No fewer than seventeen of Labour’s ruling NEC (National Executive Committee) have already backed Unite’s Jennie Formby for the position of General Secretary when incumbent Iain McNicol steps down, following the announcement of his resignation last week.
Formby’s supporters include four NEC members who ran on a Momentum-backed left slate, including Rhea Wolfson, Pete Willsman and Rachael Garnham. Other backers include Jon Trickett, Kate Osamor Rebecca Long-Bailey.
Formby also has support from the representatives of the TSSA and ASLEF unions, as well as – of course and in spite of spurious claims in some of the mainstream media to the contrary – that of Unite.
In addition, Labour leader – and NEC member – Jeremy Corbyn has strongly advocated that the next General Secretary, or #JenSec according to the hashtag in support of Formby, is a woman.
A senior source from one of the smaller Labour-affiliated unions talked to Corbyn this week and told the SKWAWKBOX:
Jeremy is committed to equality and fair representation and has already stated this publicly. He has encouraged women to stand for positions from unions and the wider membership
He told me he’s unhappy at any attempt to divide CLP’s [constituency Labour party members] from the unions – we are a united party and he won’t tolerate divisions being escalated. It betrays our solidarity to pit members against unions or small unions against the larger ones.
He also doesn’t support an elected General Secretary – it’s an appointment as the role is to run an administration that supports the leadership and the democratic wishes of the members.
With Corbyn himself known to back her, it seems the support for Jennie Formby’s candidacy is rapidly approaching critical mass.
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