Wednesday 16 May 2007

Thank you

With Gordon Brown having gained 308 nominations from Labour MPs, it is now mathematically impossible for me to reach the nominations I require to stand. There will not now be an election.

Naturally I congratulate Gordon and wish him every success in Government, but it is a great shame that Labour Party members and affiliates will now not be allowed a vote on the leader of their party or the party's future direction.

I am disappointed for all those Labour Party members who worked so had for the party campaigning to get us elected that they have been denied an opportunity of participating in a democratic election for the leader of this party. I had hoped by standing I would have given them a voice in this crucial decision.

The demand from Labour Party members to debate the issues that confront our country will not go away and we will continue to campaign for a democratic say in that debate.

I want to say a massive thank you to the thousands of Party members, trade unionists and others who have supported this campaign, organised meetings, lobbied and mobilised - and made this a greatly enjoyable grassroots campaign. We have our heads held high, and will continue to fight on the issues. What's been so pleasing is the number of young people who have got involved and given this campaign such momentum. I am so proud to be associated with you all.