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Angela Eagle is supporting Owen Smith to 'unite Labour'

Angela Eagle said she is backing Owen Smith in his bid for Labour leadership in order to unite the Labour party.

Owen Smith has received 88 nominations from Labour MPs and two from MEPs in the party's leadership contest, therefore clearing the hurdle of 51 nominations to become a candidate.

We have a Labour party at the moment that is not working. We have got a leader that does not have the confidence of his MPs and is not reaching out to the rest of the country. We need to have a strong and united Labour party so we can be a good opposition, take the fight to the Conservative government and heal our country.

– Angela Eagle

Angela Eagle pulls out of Labour leadership race

Angela Eagle has withdrawn from the race to oust Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

ITV News' Political Editor Robert Peston has the latest:

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Abbott: Eagle is the 'Empire Strikes Back' candidate

Shadow health secretary Diane Abbott has told ITV's Good Morning Britain that Angela Eagle's support for the Iraq invasion and an increase in tuition fees show she is the "Empire Strikes Back" candidate against Jeremy Corbyn.

The Corbyn-supporting Abbott said her party's embattled leader must be on any leadership ballot as she played down talk of splits within the party and reports of political "Armageddon".

She joined Daily Mirror associate editor Kevin McGuire in doubting Eagle's success in a race with Mr Corbyn as the pair were questioned about the stature of a challenger who came fourth in a previous race for Labour's deputy leadership.

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