The young MP for Streatham made the announcement via Twitlonger, which was reposted to his Facebook page.
He said that before the election he made the decision to run for Labour leader in the event Ed Miliband lost, all the while hoping that Miliband would pull through and win. He then went on to say the following:
“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.”
However, he then went on to say that he looked forward to playing his “full role as a proud member of [the] Shadow Cabinet taking on the Tories”, and fight to keep the United Kingdom within the European Union.
The announcement comes just days after his previous announcement in which he made clear his intentions to stand. This latest update will come as a surprise to almost everyone, as it looked as if Umunna would have a decent chance in becoming the Labour leader.
On Thursday Mary Creagh made her intentions to run via the Daily Mail, saying that:
“We forgot the hard-learned lessons of our last three election victories; that to win elections a party needs to offer hope.”
Without Umunna in the contest many of those who would have voted for him will have to pick someone else. The fact that he has quit could therefore indirectly help influence who becomes the next Labour leader.