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Unions line up behind Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader

Two major unions have today announced their support for Jeremy Corbyn to be the next leader of the Labour Party.

Jeremy Corbyn is current favourite to be voted next Labour leader. Credit: PA

The Communication Workers Union, which includes postal workers, and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, which represents rail workers, have both announced they will back Corbyn - seen by many as the most left-wing candidate in the running.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said it was "time for change" for the party.

Jeremy agrees with the vast amount of CWU policy, ranging from opposing the selling off of Royal Mail, to offering a real alternative to austerity, and repealing anti-trade union laws.

There are no quick fixes for the Labour party, but there are some easy decisions and choosing Jeremy as its leader should be one of them. We think that it is time for a change for Labour.

– Dave Ward, CWU

It comes after Unison also declared its support for Corbyn, claiming his message "resonated with public sector workers".

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Corbyn wants to convert Labour into a 'more social movement'

Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn said his campaign is about "converting the Labour party into a much more social movement" after his party showed it was "incapable" of offering voters a political alternative in the last election.

Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

Speaking on BBC1's Andrew Marr show he criticised Labour's recent position and indicated it was time for change.

He said: "It's been too close to big business, it's too close to economic orthodoxy, it's been incapable of offering Labour voters and the majority of the electorate a real alternative and that was the fundamental problem in the last election."

Kendall: Voters 'want something different' from Labour

Labour leadership candidate Liz Kendall has reiterated her determination to stay in the race despite calls for her to step aside.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ms Kendall insisted she still believed she could win.

Liz Kendall takes part in a Labour Party leadership hustings in Cheshire Credit: PA Wire

"People want hope. They want something different. There are only two candidates setting out an alternative in this election from what we have been saying over the last five years, that is myself and Jeremy Corbyn."

She declined to say who her backers should vote for as a second preference in the contest, which is run under an Alternative Vote (AV) system.

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Yvette Cooper hits out at sexist 'retro campaign debate'

Yvette Cooper has lashed out at what she says is sexism from supporters of her Labour leadership rival Andy Burnham.

The shadow home secretary said the message coming out of Mr Burnham's camp was that she and Liz Kendall should drop out of the race and "leave it to the boys".

Yvette Cooper pictured with her Labour leadership rival Andy Burnham.

Speaking in an interview with the Guardian, Ms Cooper said: "We can't go back to an old fashioned Labour party - not just back to the politics of the 80s but of the politics of the 50s - treating women as incapable of the top jobs, and a party led by two men...

"It's been a startlingly retro campaign debate. Andy's campaign seem to be calling for Liz and I to bow out and leave it to the boys, or suggesting that somehow women aren't strong enough to do the top jobs.

"Liz has been asked about her weight, I've been asked (on [BBC Radio 4's] Woman's Hour of all places) about whether I can possibly do this job because of my husband, and any talk about me being a working mum has been used as a sexist way to divide Liz and I, and criticise Liz for not having children", she added.

Corbyn victory could spell end of Labour, donor warns

Victory for Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership race could lead to the break-up of the party, one of its biggest donors has warned.

A win for Jeremy Corbyn will divide the party, John Mills believes Credit: PA Wire

Entrepreneur John Mills said a win for the left-winger could lead to donations from wealthy backers drying up and ultimately result in a split in Labour like the one that led to the creation of the SDP in the 1980s.

Mr Mills, who founded the JML home shopping firm, told the Guardian: "If Corbyn won, I suspect what would happen is that there would be some sort of split. Then you would have an SDP-type party."

He predicted that some donors would stop funding Labour, although he acknowledged there could be more support from the trade unions.

"The Labour party has a spectrum of donors," he said. "I suspect that some of the major donors would be less likely to give, and so the amount of donations would go down. But at the same time donations from trade unions could go up."

New poll backs Burnham as Labour row continues

A new poll suggests Andy Burnham is the Labour leadership candidate believed to make the best prime minister.

The Ipsos MORI survey found 27% thought Burnham would make a good leader, with Yvette Cooper on 22%, Jeremy Corbyn on 17% and Liz Kendall on 16%.

It comes amid an ongoing row over rival Jeremy Corbyn, with former cabinet heavyweight Lord Prescott weighing in.

As Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports, the ex-deputy PM condemned his old boss Tony Blair's comment that those voting with their heart for Corbyn should "get a transplant".

Liz Kendall: I will not step aside from leadership race

Labour leadership outsider Liz Kendall has refused to bow to pressure and remove herself from the contest to help defeat Jeremy Corbyn.

Asked by ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen whether she would consider standing down after polls showed her in last place, Kendall replied: "Never... you can't stop fighting for what you believe in."

The MP for Leicester West said that only she and Corbyn were the only candidates "making a different case from where Labour's been at the last two elections".

However, she said a Corbyn victory would turn Labour into an "unelectable party of protest".

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