GMB Union back Lisa Nandy to be Labour leader

One of the Labour Party's biggest affiliated unions has backed Wigan MP, Lisa Nandy, to become the next leader of the party.

The GMB Union has announced that their Central Executive Council has nominated Ms Nandy to be Leader and Ashton-under-Lyne MP Angela Rayner to be Deputy Leader.

Executive members voted for their favoured candidate following a husting in London earlier today.

The endorsement of the GMB puts Ms Nandy within touching distance of a place on the final ballot paper.

Candidates need the nominations of three Labour affiliates, including at least two unions, which amount to at least 5% of affiliate members.

The only other route on to the ballot paper is by receiving nominations from at least 33 constituency Labour parties (CLPs).

Angela Rayner has also received the backing of the union. Credit: PA

GMB members work in nearly all industrial sectors, in retail, security, schools, distribution, the utilities, social care, the NHS, ambulance service and local government.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said: "Lisa Nandy is a breath of fresh air in the debate over Labour’s future.

"The more members see of Lisa in this contest the more impressed they will be by her ambition, optimism and decisive leadership. GMB is proud to nominate her.

"Lisa won’t shy away from the tough challenges or bold decisions that lie ahead, because she knows that after fifteen years of losing elections, more of the same won’t cut it."

He added: "With Lisa and Angela at the helm, Labour can do things differently. The Party can be relevant, bold, and truly grounded in their lives."

On receiving the backing Ms Nandy said: "Labour is at a crossroads. To win again we will have to up our game, recover our ambition, and inspire a movement...As I seek permission to lead us back to power as Labour's next Prime Minister I could not be more proud to have their support."

The other contenders to be Labour leader are Sir Keir Stamer MP, Rebecca Long-Bailey MP and Emily Thornberry MP.

Earlier today Jess Phillips withdrew from the race after she was unable to receive enough backing to continue in the contest.