Chuka Umunna pulls out of Labour leadership contest

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Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has pulled out of the race to be Labour leader after just three days.

In a statement, the MP for Streatham Chuka Umunna – who had only declared his leadership bid on Tuesday – today withdrew his candidacy.

He said in a statement: “I thought I understood the scrutiny and attention a leadership contest would bring.

“However since the night of our defeat last week I have been subject to the added level of pressure that comes with being a leadership candidate.

“I have not found it to be a comfortable experience.

“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. ”

He will remain as an MP and will continue in his Shadow Cabinet role – but the abrupt departure has led to speculation on social media about an impending scandal.

Candidates still in the race to replace former Labour leader Ed Miliband include Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall.

Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman – who is serving as acting leader until a new leader is chosen – has also announced she plans to step down, leading to a second leadership vacancy.

Lesbian shadow Commons leader Angela Eagle is thought to be exploring running for the deputy leadership, with leaks suggesting Ben Bradshaw is also preparing a bid.

Out MP Chris Bryant was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet this week.