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Sienna Rodgers, the editor of Labour List, first reported that Lewis had accepted that will not be able to reach the threshold in time:
I hear Clive Lewis is dropping out with 5 nominations and 45 minutes to go until the deadline.
— Sienna Rodgers (@siennamarla) January 13, 2020
And just minutes later, writing on Twitter, Lewis confirmed the news, stating:
“In the spirit of pluralism, diversity and generosity that I’ve promoted throughout this campaign, I’m withdrawing from the leadership contest so that those who’ve supported me can recast their nominations.”
“For me, this election was never just about the Labour leadership but about our survival as a political movement and mapping our path to power“
“Whilst I’m disappointed not to have progressed further, I’m proud to have led the debate on progressive alliances, electoral reform, the crisis in democracy, democracy in our party, diversity & climate change. These issues need to be tackled head on if we are to stay relevant“
“Leadership for me is about not only saying what people want to hear but arguing a case that you think is right. I’m stand my conviction that these are the ideas of the future”
“Heartfelt thanks to everyone who’s supported me this far. But know my contribution to this election isn’t over. I’m going to continue to fight, inside and outside of the Labour Party, to ensure our future looks very different from our past.”
“I now throw down the gauntlet to the other candidates and ask if they are brave enough, strong enough, bold enough, to take forward some of the issues in my manifesto”
“In the coming weeks, I’ll be watching their responses closely before deciding who to support.“
In the spirit of pluralism, diversity and generosity that I’ve promoted throughout this campaign, I’m withdrawing from the leadership contest so that those who’ve supported me can recast their nominations. https://t.co/uMgz2b3N66
— Clive Lewis MP (@labourlewis) January 13, 2020
Lewis – who raised the idea of the Labour Party working with other left-wing parties and endorsed reforming the UK’s electoral system to Proportional Representation – was widely seen as an insurgent candidate who would have widened the debate.
Whilst Lewis did gain support among a large section of Labour members, he has not been able to convince enough MPs or MEPs to back him to get on the ballot.