Alan Johnson 'rules himself out of Labour leadership'

Labour's Alan Johnson has ruled himself out of the leadership and said he backs Ed Miliband, according to The Times.

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Alan Johnson 'rules himself out of Labour leadership'

Alan Johnson has been a Labour favourite for many years. Credit: PA

Labour's Alan Johnson has ruled himself out of the leadership and said he backs Ed Miliband, according to The Times.

The former home secretary is said to be favoured by many of his peers as the natural leader to take over due to his popularity with voters and unions.

But he said: "For the avoidance of any doubt, I have no intention of going back to frontline politics. I support Ed Miliband."

With calls for Miliband to step down as leader, rumours are swirling about who could be a contender to lead the party in the event.

Former health secretary Andy Burnham and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper have been named.

While shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna would become Labour's first black leader if he was elected.

Faith in Labour appears to fade in northern heartlands

Support for Labour appears to be fading in what were once seen as the party's northern heartlands, ITV News Correspondent Martin Geissler reports.

Geissler visited Tyneside, where he found few members of the public had positive things to say about Ed Miliband - if they knew who he was.


Balls: Labour united amid 'nonsense' Miliband claims

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls had told ITV News the Labour Party is "absolutely united" despite reports of dissatisfaction with the performance of leader Ed Miliband.

He said claims that Labour MPs wanted to see Miliband removed were "nonsense" and added: "If you want to know the party in disarray, it's the party which is losing MPs to Ukip - that's not Labour, it's the Conservative Party."

Miliband pledges Labour 'can win election' in Facebook post

Ed Miliband has published a lengthy Facebook post pledging that Labour will focus on "taking our case to the people" amid questions over his leadership.

The party's leader said Labour is "within months of an election we can win", adding: "I relish the fight for the future."

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"We have six months to go out and show the difference Labour’s plan will make," he wrote.

"Together, that is what we will do. Join us in that fight."

Abbott joins clamour of Labour support for Ed Miliband

Diane Abbott has become the latest Labour voice to join the resounding support being shown on all fronts from the Labour party today.

Mr Miliband refuted claims there was a 'plot' to replace him.

Andy Burnham dismisses pact claim as 'fiction'

Shadow cabinet minister Andy Burnham has dismissed a claim that he was involved in secret talks about what to do if Ed Miliband quits as Labour leader as "complete and pure fiction".

Speaking to ITV News, Mr Burnham said: "We're getting on with the job, we are a united team, united behind Ed, and we're working behind this Labour government".


Ken Livingstone 'confident' over Ed Miliband leadership

Ed Miliband focuses on making change, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone told ITV News, amid claims of a plot to remove the Labour leader.

Mr Livingstone said: "I worked closely with him for two years as Labour leader and as mayoral candidate, and I find him very refreshing".

Umunna: Labour 'in touching distance' of power

Senior Labour figures have rallied round Ed Miliband amid reports that backbench MPs want him removed as leader.

Labour party leader Ed Miliband (left) and shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna Credit: PA

Writing on the Politics Home website, shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna said the rumblings were "nonsense which some in the Westminster bubble want to distract us with".

The simple fact is that because of Ed Miliband's leadership we are now within touching distance of being what many thought impossible four years ago.

We have a leader who has kept us united and overseen the renewal which so eluded us at the end of our time in government. Ed is an honest, sincere man of deep beliefs.

– Chuka Umunna, shadow business secretary

Soley: Labour lacking sense of vision and direction

The Labour Party is failing to deliver a sense of direction for the public to follow, a former Cabinet member told ITV News.

Lord Soley, who as an MP chaired the Labour Party, said: "The problem is lack of vision and direction (...) but it's not the first time a political party has had that problem".

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