Ed Miliband vows 'no lurch left'
Ed Miliband on Sunday declared the New Labour era over, but insisted the party would not embark on a "lurch to the left" under his leadership.
Mr Miliband was cheered on to the stage as he made his first appearance at Labour's annual conference in Manchester since defeating brother David by the narrowest of margins on Saturday in the race to succeed Gordon Brown.
In his first interview as leader, he sought to quash Conservative claims that he was the creature of the unions, whose votes were crucial in propelling him to victory, insisting: "I am my own man."
He dismissed the "red Ed" tag applied to him by critics as "tiresome rubbish", and reached out to former rivals for the top job by saying he wanted to use "all the talents from across our party" in forming his shadow cabinet.
But he gave no clues over whether he would offer the key role of shadow chancellor to David or to former Treasury minister Ed Balls, who came third behind the brothers.
Speaking on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Miliband said David - who kept a low profile on Sunday - had shown "extraordinary generosity and graciousness" towards him after the result was announced. But asked what future role he envisaged for his brother, he replied only: "He needs time to think about the contribution he can make. I think he can make a very big contribution to British politics."
Mr Miliband denied his election represented a "lurch to the left", saying: "I am for the centre-ground of politics, but it is about defining where the centre ground is."
But he insisted he would not be tied to the orthodoxies of the Blair/Brown period, declaring: "The era of New Labour has passed. A new generation has taken over."
Labour had to show "humility" in recognising and understanding why it had been rejected by voters in the general election and being ready to change, he said.
The new leader also played down union bosses' post-result claims that their man had been elected. "I am nobody's man, I am my own man. I am very clear about that," he said.