Rebecca Long-Bailey has made it on to Labour leadership ballot after securing backing from the Fire Brigades Union.
It means the shadow business secretary joins Sir Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy in guaranteeing that her name will be on the ballot when Jeremy Corbyn’s successor is elected on April 4.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “Our executive council has resoundingly voted to endorse Rebecca Long-Bailey as the leader Labour needs to take on this viciously right-wing, anti-worker Tory government.
“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.”
Speaking after it was confirmed she had made it through to the final round of the Labour leadership contest, Ms Long-Bailey said she would “not return to the politics of the past” if she succeeds Mr Corbyn.
The shadow business secretary 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 gentlemen’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.
“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.”