Labour-affiliated Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has backed left-wing favourite Rebecca Long-Bailey as the next leader of the Labour Party, cementing her place on the ballot of Labour members. For their choice of deputy leader they opted for Richard Burgon who has now secured enough to put him on the ballot too. The union had been expected to back Angela Rayner but opted for for Burgon on the basis that she has already met her requirements to be placed on the ballot.
Each of the leadership candidates must gain the nominations of either 33 local parties or three affiliated organisations, including two unions, amounting to 5% of Labour’s affiliated membership.
The FBU wrote to all candidates asking for their views on the fire and rescue service, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, repealing anti-trade union laws, ending the blockade of Gaza, and Labour Party democracy.
Earlier today the union’s executive council met today to discuss their endorsement.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said:
“Our executive council has resoundingly voted to endorse Rebecca Long-Bailey as the leader Labour needs to take on this viciously right-wing, anti-worker Tory government
“The fire and rescue service has been decimated by a decade of austerity, but restrictive anti-union laws have seriously impeded our ability to fight back. We need a Labour leader that will rebuild our fire service and put empowering workers at the heart of their agenda.
“I was locked in Labour’s longest-ever composite meeting with Rebecca – and her vision for a Green Industrial Revolution was clear. Climate change is an industrial issue for firefighters – and we’re proud to have worked with Rebecca to secure Labour’s 2030 target for net-zero carbon emissions.
“There can be no going back to the so-called centrism of New Labour – we never again want to see our party turn its back on workers, public ownership, and its own members.
“We will be actively campaigning for Rebecca. Only she has what it takes to transform the country, win back Labour’s heartlands, and put power back in the hands of working-class people.”
FBU members in England and Wales who contribute to the political levy can register as an affiliated supporter vote in the Labour leadership and deputy leadership election.
Long-Bailey now joins Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy on the ballot after they secured their places earlier in the week. Meanwhile, struggling Emily Thornberry has still not managed to secure enough to see her through.