Fire Brigades Union puts Rebecca Long-Bailey and Richard Burgon onto Labour ballot paper

Posted On: 
29th January 2020

Rebecca Long-Bailey has made it through to the final round of the Labour leadership contest.

Richard Burgon is the second candidate to make it onto the deputy leader ballot paper.
PA Images

The Shadow Business Secretary's place on the ballot paper was guaranteed after she was endorsed by the Fire Brigades Union.

Meanwhile, the union also ensured that Richard Burgon will be on the deputy leadership ballot by giving him its backing as well.

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FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: "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.

"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."

Mr Wrack said they had plumped for Mr Burgon "after much discussion and deliberation", confirmation that the FBU's ruling executive was split over whether to choose him or Angela Rayner, the clear favourite who is already in the final round.

He added: "We carefully considered the policy positions of each candidate and their alignment with the FBU’s interests, as well as a range of factors including, crucially, which candidates have already qualified for the ballot of Labour members.

"Labour members and supporters should have a choice from the widest possible range of candidates – and we’re glad that Richard will join Angela on the ballot."

The FBU's endorsement means Ms Long-Bailey has the three affiliate groups she needed to get onto the ballot paper, having already won the backing of Unite and the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union.

As well as the FBU, Mr Burgon also the support of Unite and the UBFAW.

Ms Long-Bailey said: "I’m delighted to make the next stage of the contest and I thank Unite, the Bakers Union and the Fire Brigades Union for their endorsements as well as the thousands of supporters who have volunteered and attended campaign events across the country.

"As leader I will unleash our movement, take power back from the gentleman's club of Westminster and build an aspirational socialism that speaks to people's hopes and dreams.

"The general election result was devastating, but our policies are popular and it’s clear we must not return to the politics of the past.

"Members need a leader who sticks to their principles and has the record to prove it. A leader you can trust to take forward Labour’s transformative programme and forge a new path to power.

"It’s time for a new generation to step up and lead our party. Together we can rebuild trust in all of Labour’s heartlands, from Blyth Valley to Brixton, and win the next election."