JESS Phillips has pulled out of the Labour leadership race.

The MP for Birmingham Yardley in making the announcement said that the party needed a candidate who could unify all parts of the Labour Party but, at this moment, that was not her.

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She explained: "I truly believe that unless we talk to the country on their terms, not just on ours, that we won't be able to make the gains we need to win an election and (to) do what everyone in the Labour movement wants to do and that is make people's lives better.

"In order to do that, the Labour Party will need to select a candidate that can unite all parts of our movement - the union movement, the members and elected representatives - I have to be honest that at this time, that person isn't me.

"In order to win the country, we are going to have to find a candidate in this race who can do that and take that message out to the country of hope and change for things to be better," she added.

The decision by Ms Phillips, 38, came after she failed to turn up at a hustings at the GMB union earlier in the day; although aides insisted this was due to her having an unavoidable appointment elsewhere.

The GMB union was preparing to announce which leadership candidate it would back. Lisa Nandy, the MP for Wigan, had been seen as the favourite for the nomination although, after having won the support of Unison and Usdaw, Sir Keir Starmer, the Shadow Brexit Secretary, was building up a deal of momentum in the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.