Former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has suggested the Democrats have a unique opportunity to reform the party following Hillary Clinton's loss in the presidential election.

The Vermont senator said there was a real need for new ideas, particularly for the young people he had drawn to the party.

"I am saddened, but not surprised, by the outcome. It is no shock to me that millions of people who voted for Mr. Trump did so because they are sick and tired of the economic, political and media status quo," Sanders wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times.

He added: "In the coming days, I will also provide a series of reforms to reinvigorate the Democratic Party. I believe strongly that the party must break loose from its corporate establishment ties and, once again, become a grass-roots party of working people, the elderly and the poor.

"We must open the doors of the party to welcome in the idealism and energy of young people and all Americans who are fighting for economic, social, racial and environmental justice. We must have the courage to take on the greed and power of Wall Street, the drug companies, the insurance companies and the fossil fuel industry."

Sanders has not ruled out a future presidential run, and enjoyed a significant amount of support during his primary campaign – particularly among young voters.

And he is not the only person looking to reinvigorate the party following Clinton's election loss, with Bill Clinton's former labour secretary Robert Reich telling The Hill: "The Democratic Party can no longer be the same, it has been repudiated.

"This has been a huge refutation of establishment politics and the political organisation has got to be changed… if the Democratic Party can't do it, we'll do it through a third party."