Labour's Miliband steps down after UK election 'humiliation'

British opposition leader Ed Miliband announced his resignation as head of his centre-left Labour Party on May 8 after a crushing defeat in a general election. AFP Photo

Despite hopes that the public had warmed to him during a fractious campaign, Ed Miliband and his Labour Party suffered a devastating rout in May 7 British general election, triggering his immediate resignation.

Written off as a political insider lacking charisma just a few months ago, the 45-year-old had won plaudits for his tough campaign style and some observers saw leadership material despite his awkward image.
Centre-left Labour was neck-and-neck with the centre-right Conservatives in opinion poll after opinion poll, helping bolster Miliband against Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron -- long seen as the slicker operator.
But results revealed the chasm between himself and Cameron, who won an overall majority.
"Britain needs a strong Labour Party. It's time for someone else to take leadership of this party," Miliband told supporters in his resignation speech on May 8.
"I am truly sorry I did not succeed, I have done my best for five years," he said, adding: "I take absolute and total responsibility for the result".
Miliband's gaffe-prone image was summed up in a photograph of him unattractively eating a bacon sandwich -- an image much reproduced in Britain's right-wing press during the campaign.
He stumbled following a televised debate and then unveiled a giant slab of stone etched with his key pledges in what was mocked as his "Moses moment".
A father of two, married to environmental lawyer Justine Thornton, Miliband put living standards at the heart of his election campaign, insisting that an economic upturn under the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition has not reached ordinary people.
But he was accused by opponents of leading a party with...

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