Shadow business secretary and Streatham MP Chuka Umunna has withdrawn from the Labour party leadership contest.
Sources close to Mr Umunna insisted that his withdrawal was not due to any negative story which he expects to appear in the media.
In a statement released by the Streatham MP he blamed the ‘added level of pressure that comes with being a leadership candidate’ and said that he had ‘not found it to be a comfortable experience.’
He continued to say:
One can imagine what running for leader can be like, understand its demands and the attention but nothing compares to actually doing it and the impact on the rest of one’s life. Consequently after further reflection I am withdrawing my candidacy.
It is understood that he was uncomfortable with the increased level of scrutiny which had been directed at him and members of his family since he decided to go into the running for next Labour Leader.
His team were confident that he would secure the 35 nominations from fellow MPs required to mount a leadership bid, but he decided that it was not the right time for him to press ahead.
Mr Umunna is not at this stage endorsing any other candidate for the leadership.
He said he wished to continue playing a full role in the shadow cabinet.
Chuka Umunna apologised to those those who have supported him and went on to say:
I know this will come as I surprise to many but I had always wondered whether it was all too soon for me to launch this leadership bid – I fear it was.
Most importantly, I continued to have very real concerns and worry about this bid’s impact on those close to me.
I intend to carry on playing my full role as a proud member of our Shadow Cabinet taking on the Tories. I also hope to play a leading role in Labour’s campaign to keep the UK in the EU during the forthcoming referendum which is absolutely crucial. Most importantly, I will as ever continue to serve the area I know and love – the Streatham parliamentary constituency
People are reacting to the sudden change of heart by Mr Umunna to run for Labour Leader and have taken to Twitter to air their views. Here is what they’ve had to say:[tweet https://twitter.com/adilray/status/599151740861165568] [tweet https://twitter.com/AlexGabriel/status/599153478842392576] [tweet https://twitter.com/HargraveInc/status/59915438156140544] [tweet https://twitter.com/HargraveInc/status/599154381561405440]