January 21, 2020
Lisa Nandy’s Labour leadership hopes have received a huge boost after the GMB union opted to back her for the top job.
GMB Union Backs Lisa Nandy To Succeed Jeremy Corbyn As Labour Leader
It came after Jess Phillips dropped out of the contest to replace Jeremy Corbyn.
The GMB, one of the big five that are effectively needed to get candidates automatically on the final ballot paper, gave its highly-prized endorsement to the Nandy after a hustings in London.
The Wigan MP, who pipped Keir Starmer for the nomination, now won’t have to rely on getting 33 local Labour party nominations to stay in the race - a high bar when most appear to be endorsing Starmer or Rebecca Long-Bailey.
Starmer was popular among some union members, but Nandy emerged as the favoured choice of the 55 lay members of the union’s Central Executive Council after the hustings meeting at the TUC’s HQ.
Tim Roache, the GMB general secretary, said Nandy was a “breath of fresh air in the debate over Labour’s future”.
“The more members see of Lisa in this contest the more impressed they will be by her ambition, optimism and decisive leadership. GMB is proud to nominate her,” he said.
“Lisa won’t shy away from the tough challenges or bold decisions that lie ahead, because she knows that after fifteen years of losing elections, more of the same won’t cut it.
“A candidate entrenched in the union movement, Lisa gets the scale of the challenge. 
“She will raise Labour’s game with a bold agenda that puts people first and grounds politics in their lives.”
Starmer is already through to the final ballot in the contest, having won the nomination of two other big unions, Unison and Usdaw, as well as the socialist environment association.Long-Bailey is expected to get the backing of Unite and the CWU postal workers’ union to go with the Baker’s Union endorsement and would also go on the ballot of members that starts on February 21.
Emily Thornberry’s hopes now rely entirely on a sudden shift in support among constituency Labour parties (CLPs). To date, 12 have backed Starmer, four have backed Long-Bailey and two have backed Thornberry. No CLP has yet nominated Nandy.
Under new party rules introduced under Jeremy Corbyn, candidates need 5% of CLPs nominations or 5% of affiliates such as trade unions to get through to the final round of the contest.
Nandy had impressed many with her performances on TV, not least against the BBC’s Andrew Neil. But she has so far failed to get more than single figures in any leadership polling. The most recent YouGov poll suggests Starmer would be Long-Bailey by 63% to 37% in the final round.
The leadership ballot closes on April 2, with the winner announced at a special conference two days later.Related... Keir Starmer Says 'Decent' Voters Do Not Care If Next Labour Leader Is From London Keir Starmer Pulls Further Ahead In Labour Leadership Race Thanks To USDAW Backing No Heckling! Strict Instructions Revealed For Labour Leadership Candidates During Hustings
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