Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has pulled out of the race to become Labour’s new leader just three days after announcing his candidacy.
Umunna was the second candidate to enter the race following Labour shadow care and older people minister Liz Kendall.
Kendall remains in the race, alongside shadow international development secretary Mary Creagh, and former Cabinet members Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper.
In a statement, Umunna says he has found the pressure and scrutiny of a leadership campaign uncomfortable, and cited concerns on the impact of a bid on those closest to him.
He says: “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.
“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.”
Ed Miliband resigned as Labour leader on the morning after the general election after his party lost out to the Conservatives, who secured a surprise majority.
Umunna says he will maintain his role as a shadow business secretary, while also campaigning to keep Britain in the EU in the forthcoming election.