The announcement was made yesterday evening – Wednesday 5 February – following a discussion by the MU Executive Committee (EC). As one of the 12 trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party, the MU can make a nomination for the Labour Party’s new Leader and Deputy Leader.
The decision to nominate Starmer as Leader and Allin-Khan for Deputy Leader was made by the EC – which is formed of democratically elected MU members – on the basis of the two politicians' proposed policies.
Starmer’s strong support
Horace Trubridge explained the MU’s decision to nominate Keir Starmer as Labour Party Leader:
“The MU is delighted to be nominating Keir Starmer for Labour Party leader.
“Keir has been a strong supporter of the campaigning we have done over the last two years for the proper provision of working visas for musicians to tour the EU after we leave, and has always shown a real understanding of the issues facing our members.”
Keir Starmer affirmed his commitment to working with the Union in his response to the MU’s nomination:
“I’m honoured to have the Musicians’ Union’s backing to be the next leader of the Labour Party.
“The Union has a proud history of standing up for musicians and defending their rights at work . As Labour leader, I would want to work shoulder-to-shoulder with our trade unions to unite our movement and take the fight to the Tories.”
Find out more about getting involved with Starmer's campaign.
Proud to support former MU member Rosena Allin-Khan
The MU is also endorsing Rosena Allin-Khan for Labour Deputy Leader.
Allin-Khan is a former MU member. The Union is proud to see her rise so far, and to support her as she continues fighting for young people to have a free musical education, amongst other issues for musicians.
Allin-Khan responded to the MU’s nomination by detailing the support she had received from the MU in the past, and pledging her commitment to the Union moving forward:
"I am so honoured to have received the endorsement of the Musicians' Union - they supported me through a challenging time when I was a young musician, and I am so pleased that they continue to support me now.
"Coming from a background of poverty, having the opportunity to benefit from a free musical education was transformative.
"I am truly committed to all children and young people having a free musical education, something that for most, is now prohibitively expensive.
“I am also worried about the impact of Brexit on performing artists and aspiring talent. At a time when musical education is so inaccessible, it is ever more important to have freedom of movement for musicians across Europe.
"I want to thank the Musicians' Union for their support and their endorsement. Let’s take Labour forward, together."
Find out more about getting involved in Allin-Khan's campaign.
What the MU’s nomination means
In order to take part in the leadership election, each candidate must secure the support of 21 MPs and MEPs, plus the backing of either 5% of local parties, or three affiliates – including two trade unions.
This means that the MU’s decision could influence who appears on the ballot paper of the upcoming leadership election.
However, it's the members, supporters and affiliated supporters of the Labour Party who will decide on the future leaders when the ballot opens on 21 February. Members of the MU who have registered with the Labour Party as affiliated supporters, or are members of the Labour party, will be eligible to vote.
In this case, it was not a viable option to ballot the full MU membership over who to nominate. There are numerous democratic process in place through which members can influence how the Union makes decision – including attending MU Conference, raising a motion and voting in committee members.
You can find out more about the Labour Party Leadership Elections on the Labour Party website.