Phyll Opoku-Gyimah pulls out of London by-election race

The DIVA columnist says a "unexpected family situation" has forced her to rethink the decision to stand


Phyll, right, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Dawn Butler, MP for Brent Central


The favourite to win the Lewisham East by-election has pulled out of the race due to an "unexpected family situation". 


UK Black Pride director, trade unionist and DIVA columnist, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah had been hotly tipped for the safe Labour seat after confirming her intention to stand last week. 


The head of equalities and learning at PCS Union would have been the first black lesbian MP in the UK. 


But today Phyll announced she would no longer be running, something which she said was "not an easy decision". 


In a statement, she thanked supporters and wrote: "An unexpected family situation has forced me to reflect long and hard on whether to put myself forward for consideration to be selected as the next Labour Party candidate in the Lewisham East by-election. 


"The opportunity to represent was an honour I would have relished. The support I received made me believe it could be done… And then the unexpected happened."


Asking for privacy, she added: "I would like to thank all those who have supported my candidacy. I have been deeply moved and inspired by the messages and displays of support I have received over the past week. 


"I wish all candidates who do declare the best of luck and look forward to helping to secure another Labour Party victory in Lewisham in June."


Only reading DIVA online? You're missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It's pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves. // //


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