Chuka Umunna says in bowing out of Labour’s leadership contest that he has been exposed “to the added level of pressure that comes with being a leadership candidate. I have not found it to be a comfortable experience.”
We will doubtless learn more in due course, but a question that immediately follows is Lenin’s: who stands to gain? My rough sense is that Umunna was the flexible friend of Labour’s right, left and centre but that, since Andy Burnham seems to have a big part of the Left sewn up, his support was more likely to come from the centre and right of the party.
That will now go elsewhere. All the other potential candidates from the right and centre – Liz Kendall, Tristram Hunt, Yvette Cooper, Mary Creagh – could reasonably expect to pick up a bit of Umunna’s support. Perhaps other candidates may come forward too, now, also hopeful of doing so.
Stella Creasy, anyone?