Former Labour leader Ed Miliband, former work and pensions secretary and failed leader candidate Yvette Cooper, and shadow health secretary Tristram Hunt have joined a growing a growing list of senior Labour figures who have ruled out serving in Jeremy Corbyn's front bench team.

Shadow health secretary Jamie Reed, shadow secretary of state for work and pensions Rachel Reeve, and shadow secretary of state for communities and local government Emma Reynolds also said they would not serve in Corbyn's shadow cabinet, after the veteran left winger swept to victory with the support of 60% of the party.

Speaking in an interview outside his north London home Ed Miliband revealed that he had been offered a shadow cabinet post on Thursday, but turned it down, and called for the new leader to unify the party.

"He [Corbyn] and I spoke about this but I believe the right thing for me to do is to be a backbencher," said Miliband. "I'll be offering Jeremy Corbyn my support. I hope also that Jeremy Corbyn reaches out to all parts of the party because he has a big job to do to unite the party. Jeremy has won a very clear victory in all sections. I believe we should respect that mandate," said Miliband.

Blairites quitting

Cooper said that she would not serve in Corbyn's shadow cabinet, and would instead concentrate on the EU referendum. Tristram Hunt announced his resignation from the shadow cabinet, and said that Corbyn "deserves respect and support as new leader".

In his resignation letter, which is published on Twitter, Reed said that he believed that Labour would be less electable under Corbyn. Meanwhile, Leeds West MP Reeve said that Corbyn needed time to select a shadow cabinet that "shared his vision" and she would go to the backbenches when she returns from maternity leave in January.

The pair were followed by Blairites Chuka Umunna and Labour leadership hopeful Liz Kendall, who ruling out serving in Corbyn's shadow cabinet, increasing concerns that Corbyn's victory could cause a rift between the party's moderates and left wing.

Former shadow business secretary Umunna said in a post on his website: "Now the contest is over, we must respect the result, come together and focus on providing the most credible and effective opposition to the Tories."

The resignations have been met with criticism from Corbyn and Labour supports on social media. The environmental and political activist and writer George Monbiot tweeted: