Jon Lansman being lined up as 'stop Formby' candidate in race for key Labour post
Jon Lansman is gaining support in the race to succeed Iain McNicol as Labour's general secretary, PoliticsHome has learned.
The Momentum boss is being urged to run in a bid to block Unite's Jennie Formby from being appointed to the coveted role.
Mr McNicol stunned Labour staff last Friday night by announcing he was standing down after nearly seven years in the role.
His successor is due to be announced on 2 March and Ms Formby, who is Unite's organiser in the south-east of England, has the backing of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.
But senior party sources said she is facing a major challenge from rival trade unions - and many of the party's left-wing - who say she is divisive and deeply unpopular with colleagues.
One insider told PoliticsHome: "There are rumours that Jon Lansman is unhappy with Jennie and wants to apply.
"There are lots of unions who do not like Jennie because she is very divisive, but she is definitely the candidate to beat as it stands because she has Corbyn and McDonnell's backing. There are lkots of arguments and squabbles going on behind the scenes.
"Loads of people hate her and are trying very hard to stop her, even among those on the left of the party. It could all boil over in the next few days and would be a major challenge to Jeremy."
Another source said: "Lansman is the only credible alternative to Formby and is the one that a lot of people would prefer. He is undoubtedly the stop Formby candidate."
Other names in the frame are Lisa Johnson of the GMB, and Anneliese Midgley, the political director of Unite who used to work in Mr Corbyn's office.
Jon Lansman is also a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, and was appointed to Labour's ruling NEC last month.