Affiliate group SERA nominates Keir Starmer for leader

Sienna Rodgers

Labour-affiliated environment group the Socialist Environment and Resources Association (SERA) has nominated Keir Starmer as their preferred candidate in the ongoing leadership election.

The frontrunner has now gained the backing of UNISON, one of the largest affiliated trade unions, and one affiliate organisation, which means he only needs another union of any size to secure a place on the ballot paper.

Starmer is expected to gain a nomination from Usdaw, which backed Owen Smith in Labour’s 2016 leadership race, as well as possibly the Musicians’ Union. Both supported Andy Burnham in 2015.

Commenting on the endorsement, 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.”

Founded in 1973, SERA is the only environmental group affiliated to the Labour Party. The decision to endorse Starmer was made by its executive body.

SERA strongly supported the fresh EU referendum position widely seen as having been pushed by Starmer within Labour.

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