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Umunna quits Labour leadership race

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has withdrawn from the Labour party leadership contest, he has announced.

In a statement, he blamed the " added level of pressure that comes with being a leadership candidate" and said: "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."

Sources close to Mr Umunna insisted that his withdrawal was not due to any negative story which he expects to appear in the media.

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 declared his intention to stand for the leadership.

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.

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