LABOUR leadership candidate Clive Lewis has pulled out of the race ahead of today's 2.30pm deadline for nominations. 

The contender withdrew earlier this afternoon, saying he was "standing aside in the spirit of pluralism, diversity and generosity".

Candidates are required to have 22 nominations from Labour MPs and MEPs in order to qualify for the official leadership race.

But according to reports, the shadow business minister had only managed to gain the support of five MPs. 

Last week Lewis wrote for The National saying Scotland has the right to a second independence referendum.

READ MORE: Clive Lewis: The Scottish people have the right to decide their own future

The contender also said for Labour to rebuild, it has to "address that fundamental lack of voice through thorough constitutional reform".

He proposed this would include "scrapping the House of Lords, creating English regional assemblies, and introducing proportional representation, for a start".

Lewis also called for a referendum on the royal family, claiming "a lot of people would like" to see it "scaled down".

Five MPs now remain in the leadership contest - Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips, Emily Thornberry, Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey.