Friday News Review

Union backing declared

The GMB Union has backed Ed Milliband for the Labour leadership

Several unions moved to give their backing to candidates for the Labour leadership yesterday as the campaign enters a potentially critical phase.The GMB became the first of the three big Labour-affiliated unions to nominate its choice, urging its 700,000 members to back Ed Miliband, the former climate change secretary. It will ballot all members on the candidates. – The Guardian

Mr Miliband also received support from construction union Ucatt yesterday. The Communication Workers Union swung behind Ed Balls and train drivers’ union Aslef backed Diane Abbott.Voting is split three ways: MPs and MEPs, trade unions and other affiliated organisations and thirdly grassroots activists. The two biggest unions – Unite and Unison – have yet to declare. – The Mirror

Ed Miliband has been given a huge boost in the Labour leadership contest after receiving the backing of one of the country’s largest unions. The younger Miliband has secured the endorsement of the GMB Union  –  which boasts 700,000 members. ‘The central executive committee of the GMB today agreed to nominate Ed Miliband as leader of the Labour Party and to call on all GMB members to vote for him when all members are given an opportunity to vote in a one-member-one-vote ballot,’ a spokesman said. – The Daily Mail

A significant development in the race for the Labour leadership this afternoon after the GMB union announced that it will be backing Ed Miliband. The GMB is one of “the big three” unions (the others are Unite and Unison) and their endorsement will give the younger Miliband some much-needed momentum. – The New Statesman

Ed goes South

Ed Miliband has made this kind of argument before, but this is the clearest exposition of it. I suspect that this traditionalist argument will chime well with a lot of voters. Few people want their high streets to be full of casinos and strip bars. Indeed, one of the things that boosted Gordon Brown’s popularity in his early months in power was his tougher line on super casinos and late night drinking. But Ed Miliband will have a hard time marking this out as distinctive political territory if he wins the leadership. – The Spectator

This evening, the younger of the Miliband brothers, was in Camberley as part of his campaign for the Labour Party leadership.  He wrote an article in the Times today headed “Change to win the South” in which he set out his views on why the Labour part lost its way in the South and so lost the election earlier this year.  The Labour party was reduced to 10 seats, down from the 59 seats in southern England they had in the 1997 General Election. – Camberley People


We support Harriet Harman‘s call for 50:50 gender balance in Labour‘s shadow cabinet (Report, 15 July). We are proud of the Labour party’s record in tackling inequality between women and men and in supporting families. But these achievements were too low on the agenda at the last election. Today, we are issuing a clear challenge to all the Labour leadership candidates. It is time to commit ourselves to taking radical steps to transform the party to become more representative and to win women’s votes, or face a long future in opposition. – Letters, The Guardian

Odds on

The Miliband brothers are dominating the betting markets

THE MILIBAND brothers have tightened their grip on the race to be Labour leader, according to Ladbrokes. The bookies offer just 1/14 that either Ed or David land the top party job – whilst the odds on Ed Balls, Andy Burnham and Diane Abbott have ALL been eased as support appears to dry up. David Williams of Ladbrokes said: “It increasingly looks like a family affair. The Milibands have an iron-grip on the race to be Labour leader and David is the one with all the momentum. His odds continue to shorten.” – Live odds and scores

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