The steering committee at the head of left-wing group Momentum has unanimously voted to back Rebecca Long Bailey in the Labour leadership race.
The organisation’s national coordinating group (NCG) recommended that its approximately 40,000 members support Long Bailey as well as Angela Rayner for deputy leader.
The NCG said Long Bailey was the “only viable candidate” for leader able to build on the party’s “socialist agenda”.
The body also announced it would ballot its members on the recommendation.
The news followed a meeting of the NCG on Saturday to discuss the Labour leadership race. After “in-depth discussion” the group had decided to ballot its members on its top choices of Long Bailey and Rayner.
An email has been sent to all Momentum members announcing the plan, but it has been met with criticism by some who expected an open ballot.
Momentum’s statement said the group believes Long Bailey is the “only viable candidate who can build on our socialist agenda, deepen democracy in the party and unite all of our heartlands at the next election.”
Announcing support for Rayner, the statement said: “We need a leader and deputy leader who trust each other, work well together and will unite our party in opposition to the Tories.
An earlier version of the tweet was deleted by Momentum due to a wording error.