Rotherham MP John Healey has withdrawn from the race to be the Labour party’s deputy leader.
The MP for Wentworth and Dearne, who last week pledged to champion the north if he did become deputy leader, said that without a change there would only be a narrow range of candidates on the ballot put to party members.
Mr Healey had 20 nominations, the most of any other contender not on the ballot.
Fellow South Yorkshire MP Caroline Flint is on the ballot, with 35 nominations, and Tom Watson has 55,
They are the only two on the ballot although the majority of Labour MPs have now nominated a candidate.
Mr Healey said: “Three quarters of Labour MPs have now nominated but only two candidates are on the ballot, and there’s a very real danger that we only have a narrow range of deputy leader candidates.
“I have the most backing of those not on the ballot so far, and my decision is designed to give more of the other candidates the chance to make the cut.
“My decision is designed to give more of the other candidates the chance to make the cut.
“I’m withdrawing now to make sure we get the range and number of candidates that Party members deserve. “And I encourage those who already have the required 35 nominations to bear this in mind too.”
Mr Healey said he appreciated the ‘strong support’ MPs had given him.