Tristram Hunt withdraws from Labour leadership race

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Tristram Hunt has dropped out of the race for the Labour party leadership.

The shadow education secretary was one a number of candidates standing to replace Ed Miliband as leader of the Labour party.

However, Mr Hunt has today confirmed that he is withdrawing from the contest – following shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, who withdrew last week.

The remaining candidates are Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall and Mary Creagh – with Mr Hunt throwing his weight behind Ms Kendall.

As shadow education secretary, Mr Hunt led Labour’s commitment to introducing statutory LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education.

His entered into a spat with the Daily Mail, after the proposal was misrepresented as “sex lessons at 5 under Labour” by the newspaper.

Mr Hunt said: “It is clear to me that in trying to gather the names I need, there is a real risk that I might help restrict the choice for the party.

“That is not a risk I am prepared to accept. Instead, I am offering my endorsement to my colleague, Liz Kendall.”

However, he warned the party against such a swift election process, calling for a more thoughtful evaluation of the party’s ideals.

He said: “Like other potential candidates in recent days I have made a lot of calls to potential supporters among my parliamentary colleagues.

“I found that the bulk of MPs are already committed to just a couple of candidates.

“It is surprising that the nomination process to select a leader for at least the next five years appears to have been largely decided within at most five days of a devastating general election defeat.”