The Communication Workers’ Union has called for “more dynamic” leadership campaigns while nominating Rebecca Long-Bailey and Angela Rayner for the leader and deputy leader roles.
The left-wing affiliated trade union made the choice to back the pair in a vote taken by 500 delegates at a special conference held in Bristol today.
Commenting on the endorsement, CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “I am proud of the democratic process our union has conducted and it is clear to me that Rebecca Long-Bailey is the outstanding candidate for leader.
“It is also clear that the ability and experience of Angela Rayner make her the best candidate for deputy leader.
“What is also true is the contest so far has not caught the imagination of Labour members or the wider public. We call on all candidates to deliver more dynamic and innovative campaigns in the coming weeks and months.”
Both Long-Bailey and Rayner have already secured their places on the final ballot, having gathered nominations from large trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party.
Responding to her latest endorsement, Long-Bailey said: “I am honoured to be endorsed by one of the leading workplace trade unions in the UK, which has been solidly behind the Labour Party’s transformative agenda.
“As leader of the Labour Party, I will stand shoulder to shoulder with trade unions in disputes, and full solidarity to the CWU in their current dispute with Royal Mail.”
Long-Bailey yesterday secured her place on the ballot when she received the support of the FBU, which added to the nominations she had won from Unite the Union and BFAWU.
The Salford and Eccles MP also has the backing of 28 constituency Labour parties, placing her second behind Keir Starmer who is on 62.
Rayner commented: “I’m delighted to have been backed by the CWU today. I’ve always been proud to stand alongside them, most recently as they fought to guarantee job security and improve workers’ rights, with the largest yes vote for national industrial action since the Trade Union Act was passed in 2016.
“It’s exactly that sort of grassroots organisation and strength that workers across Britain should look to for inspiration in the battle to stop this Tory government’s plans to roll back employment rights, and it is exactly why CWU members know they need a Labour government so badly.”
In Labour’s deputy leadership contest, Rayner is out in front on local party nominations with a total of 70. She has also won the most affiliate nominations, with UNISON, NUM, Usdaw, GMB and Community.
Each leadership candidate must gain the nominations of either 33 local parties or three affiliated organisations, including two unions, amounting to 5% of Labour’s affiliated membership.