“PROUD SOCIALIST” Leigh Drennan won the support of shadow education secretary Angela Rayner when he entered the race to lead Labour’s youth wing today.
Mr Drennan, a councillor in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, has been a key figure in the left’s efforts to democratise Young Labour over recent years.
Having served on the organisation’s national committee since 2016, he announced today that he would stand to be its next chair.
For the first time Young Labour members will vote in a one member, one vote (OMOV) ballot for the top job, rather than at a delegate conference.
“It was my proposal to Labour’s NEC that delivered the OMOV system that will be used to elect our next chair,” he said.
“Despite hostility, we were able to deliver the largest transfer of power to young members since Young Labour was founded.
“As your chair I’ll campaign to drive up union membership among young people and will always support our unions in dispute.”
Mr Drennan has been endorsed by left group Momentum, along with the youth section of his union Unite, as well as those of GMB, TSSA and BFAWU.
Ms Rayner said Mr Drennan had “cut his teeth in the trade union movement and this is reflected in his socialist politics.”
She added: “I’m proud to call him a close friend, and I believe he is the best candidate to be chair of Young Labour.”
GMB activist Lara McNeill was backed by Momentum earlier this week to be the youth rep on Labour’s NEC. Both candidates are likely to face opponents from Labour’s organised right, but none has declared so far.
Voting, for under-27s, will be open from February 19 until March 16.
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