Final hurdle still be to crossed
Richard Burgon, the only candidate in the deputy leader contest to have nominated Jeremy Corbyn in both leadership elections, took a huge step toward qualifying for the full ballot of Labour members, supporters and affiliates this evening when the giant Unite union backed him, together with Rebecca Long-Bailey for leader.
Burgon now has nominations from Unite and the Bakers’ union (BFAWU) and needs just one more union or socialist society nomination to qualify.
However, with most Labour-affiliated socialist societies long existing essentially as Blairite fronts, Burgon’s most realistic hope of qualifying via affiliate nominations lies in winning the backing of either the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) or the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).
FBU’s executive meets next week to decide its nominations, while CWU will announce the result of its process next Thursday, with today the deadline for candidates to respond to its questions.
The Socialist Health Association (SHA), one of the few left-run societies – at least for now – is undertaking a full ballot of its members, which closes next Thursday.
If Burgon and Dawn Butler – who both impressed at last weekend’s opening hustings in Liverpool – do not get over the line via affiliate nominations, both will need to win the backing of at least 33 local Labour parties (CLPs).
It’s essential for this contest that both are on the full ballot.
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