Boost for Lisa Nandy as National Union of Mineworkers endorses Labour leadership bid
Lisa Nandy's campaign to become the next Labour leader has received a significant boost after she won the support of the National Union of Mineworkers.
The Wigan MP said she was "really proud" to receive the endorsement of the influential union after they announced their backing for her bid to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.
The NUM is the first trade union to back Ms Nandy's leadership campaign and puts her a step closer to winning a place on the final ballot paper.
She now just needs the backing of one more union, plus another organisation affiliated to the Labour Party, to get through to the final stage of the contest.
Frontrunner Keir Starmer has already won the endorsement of the UK's largest trade union, Unison, while Labour's biggest financial backer, Unite, is set to decide who its supporting later this month.
Announcing his union's decision to back Ms Nandy, NUM General Secretary Chris Kitchen, said: "Lisa Nandy is the leader Labour needs to rebuild the party and regain trust with the voters we've lost.
"Our executive was pleased the contest has so many outstanding candidates. The NUM is proud to back Lisa.
"She represents a coalfield community, she has stood with us in our fights for justice and regeneration and we are confident she's the leader who can take Labour back into government once again."
Despite only having a membership of around 300, the union's decision to back Ms Nandy is significant given mining's historic importance to the Labour movement.
The NUM's decision is also a blow to fellow leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey, who has already been endorsed by Labour chairman and former NUM president, Ian Lavery.
One Labour frontbencher told PoliticsHome: "This is hugely symbolic as the NUM would have been expected to endorse Long-Bailey. It also calls into question Becky's claims that she had a big plan for industrial regeneration and green jobs in former mining areas."
Responding to the endorsement, Ms Nandy told the Yorkshire Post: "I represent a former coalfield community. I’m really proud of that, and I am really proud to work alongside the NUM since I was first elected.
“Former coalfields and towns are crying out for real change. Some of these areas are part of the famous red wall that fell in the last election. I get it. If Labour wants to be part of making that change happen, we have to go back out into our communities and fight for it.”
She added: “When that way of life was destroyed by Thatcherism it left a massive gap that successive governments have failed to address. Whilst some efforts were made by the last Labour government, it failed to implement the long-term industrial strategy that is necessary.
“Permanent, stable jobs have been replaced by short-term work in the gig economy, from call centres to packing depots to takeaways – economically insecure and accompanied by the erosion of the rich social fabric built around mining communities."