Angela Eagle has dropped out of the upcoming Labour leadership contest, leaving Owen Smith as the sole candidate to run against Jeremy Corbyn. The former shadow cabinet minister triggered the Labour leadership after announcing she would stand against Corbyn when he lost a vote of no confidence amongst his fellow MPs in the wake of the EU Referendum.

Announcing her decision to drop out of the the race, Eagle urged others to "go to the Labour Party website and join up" if they wanted an effective opposition.

Eagle confirmed that Smith received the most backing from fellow Labour MPs in the campaign so it would be in the "best interest" that she withdraws. She also said that she will be supporting Smith in his campaign for Labour leader "with all my enthusiasm and might".

It was later confirmed Smith had received 88 nominations from Labour MPs and two from MEPs in the party's leadership race, with Eagle reportedly earning around 63 nominations.

She added: "I want to thank my own supporters for the faith that they showed in me in this leadership election. We've finished the first day of nominations. Owen Smith has a lead, and I think that it's in the best interests of the Labour party that we now come together so that we can have one candidate.

"So I'm announcing tonight that I'm withdrawing from this race and supporting Owen. I would like to congratulate Owen on coming top in this race and then going on to take on Jeremy Corbyn.

"We have the Labour party at the moment that is not working. We've got a leader that does not have the confidence of his members of parliament and isn't reaching out to the country. We need to have a strong and united Labour party so that we can be a good opposition, take the fight to the Conservative government and heal our country. So I am announcing that I will be supporting Owen in that endeavour with all of my enthusiasm and might."

Labour were keen to only have one other candidate in the vote against Corbyn in order to not further split the party beyond what it already witnessed.

Following Eagle's announcement, Smith described Eagle as a "star and a great Labour woman" who will be "my right hand throughout this contest".

According to a YouGov poll of Labour members released on the morning Eagle pulled out of the race, 44% said they would definitely vote for Corbyn in the leadership contest. According to the poll, if the leadership race was down to Corbyn or Smith, the current Labour leader would secure 56% against Smith's 34%.

Owen Smith, Jeremy Corbyn
Owen Smith will now stand against Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership Getty Images