Harriet Harman has confirmed she is now the acting leader of the opposition after Ed Miliband’s swift resignation in the midst of electoral defeat.
But she says she will not stay on as deputy once the new party leader is elected.
With the Conservatives bagging an outright victory and the Labour party wiped out in Scotland, Miliband has said he is “deeply sorry” about the surprise result.
In a statement Ms Harman said today: “On the resignation of Ed Miliband as leader of the Labour Party I, as his deputy, am stepping forward to be acting leader until a new leader is elected by the party.
“It is not my intention to stay on as deputy leader of the Labour Party when the new leader is elected.
“Therefore, I am announcing that I am stepping down as deputy leader – with my resignation taking effect when the new leader and deputy leader are elected.”
This is not a first for Ms Harman, who was an ‘acting leader of the opposition’ in 2010 following Gordon Brown’s resignation.
Ms Harman romped home in her constituency of 33 years, with an impressive 32,614 votes last night, over than 25,000 more than her nearest competitor, Conservative candidate, Naomi Newstead.
Despite a disappointing night for Labour nationally, Ms Harman managed to increase her majority in Peckham and Camberwell to over 25,000 votes compared to her nearest competitor, Conservative candidate, Naomi Newstead.