ASLEF nominates Rebecca Long-Bailey to be the next Labour leader

Elliot Chappell

The Labour-affiliated trade union ASLEF has nominated Rebecca Long-Bailey to be the next leader of the Labour Party.

The executive body of the organisation – comprised of eight members – met today to vote on who to nominate in both the leader and deputy leadership elections.

The train drivers’ union backed Long-Bailey for leader and Angela Rayner as deputy, after considering a report by general secretary Mick Whelan.

Commenting on the nomination, Whelan said: “We believe that Rebecca and Angela have the vision, and the determination, to deliver for all the people of this country, and understand what Labour has to do to win back the hearts, minds, and votes of hard-working people in Britain.

“We have a wealth of talent at the top of the party and it wasn’t easy to choose between the candidates standing for leader and deputy leader. But, having listened to them all, we believe Rebecca and Angela are best placed to rebuild our party in Parliament and lead Labour to victory at the next election.”

He added: “They are committed to bringing Britain’s railways back into public ownership – which is not just the policy of this trade union, but a policy that is popular with passengers who suffer from all the problems of our privatised railways.”

Long-Bailey had previously called on rivals in the leadership contest to support bringing rail back into public ownership, along with mail, water and energy.

Reacting to the endorsement, the Salford and Eccles MP said: “I am honoured to be endorsed by ASLEF, and am committed to opposing Boris Johnson’s plan to ban strikes on our railways.

“As Labour leader I will stand shoulder to shoulder with trade unionists as we renew the labour movement and build support for a green, publicly owned transport system. This will be integral in Labour forging a path to power.”

Rayner tweeted shortly after the announcement: “I am so proud to get this nomination from a union l have worked with over many years, thank-you so much.”

ASLEF nominated Jeremy Corbyn in both the 2015 and 2016 Labour leadership races, and endorsed a Leave position in the EU referendum four years ago.

Each leadership hopeful needs nominations from 5% of constituency Labour parties – a total of 33 – or from three affiliates, including two trade unions, comprising 5% of affiliated membership.

The only candidate who has not yet secured her place in the final round of the leadership contest is Emily Thornberry.

The deadline for CLPs and affiliated organisations to submit their nominations in the leadership contests is February 14th.

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