UNITE the union “overwhelmingly” voted to back behind Rebecca Long Bailey for Labour leader and Richard Burgon for deputy, general secretary Len McCluskey said today.
In his announcement, Mr McCluskey said that shadow business secretary Ms Long Bailey was nominated for having “both the brains and brilliance” to lead.
Britain’s three biggest trade unions have backed three different candidates to lead. Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer is nominated by Unison and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy by GMB.
Candidates need support from two unions and an affiliate group to make it onto the final ballot if they cannot secure backing from 5 per cent of local parties.
Ms Long Bailey, Mr Starmer and Ms Nandy have enough backing from unions and Labour’s affiliates to go to the full ballot of members next month.
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry is yet to receive an endorsement from a trade union.
Before the meeting, Mr McCluskey also praised Mr Corbyn for having “changed British politics forever.”
Mr Starmer has cancelled campaign events this weekend after his mother-in-law was involved in a serious accident. She is critically ill in hospital.