JESS Phillips has quit the contest to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

The Birmingham Yardley MP missed a hustings event earlier today 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 has confirmed that she is quitting the leadership contest.

READ MORE: Jess Phillips set to quit Labour leadership contest

In a video message to supporters, she said Labour needed a leader "who can unite all parts of our movement, the union movement, members and elected representatives".

"I have to also be honest with myself, as I said I always would be throughout this campaign. At this time, that person is not me.

"In order to win the country, we are going to have to find a candidate, in this race, who can do all of that, and then take that message out to the country. A message of hope and change, that things can be better."

Phillips, a 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'

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.

Thornberry said she was "very sorry" that Phillips had pulled out of the contest, arguing that favourites Starmer and Long-Bailey needed to face a challenge.

"We need to broaden our debate, not narrow it, and force the two favourites to prove they're up to the fight by pitting them against some real strength," she said.

"Jess is a sad loss in that effort, but we will keep going."

Nandy also said she was sorry that Phillips had dropped out, adding: "She has made waves, shown great friendship and I'll miss her in this contest."

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