Labour MP Angela Eagle – who last week launched her candidature for the leadership of the Labour Party – has tonight withdrawn from the contest.
Eagle had been nominated for the leadership by Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen Doughty who backed her in an effusive Twitter post just 7 hours ago
Angela Eagle said she was dropping out “in the interests of the party” and now would back the other candidate Owen Smith (Labour MP for Pontypridd) “with all her might and enthusiasm”.
Doughty – who is a member of the anti-Jeremy Corbyn “Progress Group” – has had singularly little luck with the candidates he has backed. In the previous Labour Leadership Election he had supported Liz Kendall (above) – who came bottom of the poll out of a field of four.
Owen Smith and Stephen Doughty were both on the shortlist for the Pontypridd constituency before the 2010 General Election along with three female candidates Jayne Brencher, Delyth Evans and Bethan Roberts. All the female candidates – and Doughty – were turned down in favour of Owen Smith.
Smith is the son of the historian and former BBC Wales Head of Programmes Dai Smith and worked as a BBC Wales radio producer before entering Parliament.
After Angela Eagle withdrew Doughty posted a new message on Twitter saying “Sad @angelaeagle has withdrawn from race but she conducted herself with courage, dignity + best interests of party + country at all times.”