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Senior Labour MPs are taking soundings as the party begins its search for a new leader.
The ruling National Executive Committee will meet early next week to agree a timetable for the contest to replace Ed Miliband.
Mr Miliband resigned on Friday, saying he was “truly sorry” for his party’s showing at the general election which the Conservatives won with a majority.
Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham and Chuka Umunna are seen as the frontrunners.
A separate contest will also be needed to chose a deputy party leader.
Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to lead a government for “one nation” after his party won its first majority since 1992 with 331 seats.
Labour ended up with 232 MPs, sustaining heavy losses at the hands of the SNP in Scotland and failing to make significant gains elsewhere.
In other election developments:
Mr Cameron is finalising his first all-Conservative cabinet
- Tim Farron said he would decide “in the next few days” whether to put himself forward to replace Nick Clegg as Lib Dem leader
- Anti-austerity protests are taking place outside Downing Street and in Cardiff
- The Unite union, Labour’s biggest donor during the last parliament,called for its leader in Scotland, Jim Murphy, to resign
- SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has met all her party’s 56 new MPs in Edinburgh after they swept the board in Scotland
- The Conservatives have also made gains in council elections in England, gaining more than 500 seats
- Watch BBC election coverage and follow latest reaction
- Read more analysis from the BBC’s experts
- Find your constituency’s result
BBC political correspondent Iain Watson said Mr Burnham, the shadow health secretary, and Mr Umunna, the shadow business secretary, were believed to be taking soundings before declaring their bids to become leader.
Ms Cooper, the shadow home secretary, shadow health minister Liz Kendall and former soldier Dan Jarvis are also likely to consider a bid, he added.
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PIans to give English cities powers over housing, transport, planning and policing will be set out in George Osborne’s first post-election speech
Plans to give English cities powers over housing, transport, planning and policing will be set out in George Osborne’s first post-election speech.
Greater Manchester – which will elect a mayor in two years and take on such powers – should become a blueprint for other large cities, he will say.
A Cities Devolution Bill will be in the Queen’s Speech later this month.
Labour said the government’s “piecemeal approach” would have implications for many areas.
BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said the chancellor hoped the move would “reignite” areas such as Manchester, not just economically but also to renew a sense of civic pride.
But it is also designed to “wrong foot” Labour in their northern heartlands, and to “re-present” the Tories in the north where they have traditionally been “on the back foot”, he added.