Labour activists cheered their new leader Ed Miliband today as the party’s annual conference formally got under way in the UK.
Mr Miliband was present on the platform at Manchester Central as national executive committee chair Ann Black opened proceedings with a message of congratulation.
Those present in the hall responded with applause and whooping, acknowledged by their new party leader with a wave, but their welcome was quickly followed by a demand for unity.
After Mr Miliband edged out his brother David by the slimmest of margins in the race to succeed Gordon Brown, Ms Black warned MPs to put past allegiances behind them rather than return to the infighting which has dogged Labour in the past.
“Differences and doubts are expressed passionately within the Labour family - but not in public – and you make it crystal clear that you expect the same discipline from those of us privileged to hold office within the party,” she told activists.
“So I know that whoever each of us personally supported for the leadership, we will all unite behind Ed Miliband. And we expect and demand no less of our MPs and our other elected representatives.”
Shadow business secretary Pat McFadden, a former adviser to Tony Blair, added his congratulations from the conference stage.
But he said: “I’ve seen leadership up close and I know it’s not easy. That’s why we have all got to get behind him in the task ahead.”