Labour’s next general secretary looks certain to be Jennie Formby, an organiser for the Unite union, after the GMB union threw its considerable weight behind her candidacy.
Formby’s candidacy has been keenly promoted by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s office, and would complete Corbyn’s control of the most senior positions within the party. Other supportive Labour MPs of Formby’s candidacy include party chair Ian Lavery and Chris Williamson.
Other trade unions were originally worried about a Unite ‘stitch-up’ regarding the position of general secretary, with Momentum leader Jon Lansman initially putting himself forward as a protest against the “machine” politics within the Labour party.
However, Lansman withdrew his candidacy at the weekend and now with GMB’s backing Formby appears almost certain to get the post – which is voted on my members of the Labour party’s national executive committee.
The GMB’s general secretary Tim Roache said in a statement:
This isn’t a small decision, we’ve taken time as a union to discuss it, to think about where Labour needs to be.
GMB members first and foremost need a Labour government, and we need our party to understand us. Jennie has been a trade unionist for decades. I have no doubt she understands the challenges and issues working people face and that she’ll do everything she can to put them at the heart of Labour’s campaign for government.