Jeremy Corbyn has recieved the backing of Unite, Britain’s largest trade union. Unite had widely been expected to throw its weight behind Andy Burnham, but the union’s executive has instead voted to support Corbyn instead, with Burnham instead given a “second preference” nomination.
The endorsement will provide Corbyn’s campaign with a boost – although trade unions wield less influence under Labour’s new one person, one vote system, Unite’s voice carries weight among a significant bloc of Labour members.
But the move may also help the spurned Burnham. The bookies’ favourite had already eschewed trade union funding so the announcement will not have financial repercussions on the Burnham campaign. It now means that the Conservatives will be unable to cast Burnham as the “union candidate” – fear of which has, I’m told, been a factor in pushing activists away from Burnham and towards the campaigns of Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall.