Unions split over next Labour leader as Unison backs Starmer

PUBLISHED: 15:07 08 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:45 08 January 2020

Sir Keir Starmer. Photograph: Tom Lillywhite.

Sir Keir Starmer. Photograph: Tom Lillywhite.

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The unions affiliated to Labour are split over which candidate to support as the next Labour leader.

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While Len McCluskey's union Unite looks like to back the "continuity candidate" Rebecca Long-Bailey, Unison have opted to support Sir Keir Starmer.

Unison is the largest union out of the affiliated groups and their endorsement of Sir Keir is likely to be another boost for the frontrunner.

Labour has already confirmed he has enough MP nominations to go through to the next round of the leadership contest, which entails seeking nominations from constituency Labour branches and affiliated groups, such as unions.

Unison also look likely to back Angela Rayner in the deputy leadership race - as the MP was once a trade union representative with them.

General secretary Dave Prentis said: "This is a pivotal time for Labour.

MORE: How to sign up to vote in the Labour leadership election

"We believe - if elected by the membership - Keir Starmer would be a leader to bring the party together and win back the trust of the thousands of voters who deserted Labour last month.

"Keir has a clear vision to get Labour back to the winning ways of the past. He is best placed to take on Boris Johnson, hold his government to account and ensure Labour can return to power and once more change working people's lives for the better."

Unison backed Jeremy Corbyn in the 2015 and 2016 Labour leadership election.

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