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Miliband pledge to win voters back

Ed Miliband has promised to change Labour and regain voters' trust after winning the party's leadership by a wafer-thin majority over his brother David.

Mr Miliband said he understood the reasons for Labour's General Election defeat and had "heard the call for change", telling delegates at a special conference in Manchester: "I get it."

The race to succeed Gordon Brown was won by the narrowest of margins, with just 1.3% separating the two brothers as Ed secured 50.65% of the vote to David's 49.35%.

Older brother David won the support of a majority of Labour's MPs at Westminster and grassroots activists, but crashed to defeat due to Ed's dominance among the trade unions. After trailing David through the first three rounds of vote-counting, Ed won the crown thanks to the redistributed votes of eliminated rivals Diane Abbott, Andy Burnham and Ed Balls.

In his victory acceptance speech, he said: "Today's election turns the page, because a new generation has stepped forward to serve our party, and in time I hope to serve our country. Today the work of the new generation begins."

Paying tribute to his predecessors, he told delegates: "I am proud of the leadership of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown but we lost the election and lost it badly. My message to the country is this - I know we lost trust, I know we lost touch, I know we need to change."

On the most divisive issue of the New Labour years, he added: "I get it also that, whatever your view on the Iraq War, it led to an appalling loss of trust for us. I know we didn't always speak to your hopes, your dreams and address your fears and uncertainties. I know we have to change."

It was not immediately clear what role he envisages for David, and his hands will be tied to a certain extent by the results of the shadow cabinet elections, which do not conclude until October 7.

He told his brother he knew "how much you have to offer this country in the future", adding: David, I love you so much as a brother and I have so much extraordinary respect for the campaign that you ran, the strength and eloquence you have shown."

David Cameron rang Mr Miliband to offer his congratulations. In a statement, the Prime Minister said: "I was Leader of the Opposition for four years and know what a demanding but important job it is. I wish him and his family well."

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