JESS Phillips is poised to quit the Labour leadership race just two weeks into the election campaign.

Rumours of the decision arose after the Birmingham Yardley MP missed a hustings event organised by GMB trade union, whose support could prove crucial to the candidates still hoping to make it on to the final ballot paper.

Aides had initially said Phillips’ absence from the GMB event was due to an unavoidable appointment elsewhere.

She acknowledged on Monday that it would be a "bold roll of the dice" for Labour members to elect her as leader.

Now Phillips is expected to confirm this afternoon that she is quitting the leadership contest.

The self-proclaimed "passionate Unionist" seemed to harm her credentials in Scotland after calling on her party to start addressing "things that actually people talk about on the doorstep" rather than constitutional matters like devolution or federalism.

READ MORE: Jess Phillips: Scots 'would not be asking me about devo-max'

Around a third of Labour members in Scotland are thought to support having a second referendum, while a further 30% believe that the next Labour leader should be open to supporting one as part of a coalition deal with the SNP, according to a recent YouGov poll.

In the UK as a whole, 33% of members support indyref2 while 44% said the party should consider supporting one as a part of an agreement with the SNP.

READ MORE: Labour members want new leader to back indyref2

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer is the frontrunner in the Labour contest, having already secured his place on the final ballot paper as a result of nominations from the unions Unison and Usdaw and the Socialist Environment and Resources Association (Sera), an affiliate group.

Starmer, shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry and former shadow cabinet minister Lisa Nandy were all at the GMB hustings in London.

Candidates need the nominations of three Labour affiliates, including at least two unions, which amount to at least 5% of affiliate members.

The only other route on to the ballot paper is by receiving nominations from at least 33 constituency Labour parties (CLPs).

Thornberry, who only scraped through the first stage of the contest and appears to face a battle to make it on to the final ballot, praised the role of unions as she attempted to woo the GMB.

READ MORE: Emily Thornberry: I would frighten life out of PM if I was Labour leader

"Together with unions, we can take on the big challenges working people face," she said.

Earlier she told ITV's Good Morning Britain she remains "in this to win it" and claimed she would "frighten the life" out of Boris Johnson if she became the next Labour leader.

The contenders will take part in a televised debate on February 17.

The hour-long Channel 4 programme will be hosted by Krishnan Guru-Murthy, with the audience asking questions.

The ballot for the leadership opens on February 21 and closes on April 2, with the results announced on April 4.