He added he would take the blame for losing Labour's majority at the election.
The PM also revealed Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has asked Labour to enter into "formal negotiations" on forming a government, and he said it was "sensible and in the national interest" to respond positively to the request.
Mr Brown said: "The reason that we have a hung parliament is that no single party and no single leader was able to win the full support of the country.
"As leader of my party I must accept that as a judgment on me. I therefore intend to ask the Labour Party to set in train the processes needed for its own leadership election.
"I would hope that it would be completed in time for the new leader to be in post by the time of the Labour Party conference.
"I will play no part in that contest, I will back no individual candidate."
|Your name: *|
|Your email: *|
|Recepient's email: *|
|Enter code: *|
New York Times