Leaders of Britain’s biggest trade union today confirmed their support for former climate change secretary Ed Miliband in his bid to become Labour’s next leader, giving his campaign a big boost.
The executive of Unite overwhelmingly voted to nominate Mr Miliband after a recommendation from the union’s political committee.
The union’s one million political levy-paying members will now be urged to back Mr Miliband, who has also won the support of leaders of Unison and the GMB.
Unite’s joint leaders Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley said: “We believe that Ed Miliband is the best candidate to reconnect Labour with the concerns of ordinary working people and to take the fight to the disastrous Con-Dem coalition.”
Today’s move means that the country’s biggest three trade unions are backing Mr Miliband in the election to succeed Gordon Brown.
His brother David has won the support of two unions – Community and Usdaw - while shadow education secretary Ed Balls is being backed by the Communication Workers Union.
Diane Abbott is being supported by one union so far, the Transport Salaried Staff Association.
Supporting nominations from unions, MPs and constituency Labour parties will close today and voting will begin in September with the result being announced at the start of Labour’s annual conference in Manchester on September 25.