Clive Lewis pulls out of Labour leadership race

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Clive Lewis has withdrawn from the Labour leadership race, saying he is “standing aside in the spirit of pluralism, diversity and generosity”.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 21 nominations with just minutes to go until the deadline.

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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”.

Ms Rayner has enough nominations to get through to the next round, as does Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray.

They were joined by shadow sport minister Rosena Allin-Khan, shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler and shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon, who hit the threshold with hours to spare before the deadline.

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Labour leadership: Clive Lewis pulls out of race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn

Political reporter @Alan_McGuinness Clive Lewis has withdrawn from the Labour leadership race, saying he is “standing aside in the spirit of pluralism, diversity and generosity”.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”.

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