The boss of one of Britain's biggest unions has given a blistering account of the Labour leadership contest, rubbishing both Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper and denouncing lacklustre poll performer Liz Kendal as a 'Ukipper'.
Steve Hedley, general secretary of train drivers' union RMT, hailed frontrunner in the race to succeed Ed Miliband Jeremy Corbyn as "the only true Labour person" contesting the leadership, but gave a damning criticism of the Islington MP's three rivals.
In an interview with ex-MP George Galloway, Hedley claimed that Labour's shadow health secretary had "flip-flopped", first from being a 'Blairite' to a 'Brownite', before then conceding political ground to Corbyn in a bid to boost his waning popularity.
Rounding on Yvette Cooper, the union boss alleged she would be better suited to either the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats, while Liz Kendall, perceived by many as being the least left-leaning candidate, should leave Labour and instead become a member of Ukip.
"I don't think of any of them as true Labour people," he told Galloway in an LBC segment on Monday.
The controversial former Respect Party leader echoed Hedley's comments, branding Corbyn's competitors "a parade of speaking clocks".
"It's not just that Jeremy is good and true, and has stood the test of time, and deserves support for those reasons, but the opposition is really, really limited," Galloway deprecated.
"I mean if it were not for Jeremy, people would have fallen asleep long before by now. We have a parade of speaking clocks up against him!"
Hear the full interview below
The interview came as tensions between those trailing behind Corbyn intensified, campaign managers from both the Burnham and Cooper camps engaged in a bitter battle to position themselves as the candidate most likely person to beat him.
The shadow health secretary's campaign chief first called on Cooper's team to stop talking up the possibility of her becoming leader, arguing that “the Yvette campaign remains in complete denial as to the fact that they cannot possibly win”.