Page last updated at 05:52 GMT, Friday, 14 May 2010 06:52 UK

Rhondda MP Chris Bryant backs David Miliband leader bid

Rhondda MP Chris Bryant
Mr Bryant has been Rhondda MP since 2001

Former Europe minister Chris Bryant has said he wants David Miliband to be the next Labour leader.

But the Rhondda MP told BBC Wales' Dragon's Eye programme that his party needs to hold a full contest and that a coronation would be a mistake.

He praised Mr Miliband as a "class act", highlighting his determination to avoid unattributed briefings.

"There should be no briefing against other people," said Mr Bryant. "That must be a thing of the past."

Mr Bryant, an MP since 2001, told the programme there were "lots of good candidates".

He said: "I'm very friendly with Ed Balls. I like Ed Miliband [David Miliband's brother]. I helped write the Welsh manifesto and was working very closely with Ed Miliband on that. I think they'd all be strong candidates.

You've got to have a proper debate - coronations aren't a good idea
Chris Bryant MP, Rhondda

"I want to hear the debate, I think that would be good. But in the end I think David Miliband is a class act. He's very impressive.

"Having worked with David I know that he is very keen to point out to anybody who works for him - you are never working on my behalf if you're slagging someone else off. I think that's really important."


Asked how important it was for Labour to have a proper leadership contest, Mr Bryant replied: "You've got to have a proper debate. Coronations aren't a good idea.

"If there's one thing that Labour must learn from the last 15 years it is that Gordon Brown and Tony Blair should have stood against each other in the first place."

David Miliband was the first contender to declare his interest in succeeding Mr Brown, who quit as leader and PM on Tuesday.

The former foreign secretary announced he would stand for the Labour leadership, arguing the party needed to "rebuild" itself as a reforming force in British politics.

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Wales Online Cameron tries to head off rebellion over fixed-term parliaments - 6 hrs ago
Oldham Chronicle Woolas backs Miliband for party leader - 16 hrs ago
North West Evening Mail Barrow MP backs Miliband as next Labour leader - 26 hrs ago

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