing in renewable energy, transport and housing, scrapping Trident, and withdrawing from Afghanistan.