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Reshuffle sees Hodgson take women and equalities role

Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson has been asked by Labour leader Ed Miliband to take on a role as a spokesperson on women, families and equality issues.

Mrs Hodgson is moving from her previous role as Shadow Children and Families Minister, which she has held since October 2010.

Mrs Hodgson said: “I’m determined to use this new role to stand up for those women, as well as for the many other groups, including the LGBT community, on whose issues I’ll be working.”

Miliband speaks to North East "heroes" at Labour conference speech

The Labour Party leader Ed Miliband referred directly to people in the North East in his speech at the party conference in Brighton. He said the Conservative peer Lord Howell's comments earlier this year, which called the region "desolate", were an example of "the Tory mask slipping."

"In one casual aside, [he] dismissed one whole region of the country. Let's tell these Tories about the North East of England - and every other part of Britain. People go out to work, they love their kids, they care for their families, they look out for each other, they are proud of their communities. They hope for the future.

"The Tories call them inhabitants of "desolate" areas. We call them our friends, our neighbours, the heroes of our country."

– Ed Miliband speech to Labour Party conference

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Ed: 'British politics will be a poorer place without David'

Labour Leader Ed Miliband has said he is "delighted" for his brother David, who has announced he will be stepping down as MP to take a new role at a charity based in New York.

Labour Leader Ed Miliband and his brother David. Credit: Press Association.

In a statement he said: "Having spoken to him a lot over the past few months, I know how long and hard he thought about this before deciding to take up the offer. I also know how enthusiastic he is about the potential this job provides...

"As for us, we went through a difficult leadership contest but time has helped to heal that. I will miss him. But although he is moving to America, I know he will always be there to offer support and advice when I need it.

"British politics will be a poorer place without David. But his huge talents will be serving people around the world. I hope and believe that at some point in the future he can once again make a contribution to British public life."

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David Miliband: 'I gave my brother space to lead'

David Miliband has published his letter of resignation on his website. In it he says that following the leadership election - in which he lost out to brother Ed - he said he took a role on the "frontline" in order to give his brother space and the ability to lead "without distraction".

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and his brother David. Credit: Press Assocation

He said: "As you know, I see every day the damage this shocking government is doing to our country, and passionately want to see Labour back in power.

"After the leadership election, I felt I could be most helpful to the party on the front line, in South Shields and around the country, rather than on the front bench in Parliament.

"I felt this gave Ed the space and at the same time the support he needed to lead the party without distraction. He has done so with real success, leading a united team that has taken the fight to the Tories.

"I am very pleased and proud that our shared goal of making this a one-term government is achievable."

Read David Miliband's statement in full here.

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Breaking: David Miliband 'to quit' as MP, reports claim

David Miliband is to step down as an MP, it is reported Credit: Daniel Hambury/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The brother of Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband is to step down as an MP to take up a charity role in New York, it was reported tonight. The former foreign secretary, David Miliband, who went to school in Leeds will announce the move tomorrow, the Daily Mirror said.

There had been widespread rumours that he was set for a return to the opposition front bench, with his sibling insisting recently that "the door is open". But instead he is expected to quit UK politics altogether, triggering a by-election in his South Shields seat.

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