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SDLP and Alliance pay tribute to Gordon Brown

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Gordon Brown has announced he is to step down as Labour leader

Gordon Brown has announced he is to step down as Labour leader

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

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

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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Gordon Brown has announced he is to step down as Labour leader

The SDLP and Alliance last night paid tribute to Gordon Brown after his announcement that he is quitting as Labour leader.

Margaret Ritchie, leader of the SDLP — a sister party of Labour — said Mr Brown's decision was predictable.

She stated: “Elections should always be viewed as a conversation with the general public.

“The results in Britain have made today’s decision by Gordon Brown almost inevitable.

" However, Mr Brown should be given credit for having listened to the message given to him by the public."

Ms Ritchie said the SDLP has always enjoyed a "healthy, professional and positive relationship" with Mr Brown.

“Over the years he has been a strong supporter of the Good Friday Agreement and our devolved institutions," she added.

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“Gordon Brown was a man who wanted to deal in solutions rather than hearing problems from politicians in the North.

"However, that is not to say we have had our differences and we have made it clear for example our unhappiness with elements of the Hillsborough Arrangement and we refused to involve ourselves in any deals on civil liberty legislation.

“As the political situation in Britain, evolves the SDLP will be prominent in ensuring that Northern Ireland gets the best deal possible but we will not be taken for granted."

Alliance leader and Stormont Justice Minister David Ford said: "I want to pay tribute to the very positive role Gordon played in cementing peace in Northern Ireland.

"The high level of engagement he displayed on Northern Ireland issues has to be recognised. The central role he played in providing a financial package for the devolution of justice is indicative of his commitment.

"The effort he put into making a deal during the Hillsborough talks also must be commended and I want to wish him well for the future."


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