In the past few minutes, Angela Eagle has pulled out of the Labour leadership contest, citing insufficient nominations in the race with Owen Smith. ‘I’m withdrawing from this race and supporting Owen with all of my enthusiasm and might,’ she told reporters in Parliament’s Central Lobby.
This means that Labour now has its unity candidate to fight Jeremy Corbyn, and even those MPs who feel rather politically distant from Owen Smith will have to pull behind him in the name of dislodging Jeremy Corbyn.
Supporters of Eagle will be angry that she took all the political heat and abuse for sticking her neck out first and triggering the contest, but Smith supporters say this is precisely why she couldn't then win against Corbyn, as too many Labour members would have a negative view of her. Smith, meanwhile, is a 'clean skin', which is what led to former Eagleites defecting to the Pontypridd MP's campaign.