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Labour peers back David Miliband

David Miliband appeared to further cement his position as frontrunner for the Labour leadership when he received the backing of 70 of his party's peers.

They signed a letter stating the former foreign secretary was the only candidate who could prevent Labour from staying out of power for the next decade.

The group, including former Home Secretary Lord Reid, former Transport Secretary Lord Adonis and Lord Falconer, the former Lord Chancellor, said the party needed to change not "by looking inward and backwards" but by "reaching out and looking forward".

Other signatories include Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Lord Puttnam and Lord Bragg.

Their support will be seen as a significant boost to the campaign of Mr Miliband, who has also received backing from more than 90 Labour MPs, as well as nominations from two trade unions and 102 Labour council and Labour group leaders.

They said: "Our Labour Party history shows that when we lose an election we are out of power for a decade. This time it is our responsibility to pick a leader who can buck that trend. We believe that David Miliband is that person."

The party had many strengths including "shared values, ambitious campaigning and passion about improving the lives of all people", the statement said.

It went on: "Our duty is to win for all our people. They need us in the Labour Party to win now, more than ever.

"We have no time to lose. To bring this coalition to an early end we must win back the trust we lost at the last election. And to do this we need a leader who can take on the Tories and take Labour back to power.

"We believe David is the person to do this."


From Belfast Telegraph