Harriet Harman MP, Acting Leader of the Labour Party, said:
“I would like to pay tribute to Ed Miliband for his leadership of the Labour Party and to express the gratitude that party members feel for his leadership and for his decency, his commitment and his constant striving for a fairer country.
“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.
“With a new leadership team in place, after what has undoubtedly been a serious defeat, the Labour Party will be best placed to be the strong opposition this country needs - defending our NHS and our public services, and fighting for fairness, equality and social justice.
“That determination will be all the fiercer in the face of this Tory government.”