Clive Lewis has withdrawn from the Labour leadership race, saying he is “standing aside in the spirit of pluralism, diversity and generosity”.
Announcing his decision, the Norwich South MP said it was “clear that I won’t get on the ballot”.
“So, I’m standing aside in the spirit of pluralism, diversity and generosity that I’ve promoted throughout this campaign, so that those who have supported me can recast their nominations.”
Mr Lewis’ decision comes ahead of the 2.30pm deadline to secure the requisite 22 nominations from MPs and MEPs to make it through to the next round of the contest.
He was struggling to get that number, lagging behind his rivals with just five nominations.
Four candidates – Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips – already have the numbers to continue.
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry is in danger of being eliminated, having 13 nominations as of Monday afternoon.
Former leader Ed Miliband announced earlier that he was backing Sir Keir, the shadow Brexit secretary, as the best candidate to “deliver 21st century socialism”.
Mr Miliband, who led the party from 2010 to 2015, is also supporting shadow education secretary Angela Rayner for deputy leader.
He said she has the ability to “inspire our party and movement”.
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