Sunday 5 July 2015 10:05 am

Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn wins Unite backing, Andy Burnham second favourite of Britain's biggest union

Jeremy Corbyn has won the backing of Britain's biggest union in the contest to become the next leader of the Labour party.

Unite's executive committee has voted to support the left-wing candidate who is seeking to replace Ed Miliband.

The union, which lent support to Miliband in the last leadership race, also voted for Andy Burnham as its second preference as party leader.

Read more: Tories support Corbyn in bid to damage party

Unite said the support for Corbyn was in light of his policies aligning with the union.

Corbyn is standing against Burnham, Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper, who have all been taking part in hustings in recent weeks to gain party support.

"It is a great honour to receive Unite's nomination, and it underlines that this a serious campaign that has growing momentum,"said Corbyn.

"The leadership election is about one issue above others: whether we accept another five years of a race to the bottom based on cuts that destroy services and damage living standards, or whether we invest our way to a growth and fairness."

The union did not make a nomination for deputy leader, but said it would recommend its members support Tom Watson or Angela Eagle.