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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Brown's Lone Challenger Drops Out

LONDON -- British Treasury chief Gordon Brown's only challenger for the leadership of the Labour Party has pulled out of the race, making it almost certain that Brown will become the country's next prime minister.

Brown, an overwhelming favorite to replace Tony Blair, was close to reaching the number of signatures needed to lead the Labour Party without facing a challenge, but that became insignificant when opponent John McDonnell announced Wednesday that he was quitting.

Traditionally in British politics, the leader of the party with the most seats in the parliament becomes prime minister.

Labour Party officials had earlier announced that McDonnell was 16 short of the 45 supporters required to start a leadership contest, while Brown needed just one more.

McDonnell conceded defeat, saying it was "mathematically impossible" for him to gain enough of the nominations needed to go forward as a candidate.