By politics.co.uk staff
Labour leadership candidate Ed Balls has shrugged off speculation that he could quit the race.
It had been reported at the weekend that Mr Balls, who trails David and Ed Miliband in terms of union endorsements and formal Labour party nominations, might decide to step down from the contest.
He had failed to gain the endorsement of the Unite union after its political committee voted by 24 votes to four in favour of Ed Miliband.
"I've never been a frontrunner in this campaign," he said in a statement on his website.
"But the votes which count won't be cast until September.
"The Labour leadership will be decided by millions of individual members of the party, the unions and socialist societies all making their own decisions - many of whom have not yet made up their minds."
Mr Balls is also competing against Diane Abbott and Andy Burnham for the leadership of the Labour party. Many feel his close association with former prime minister Gordon Brown is a hindrance to his campaign.
But the shadow education secretary argued the importance of avoiding a leadership election where Labour "talked to ourselves and only debated competing visions, principles and personalities".
He concluded: "I joined this contest because I believed this was a fight worth fighting for the future of our party and our country. I still do."