As it happened: Labour leadership announcement

1830 Well, that's it for our live coverage today. Thank you very much for joining us and for all your contributions. Come back to this page on Monday morning for all the live action as the Labour Party conference gets into full gear. Coverage, of course, continues on the BBC News website in the meantime. New leader Ed Miliband's big speech is due to take place on Tuesday.

1823 David Cameron has sent his best wishes to his new Commons sparring partner. "Congratulations to Ed Miliband," the PM said. "I was leader of the opposition for four years and know what a demanding but important job it is. I wish him and his family well."

1816 Diane Abbott says she's "elated" that she kept up with the other candidates and ran the best campaign possible with limited resources. She says she has every confidence that the party will now unite behind the victor.

1810 Former minister Tessa Jowell says this defeat will be a "moment of tremendous pain and disappointment" for David Miliband. She thinks Ed had a "very particular appeal to young people" and that was what swung it for him.

1805 Graphis writes: "It doesn't really matter: the public won't trust Labour again for a very long time. Miliband will only lead Labour through a few wilderness years, like Hague and Iain Duncan Smith did for the Tories. After another lost election or two, he'll be replaced."
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1759 From BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins: What of the defeated candidates? They all need, and shouldn't struggle, to win enough votes to get onto the shadow cabinet. Diane Abbott has raised her profile as the voice on the left. Ed Balls declined to announce his desire to be shadow chancellor when asked by the BBC, but most observers think that is his aim. Andy Burnham fell well short of contention but hasn't done himself much harm. The big question surrounds the beaten elder brother. Many speculate Ed Miliband might give David a chance to keep his current job as shadow foreign secretary. If that was offered would David take it, and if he took it would he stay for long or look for opportunities outside politics after a few months? Those questions won't be answered today, but journalists will keep asking them until an answer comes.
Laura Kuenssberg

1754 Baroness Warsi, Conservative Party chairman, congratulates Ed Miliband, but says his acceptance speech was decidedly lacking in an apology for the part he played in the "mess that the country has been left in".

1751 Political journalist Kevin Schofield tweets: "Has a new Labour leader ever been met with such indifference from his own party? Muted applause is being generous." Read Kevin's tweets

1747 Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock is delighted because his man won. He says Ed Miliband will help labour advance from the centre ground because he can speak to the public in a language they'll understand. Asked what advice he has given to the new leader, Lord Kinnock adds: "Don't be leader of the opposition for long because that is pure purgatory."

1744 Rachel writes: "I am really chuffed! Good for him - it's time for a real change, and although I am not a Labour supporter, perhaps I will become one. On the whole, I think politics is looking up. Whatever happens, it's nice to feel optimistic again."
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1741 The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg tweets: "Ed Miliband tells me he can unite the party despite his narrow victory - Alan Johnson tells me he's just seen David Miliband and 'he's fine.'" Read Laura Kuenssberg's tweets
Nick Robinson

1738 Former Labour cabinet minister David Blunkett says the new leader and his vanquished sibling have to unite now. "These are brothers. They're blood brothers. They can't afford to fall out in the way we had with Tony and Gordon, and neither can we."

1735Peter writes: "Ed Miliband is unelectable. Labour hit the self-destruct button as the unions pick their man and make a shameless grab for the power they lost since Kinnock, Smith, Blair and Brown reformed and reshaped the party. Cameron must be delighted they have turned their back on David Miliband."
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1732 Defeated candidate Ed Balls tells the BBC the moment when the five learned the result in secret was one of "relief". He says Ed Miliband has done a great job and the party will now unite behind him. Mr Balls refuses to say whether he'd like to be shadow chancellor in the new leader's front bench line-up.

1728 First reaction from the coalition government. Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes congratulates Ed Miliband and said it's "good to hear that he intends to practise a new politics of working across party boundaries in the national interest". He adds: "As leader he must recognise that his party can no longer remain head-in-the sand-deficit deniers."

1723 Gaby Hinsliff, former political editor of the Observer newspaper, tweets: "Harriet Harman's old researcher is now her boss. Go figure." Read Gaby's tweets

1720 Craig Elder in London tweets: "I am never, ever playing poker with the Miliband brothers." Read Craig Elder's tweets

1716 Here are the results in full. 1st Round: Abbott - 7.4%; Balls - 11.8%; Burnham - 8.7%; David Miliband - 37.8%; Ed Miliband - 34.3%. 2nd Round: Abbott - OUT; Ed Balls - 13.2%; Burnham - 10.4%; David Miliband 38.9%; Ed Miliband - 37.5%. 3rd Round: Abbott & Burnham - OUT; Balls - 16.0%; David Miliband - 42.7%; Ed Miliband - 41.3%. 4th Round: Abbott, Burnham and Balls - OUT; David Miliband - 49.4%; Ed Miliband - 50.6%.

1711 The BBC's Nick Robinson says Ed Miliband has shown "enormous chutzpah" in taking on his brother. He's also shown great articulacy in the way he has set out his stall. Both could serve him well in the future, our political editor adds.
Nick Clegg

1709 James McIntyre, political correspondent for the New Statesman, tweets: "Cliche but this is a story of Shakespearian proportions." Read James MacIntyre's tweets

1707 After his speech, Ed Miliband works his way along a line of Labour grandees and then gives his brother a hug. A scrum of photographers tries to capture the moment for tomorrow's front pages.

1705 "I believe", says Ed Miliband, that we must do more to tackle inequality. "I believe", he goes on, that there is more to society than the bottom line. "I believe also that we need a different kind of politics." It's a big speech with a lot of big promises.

1700 From BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins: There is a tribute for Harriet Harman. But of course Ed Miliband couldn't replace her even if he wanted to - she is elected. His shadow cabinet members will be elected by the party too. All he can do is choose what jobs they do.
Laura Kuenssberg

1659 From BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins: Ed Miliband says Diane Abbott spoke distinct truths and her voice needs to be heard in the future. That tribute for the most left wing of candidates will be noted by those trying to guess in which direction he will take the party.
Laura Kuenssberg

1656 "I love you so much", says Ed to his beaten brother David. "We all know how much you have to offer this country in the future." Of Ed Balls, the new leader says Tory ministers are "quaking in their boots" at the thought of having to shadow him.

1654 Well, the ashen face was obviously the shock of victory. Ed Miliband stands up to thank all those who voted for him. He says that when he joiend the Labour Party aged 17 he never in his wildest dreams imagined one day leading it.

1652 Ed Miliband is the new Labour leader.

1650 Andy Burnham and Ed Balls are both eliminated. It's down to the brothers.
Laura Kuenssberg

1649 The BBC's Nick Robinson predicts that David Miliband will win. He has outpolled the predictions of how he would do among MPs and members, our political editor says.

1648 No candidate received 50% in the first round. Diane Abbott has been eliminated.

1644 The candidates are now coming into the hall. David Miliband has a big grin and is kissing people. Ed Balls looks more contained. Ed Miliband looks rather ashen-faced.

1642 From BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins: A brief self-deprecatory speech from Harriet Harman, suggesting a new institute of political correctness. She gets a laugh but the audience is impatient.
Laura Kuenssberg

1640 Harriet Harman is speaking now. She says the new party leader will have to defend Labour's legacy against the cuts the Tories want to make. She also pays a personal tribute to Gordon Brown and says that while the challenge ahead is great, the party is strong.

1637 Comedian Chris Addison tweets about Gordon Brown's speech: "Who's this guy? He's good. Telegenic, funny, passionate. The kind of guy Labour needs." Chris Addison's tweets

1636 From BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins: Audible groans here as it's revealed the audience faces another video before the result's announced.
Laura Kuenssberg

1630 Labour is "the keeper of hope, the guarantor of justice, and now, so clearly, the only progressive party that this country has", says Mr Brown. He says that whoever wins the leadership contest will have his "full, tireless and unequivocal support".

1627 From BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins: "I want to thank my predecessor Tony Blair," says Gordon Brown, having praised John Smith and Neil Kinnock. He refers to both Blair and Lord Mandelson's books with a smile on his face.
Laura Kuenssberg

1624 From BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins: Gordon Brown says he and wife Sarah will "always be Labour and never anything else". If that sounds very different to Tony Blair talking about the party maybe that's no coincidence.
Laura Kuenssberg

1622 Gordon Brown has taken centre stage. He says he and his wife Sarah are part of the Labour family and always will be. He says he wants to say two small words - thank you. To Harriet Harman, his deputy and the current acting leader, to all present and past MPs, and to all the councillors, constituents and trade unionists "who live our Labour values every day".

1618 Former Cabinet minister David Blunkett says Andy Burnham is "the authentic voice of what we used to call the working class" and that's why he supports him. Andy was also talking about the future more than the other candidates, the problem of the UK's ageing population for example, adds Mr Blunkett.

1614 Richard, from London, tweets: "Very excited and nervous atmosphere at the conference - not long now to see who are new leader will be." Read Richard's tweets

1609 Labour blogger and supporter Alex Hilton tweets: "Leadership candidates allowed only one friend with them, stripped of phones, in the green room. I wonder if Ed and David chose each other?" Read Alex Hilton's tweets

1606 We understand that the five leadership candidates have been told in the last few minutes who has won the contest. This happened in private, and they will remain secluded until just before the result is announced.

1603 We're expecting things to get going in the main hall very shortly. There doesn't appear to be an empty seat in the house.

1559 Ross Lamond, from Grangemouth, writes: "If Labour want to win the next general election, David Miliband has the look of a prime minister and is the right man to lead New Labour. However he lacks more left-wing views, which his brother has. David has the looks. Ed has the personality and ideas. Only if we could infuse them together as one, to create the perfect Miliband!"
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1554 Andy Burnham has seen a good omen in this week's football results. On his way into the venue, he said: "Having been at Brentford earlier this week - and then having seen Northampton Town at Anfield - I get the feeling it is the week of the underdog, don't you?" Of course, Brentford beat Everton - Burnham's team - in the Carling Cup and Northampton knocked out Liverpool.

1548 Gerry Sutcliffe, who's been heading up Andy Burnham's challenge for the leadership, says it's been worthwhile even if he doesn't win: "Andy is now well-known by party members and the trade union movement, and we think that we offered up some new policies - national care services, the land tax - that other candidates have joined us in. So I think it's been a good contest for Labour and Andy will do very well."

1544 From BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins: There's much nervous pacing around the conference hall by the activists. One Ed Miliband-supporting MP confesses that she can't bring herself to sit down, such is the tension.
Laura Kuenssberg

1539 Former defence secretary Bob Ainsworth says he was "enormously impressed" with David Miliband when he worked with him in government, and hopes he gets the nod today. He thinks that overall the party is in "good heart" and will be in the mood to "get up and at the coalition government" as soon as the new leader is chosen.

1535 Philip Saxton, from Troon, writes: "I am disappointed with the time taken to pick the new leader, I would have thought standing MPs should have the say and the vote as they will have better understanding of the work the candidates have done and there dedication first-hand to the Labour Party."
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1531 Charlie Whelan, Gordon Brown's former spin doctor, tells the BBC he's always thought Ed Miliband had "something about him". He goes on: "Ed's not seen as a part of Gordon Brown or Tony Blair. He is his own man."

1525 Lord Knight, former Labour minister, is backing Ed Balls, but admits it would be a big surprise if he won today. "I think David will just edge it. While I'm happy with either of the brothers winning, I think Ed's camp have been talking up second preferences a bit more than I think the reality is, from the canvassing I've done."

1521 Margaret Anderson, from London, writes: "David Miliband knows how to gain power and form a government. He has the experience, background, knowledge and intellectual capacity to win."
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1516 From BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins: Upbeat if not up-to-the-minute pop soundtrack to welcome the delegates - Fill My Little World Right Up and Dancing in the Moonlight. Many in the audience are so excited they're taking pictures of the empty stage with their phones.
Laura Kuenssberg

1512 James McIntyre, political correspondent for the New Statesman, tweets about watching the former prime minister backstage: "Can see Brown practising his speech with aide Kirsty in this tiny room." Read James McIntyre's tweets

1508 Derek Simpson, joint leader of the Unite union, says he thinks Ed Miliband would offer "a fresh start, a new path". "I hope so, because that's what's needed to reconnect to the millions of voters who have left Labour but not gone anywhere," he says, adding that the younger Miliband can "speak from the heart as well as the head, without notes" - a key attribute, in his view.

1503 From BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins: Unlike the other candidates, Ed Balls doesn't break his stride as he arrives with his wife, Yvette Cooper. Camera crews and reporters scurry after him, but he only wants to talk football results.
Laura Kuenssberg

1454 Diane Abbott, the only woman in the leadership race, arrived quite a bit earlier today. She said as she went inside: "If I don't win, may the best man win."

1449 From BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins: It's not only politics on candidate Andy Burnham's mind. His wife tells him to give her a hand up the conference steps with a kid's scooter as he arrives with his family.
Laura Kuenssberg

1445 In his blog, Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's former chief spin doctor, says he has always hoped for a David Miliband victory and is still optimistic today. But he adds: "I have nonetheless been around long enough to know that bookmakers don't get a lot wrong, so the closing of the gap in the odds, and Ed finally moving to a very narrow favourite, underlines that it is no foregone conclusion."

1440 From BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins: Members will be watching for secret on-stage codes from the candidates, as well as their body language, when the announcement is made. In a new book the former Hazel Blears adviser Paul Richards says her team used hand signals to convey the result of the deputy leadership contest in 2007. Blears' campaign manager Caroline Flint revealed Harriet Harman had won by placing a hand on her heart. It wasn't a flawless system. Richards says he thought she was suffering from indigestion.
Laura Kuenssberg

1434 The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg says David Miliband has long been the front-runner and it would be very difficult for him if he loses. Does he knuckle down and work for his brother, or does he, after a period of reflection, decide to move on? Either way, he's in a tough position.
Nick Robinson

1431 The second Miliband to arrive, Ed, has just entered the building. He says very little compared with his older brother, and is more smartly dressed. He says he's confident about his campaign, but doesn't know what the outcome is and doesn't want to put any faith in the bookmakers who have him as the favourite.

1428 Describing itself as "Labour's critical friend", the Daily Mirror doesn't pick one Miliband or the other, but says whoever it is must prove the party is on the side of ordinary people. Patrick O'Flynn, in the Daily Express, says and Ed victory will see "Conservative hats in the air at the winning post".

1421 None of the papers are keen to make any predictions. The Daily Telegraph thinks "a man called Miliband" will win - very insightful. The Tory-supporting paper say it's not really bothered who's chosen, as long as they apologise "for the mess the last government left behind". The Daily Mail thinks the contest has been "interminably dull" and it's "disturbing" that none of the five have been prepared to admit the need for tough cuts. The Independent also doesn't nail its colours to a particular flag, but is optimistic at the chances of whoever wins giving the coalition government a run for its money.

1419 Karen from Bristol tweets: "It does seem likely Ed Miliband will win - but interesting. Will be watching with bated breath of course." Read Karen's tweets

1410 David Miliband has just arrived, sporting jeans and a determinedly casual demeanour. He says he doesn't know the outcome, but thinks he's run a "winning campaign". He also promises to give his brother a "big hug" later, regardless of the outcome.

1403 It's also complex because it's not one person, one vote. All voters rank the five candidates in order of preference. The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and their second preference votes redistributed to those remaining. This elimination and reallocation process continues until one of the candidates secures fifty per cent of the vote.

1357 Today's race is a very difficult one to predict, not least because of the complexity of the system. The votes come from different sources, with one third from the unions, another third from Labour Party members and the final third from Labour MPs and MEPs.

1352 Joseph Stashko tweets: "Going to head to Labour conference later on. Want Ed to win, but think he'll have to improve his oratory skills if he's to go up against Cameron." Read Joseph's tweets

1349 Speaking of Harriet Harman, she's just arrived at the conference venue, also all smiles. Asked who she voted for, there's a bit of umming and ahhing before she says, with the wave of a hand, that they're "all great candidates". She's said all along that she wouldn't publicly give her backing to anyone and she's obviously sticking to that right until the end.

1342 Students of body language may want to scrutinise the five candidates closely once they step onto the stage ahead of the decision being announced. They will already know the result, so will the winner give it away with a barely suppressed grin? Is anyone obviously being congratulated or consoled? According to the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg, Harriet Harman used a handbag code, carrying it on her left shoulder when she stepped out on stage to signal that she'd won the deputy Labour leadership in 2007.
Nick Robinson

1338 A smiling Gordon Brown has just arrived at the conference hall in Manchester, along with wife Sarah. The former PM is going to say a few words before his successor is unveiled.

1327 The candidates themselves will find out the result before the rest of us. Once informed, they will stay in a 'sealed unit', without their mobile phones or Blackberries, until they're called onto the main stage.

1310 There are five hats in the ring for the leadership - although most commentators now seem to think it's going to be either David or Ed Miliband. It would be a bold person who put serious money on any of the other three - Ed Balls, Andy Burnham or Diane Abbott - at this stage.

1300 Hello and welcome to our live coverage of all the events running up to the Labour leadership decision. We're expecting the result to be formally announced at about half past four at the party's conference hall in Manchester. Until then, we'll be bringing you all the opinions, predictions and gossip swirling round the contest.

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