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Labour MPs welcome Brown's exit

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Labour MPs have welcomed Prime Minister Gordon Brown's decision to stand down as leader

Labour MPs have welcomed Prime Minister Gordon Brown's decision to stand down as leader

Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaks about the current state of Government and announces that he will step down as Labour leader, outside number 10 Downing Street on May 10, 2010 in London

Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaks about the current state of Government and announces that he will step down as Labour leader, outside number 10 Downing Street on May 10, 2010 in London

Matt Cardy

Possible candidates to replace Gordon Brown as leader of the Labour Party (1st row, left - right) Harriet Harman, Alan Johnson, David Miliband (2nd row, left - right) Ed Balls, Jack Straw and Ed Miliband. David Miliband emerged as early favourite to take over from Gordon Brown as the next Labour leader, according to bookmakers. The Foreign Secretary is the front-runner in the Labour leadership contest with the bookmakers Paddy Power, William Hill and Ladbrokes.

Possible candidates to replace Gordon Brown as leader of the Labour Party (1st row, left - right) Harriet Harman, Alan Johnson, David Miliband (2nd row, left - right) Ed Balls, Jack Straw and Ed Miliband. David Miliband emerged as early favourite to take over from Gordon Brown as the next Labour leader, according to bookmakers. The Foreign Secretary is the front-runner in the Labour leadership contest with the bookmakers Paddy Power, William Hill and Ladbrokes.

PA

Television crews conduct interviews with politicians and journalists into the night adjacent to the Houses of Parliament on May 10, 2010

Television crews conduct interviews with politicians and journalists into the night adjacent to the Houses of Parliament on May 10, 2010

Oli Scarff

Gordon Brown jokes with David Miliband - the man who could now replace him as Labour leader

Gordon Brown jokes with David Miliband - the man who could now replace him as Labour leader

Foreign Secretary David Miliband leaves Downing Street on May 10, 2010 in London, England.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband leaves Downing Street on May 10, 2010 in London, England.

Dan Kitwood

William Hague, the Conservative Shadow Foreign Secretary, addresses media outside the Houses of Parliament on May 10, 2010

William Hague, the Conservative Shadow Foreign Secretary, addresses media outside the Houses of Parliament on May 10, 2010

Jeff J Mitchell

Electoral reform protesters demonstrate outside the Workers Foundation in Westminster on May 10, 2010 in London, England

Electoral reform protesters demonstrate outside the Workers Foundation in Westminster on May 10, 2010 in London, England

Oli Scarff

An electoral reform protester wears a mask depecting David Cameron as they gather outside the Workers Foundation in Westminster on May 10, 2010 in London, England

An electoral reform protester wears a mask depecting David Cameron as they gather outside the Workers Foundation in Westminster on May 10, 2010 in London, England

Christopher Furlong

An electoral reform protester wears a mask depecting David Cameron as they gather outside the Workers Foundation in Westminster on May 10, 2010 in London, England

An electoral reform protester wears a mask depecting David Cameron as they gather outside the Workers Foundation in Westminster on May 10, 2010 in London, England

Christopher Furlong

Conservative Party education spokeman Michael Gove gestures to a colleague at Parliament on May 10, 2010 in London, England

Conservative Party education spokeman Michael Gove gestures to a colleague at Parliament on May 10, 2010 in London, England

Peter Macdiarmid

Conservative Party education spokeman Michael Gove (L) talks with former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik at Parliament on May 10

Conservative Party education spokeman Michael Gove (L) talks with former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik at Parliament on May 10

Peter Macdiarmid

Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, leaves Downing Street following a cabinet meeting on May 10, 2010 in London, England

Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, leaves Downing Street following a cabinet meeting on May 10, 2010 in London, England

Matt Cardy

Peter Hain, the Welsh secretary, leaves Downing Street following a cabinet meeting on May 10, 2010

Peter Hain, the Welsh secretary, leaves Downing Street following a cabinet meeting on May 10, 2010

Matt Cardy

Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham arrives for a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, London on May 10, 2010 in London

Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham arrives for a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, London on May 10, 2010 in London

Matt Cardy

Harriet Harman, Labour's deputy leader leaves Downing Street following a cabinet meeting on May 10, 2010 in London, England

Harriet Harman, Labour's deputy leader leaves Downing Street following a cabinet meeting on May 10, 2010 in London, England

Matt Cardy

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Labour MPs have welcomed Prime Minister Gordon Brown's decision to stand down as leader

Gordon Brown's decision to stand down as Labour leader was swiftly welcomed by Labour MPs.

John Mann, who became the first Labour backbencher to call for him to go on Saturday, hailed it as a "wise and brave" decision.

He said the party now needed to "regroup" to fight the Tories in Opposition.

Slough MP Fiona Mactaggart, who has criticised Mr Brown's leadership in the past, said he had done the "right thing".

"It is a recognition that Labour lost the election, which I think has not been made clear until this point," she told a radio programme.

"I understand that the constitutional position is that he remains Prime Minister and that's an issue so he needed to stay on in that role. I don't know why it took him until today to say that he felt that there should be a new future leader of the Labour Party. It's a hard decision to make."

Mr Mann (Bassetlaw) denied there would be any "rejoicing" in the party.

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"We've just lost the election. We've a minority Tory government that wants to make public sector cuts that we need to fight against. That's why we needed a new leader to regroup and take on this Tory onslaught on our public services.

"It is the right decision. It allows us to move forward. But we've just lost an election. We need to get real."

Sir Stuart Bell (Middlesbrough) said Mr Brown had offered a "viable alternative" to the Tory party. Labour and the Liberal Democrats were closer on the economy and would avoid the kind of cuts the Tories were threatening. "Gordon has been very wise, very sensible and very courageous," he said.


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