Unite, the UK’s largest trade union and the Labour Party’s biggest donor, has urged its members to support Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership campaign.
The union’s decision is believed to be a reaction against the other leadership candidates’ support for policies of fiscal austerity.
Corbyn wants the party to reject austerity. Britain’s largest transport union, the RMT; the train drivers’ union, Aslef; the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) have also backed him.
Unions are expected to have less influence on this year’s contest, because the party has moved to a one member, one vote system for choosing its leader. This may be a reaction against criticisms that Labour’s last leader, Ed Miliband, only won his place with union backing.
Corbyn only made it onto the ballot paper at the last minute, with support from fellow MPs who thought – correctly – that his presence would widen the debate.
With the left-winger now winning support from the unions and the wider Labour-supporting public, could Labour end up with a leader the public supports, but his own MPs don’t?
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