Jess Phillips Drops Out of Labour Leadership Race

Rebecca Long Bailey said she disagreed with many teachings of the Catholic Church

LabourList also understands that she had not confirmed attendance at the hustings being held by Unite the Union ahead of its nomination meeting on Friday.

But the initial numbers, revealed to the Huffington Post website by a party insider, are likely to make for grim reading for Ms Long-Bailey with numerous people joining thought to be moderates who left the party under Mr Corbyn's leadership.

Jess Phillips has abandoned her bid to become Labour's next leader as she admitted she would not be able to bring the party together after its "cataclysmic" election defeat.

The ballot will open a week after CLP and affiliate nominations close, and voting papers will be sent out to party members, registered supporters and affiliated supporters - namely members of a trade union or society that is affiliated to the party.

Rival candidate Lisa Nandy, who may now get the endorsement of Phillips as she recently told ITV, tweeted: "I'm sorry to see Jess drop out".

Ms Phillips also addressed the Labour Party's issues with antisemitism allegations, telling members of the Jewish community: "I will always stand up, I will always speak out and I promise we will change the problems in our party that we have seen".

"Labour members now face a genuine choice between Rebecca Long-Bailey, still a Corbyn fan, the exceptional technocrat Keir Starmer and Nandy".

Media captionWho decides on the next Labour leader?

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She said: "Labour is at a crossroads".

Sir Keir became the first to clear this hurdle after being backed by Unison, the UK's largest union, and a second union, Usdaw.

Labour MP Wes Streeting, one of Ms Phillips' supporters, said he was "gutted" by her withdrawal, but praised her "raw honesty" in accepting that she had not built the breadth of support required.

"The party can be relevant, bold, and truly grounded in their lives".

The GMB has also nominated Angela Rayner for deputy leader of the Labour Party.

To get on the ballot, candidates need the backing of 33 local parties - or the support of three affiliated organisations, including two trade unions, making up 5% of the membership of affiliated organisations.

While successfully securing the 22 nominations from Labour MPs and MEP's to get onto the ballot, she was unable to maintain the union and affiliate support in the race to replace current leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn's successor will be announced at a special conference in London on 4 April.

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