January 15, 2020
Keir Starmer’s hopes of being crowned Labour leader received a fresh boost on Tuesday after he won the backing of the party’s green campaign group. 
Boost For Keir Starmer As Labours Environment Campaign SERA Backs Leadership Bid
SERA (the Socialist Environment and Resources Association) has thrown its weight behind the shadow Brexit secretary’s bid to replace Jeremy Corbyn, HuffPost UK can reveal. 
The news will be a blow for his main rival Rebecca Long-Bailey, who led the party’s campaign for a Green New Deal as shadow business secretary. 
SERA’s backing for Starmer establishes him as the frontrunner as it comes after the health and public services union Unison - thought to be Labour’s largest affiliated union by membership - announced support.SERA co-chairs Jake Sumner and Melanie Smallman said: “We looked hard at the record and competences of all of the candidates and it was very clear to us that Keir stood out as the candidate who had consistently supported SERA’s positions within the party and in parliament – opposing the expansion of Heathrow airport, standing up to protect environmental legislation in the Brexit debate, and campaigning with us on air quality.“Most importantly, we are in a race to tackle the climate emergency. We need a leader who can take on the government now and who has the experience and broad appeal to take Labour into power and urgently deliver the measures needed to address the looming climate emergency.”SERA is the only environment campaign affiliated to Labour and is one of many groups officially linked to Labour that leadership candidates will need to convince in the coming weeks. 
Under Labour’s new leadership rules, candidates must secure 5% (33) of Labour’s CLPs (Constituency Labour Parties) or three affiliates by February 14 to progress to a ballot of members. These can include groups like SERA but two out of three affiliates must be trade unions.  
Though many other unions have yet to announce, Unite and the Communication Workers’ Union are expected to back Long Bailey. 
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry and campaigning MP Jess Phillips have strong support among Labour’s pro-EU grassroots. 
Wigan MP Lisa Nandy meanwhile, who has centred her campaign on winning back towns, could get support from GMB.
SERA’s backing means Starmer is just one union’s support away from clearing the second round hurdle. 
He said: “I’m delighted to have received SERA’s nomination.
“We are living through a climate emergency. If elected Labour leader, I will make tackling climate change our number one priority and hard-wired into everything we do.
“Another future is possible, but we have to fight for it.” 
The winner is decided on a ballot of members by a proportional representation system known as AV (alternative vote), which sees candidates ranked in order of preference. 
If one of the five wins more than 50% of first preference votes, they are declared the winner outright. However, if no candidate hits 50%, the candidate with the least support is eliminated and their second preferences are allocated to the remaining contenders. That process is repeated until one candidate reaches that crucial 50% mark. 
The winner is announced at a special conference on Saturday April 4. Related... How Lisa Nandy Can Pull Off A Shock To Become Labour Leader Clive Lewis Pulls Out Of Labour Leadership Contest Labour Should Hold Leadership Hustings In Towns It Lost, Not Big Cities, Urge MPs
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