UK Politics

TUC Views: Next Labour leader

The five candidates to be the next Labour leader have addressed union activists at the TUC Congress. But who are the delegates backing?

MARY HOWARD, NASUWT

Given our experience of working with him when he was education secretary, it has to be Ed Balls for me.

He commands people's respect and is well able to think about what to do in the future.

He's also very good with people. He went to the West Country recently and met a lad who had been writing to him. Ed had promised the lad that he would play the drums with him and, when he got there, he did exactly that.

Ed has also run a really good campaign. He would be a good leader.

MARK WALKER, RMT

I think all the candidates are very good.

The problem is that the hustings here has left me even more confused than I was before.

Of the five, David Miliband put the most compelling case. He exhibited a lot of the sort of strengths that we would be looking for in a prime minister.

But I'm still going to have to think further about my choice.

SUZANNA DOLATA, GMB AND UNITE

I support Ed Miliband and I always have, right through the contest.

He's my neighbour in London - and he's a good neighbour. Everyone in the area wants him to win, even the people at the local curry house.

Ed Miliband is the only one who's saying that we need to understand why we lost the last election and what we need to do to be able to win the next one.

Diane Abbott would be my third choice as she's a bit different from the others. I'm still thinking about my second choice - either David Miliband or Ed Balls.

PETER WHEELER, UNITE

I thought they were all very good. They all had a good message but the one I'm backing is Andy Burnham.

I like him. I've backed him all the way since the leadership contest began.

He's a good man who has the right policies and I think he would make a great leader of the Labour Party.

MARZA DETHICK, UNISON

I like David Miliband. The way he speaks and acts is very leader-like.

I like Ed Miliband as well and, as I'm still waiting for my ballot paper to arrive, I've had plenty of time to think about things.

But in the end it's definitely going to be one of the Miliband brothers.

HOPKIN THOMAS, NASUWT

I've already voted and the person I went for was Ed Miliband.

He is the candidate with the greatest chance of winning and still representing the core of what the Labour Party should be all about.

I also like Andy Burnham but he didn't have enough support to win. In fact, if Andy hadn't stood, I think Ed Miliband would have taken much of his support and it would have made it easier for Ed to win.

When it comes to Diane Abbott, I don't think her appearances on TV with Michael Portillo have helped her. It's not as bad as when Charles Kennedy appeared on Have I Got News For You when he was Lib Dem leader, but it hasn't helped her standing. It doesn't make you look like as much of a leader.

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