Left-wing TSSA union nominates Starmer and Rayner for leadership

Sienna Rodgers

The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, a left-wing trade union affiliated to the Labour Party, has decided to nominate Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner for the party leadership roles.

The rail and travel union balloted all members of its political fund on the basis of a shortlist drawn up by the executive, which offered a choice between Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey for leader and Rayner and Rosena Allin-Khan for deputy.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes announced the outcome of the vote in a comment piece for LabourList, in which he recommended that members “give their second preferences to Rebecca and Rosena”.

Commenting on the result, Cortes said: “Our union has decided to nominate Keir Starmer for leader of the Labour Party and Angela Rayner as deputy – following a ballot of members paying into the political fund.

“I’m delighted for both Keir and Angela – they are fantastic candidates both of whom have made commitments to public ownership of our railways.

“I’d also like to say well done to Rebecca Long-Bailey and Rosena Allin-Khan respectively, both of whom got down to the final ballot after being interviewed by our executive committee and who drew a lot of interest from our members.

“I’m now encouraging all Labour Party members and affiliate members to take part in the election itself to make their voices heard on who becomes the next leader of our party.”

Responding to the endorsement, Starmer said: “I’m honoured to have been nominated by TSSA to be the next Labour leader and I would like to thank the membership for their support.

“TSSA has been at the forefront of campaigns to invest in our railways and bring them back into public ownership.

“If I’m elected leader, I promise to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our trade unions to unite our movement and take the fight to the Tories.”

Deputy leadership race frontrunner Rayner added: “I’m delighted to have been nominated by TSSA members. I’ve long-supported the brilliant work they’ve done on transport issues and women’s rights across the whole of the UK.

“As deputy leader, I look forward to campaigning alongside them to bring Britain’s railways back into public ownership.”

TSSA has also chosen to back Glasgow councillor Matt Kerr, the Labour left candidate standing against Jackie Baillie in Scottish Labour’s deputy leadership race.

Starmer has been endorsed by five affiliated trade unions –  TSSA, UNISON, Usdaw, Community and the Musicians’ Union – as well as 370 local parties. Rayner is nominated by eight unions – UNISON, NUM, Usdaw, GMB, Community, CWU, TSSA, ASLEF – and 355 local parties so far.

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