“I have not found it to be a comfortable experience,” he says.
Streatham MP Chuka Umunna has withdrawn from the Labour leadership contest after three days.
The 36-year-old quit the race because he did not find being a leadership candidate “a comfortable experience”.
Here’s his full statement:
“Shortly before the election campaign, I made the decision, in the event that Labour was defeated and a new Leader was to be elected, to stand for the leadership of the party if there was a desire in the party for me to do so.
“I dearly hoped Labour would win the election and it was a decision I would not have to implement.
“I also thought I understood the scrutiny and attention a leadership contest would bring.
“As a member of the Shadow Cabinet, I am used to a level of attention which is part and parcel of the job. I witnessed the 2010 leadership election process close up and thought I would be comfortable with what it involved.
“However since the night of our defeat last week I have been subject to the added level of pressure that comes with being a leadership candidate.
“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.
“I apologise to all those who have kindly supported and encouraged me to do this and for disappointing them. I know this will come as I surprise to many but I had always wondered whether it was all too soon for me to launch this leadership bid – I fear it was.
“Most importantly, I continued to have very real concerns and worry about this bid’s impact on those close to me.
“I intend to carry on playing my full role as a proud member of our Shadow Cabinet taking on the Tories. I also hope to play a leading role in Labour’s campaign to keep the UK in the EU during the forthcoming referendum which is absolutely crucial. Most importantly, I will as ever continue to serve the area I know and love – the Streatham parliamentary constituency.”
On 12 May, Umunna announced his leadership through a video on Facebook.
He said: “I’m pleased today to be announcing that I will be standing for the leadership of the party.
“I think we can and we should be winning in seats like in Swindon, north, south, east, west. We can absolutely do it as a party.
“Some have actually suggested over the last few days this is somehow a 10-year project to get the Labour party back into office. I don’t think we can have any truck with that at all. I think the Labour party can do it in five years. I want to lead that effort as part of a really big Labour team getting Labour back into office and changing this country and building a fairer, more equal society. That is why we all joined the party in the first place.”
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