Sadiq Khan has avoided a challenge to his bid for re-election as Mayor of London after securing a rush of key nominations, HuffPost UK can reveal.
Rumours were rife that the mayor would face a threat from a left-winger after public spats with Jeremy Corbyn over the direction of the party.
But after winning backing from the GMB, it is thought Khan now has more than the 50% needed to remain on the ballot to seek a second term in City Hall in the 2020 poll.
The deadline for nominations for the Labour candidacy closes on September 30 but, as GMB is London Labour’s biggest affiliate, its nomination will push Khan over the line.
The vast majority of London CLPs back Khan also.
“All but two or three have endorsed Sadiq” a source said.
Warren Kenny, GMB London regional secretary said: “Two years ago Londoners elected Sadiq Khan as London Mayor by a thumping margin in the face of a nasty and divisive campaign from the Tories.
“Since he came to office our Mayor has consistently championed people living and working in London.
“We are proud to be giving GMB’s firm backing to Sadiq Khan to carry on the job of making London a fairer and more equal city.”
Khan clashed with the Labour leader over a speech he gave to conference in 2016, in which he repeatedly stressed that the party should be aiming to win power.
It was interpreted as a thinly-veiled attack on Corbyn’s moves to shift Labour to the left.
Khan’s official nomination comes after a tough term in office for the mayor, with spikes in violent crime and a housing crisis gripping the capital.
But GMB insisted that City Hall’s programme to build new council housing and social rent homes and Khan’s bid to crack down on dodgy landlords and initiatives to clean up London’s air won him its nomination.
Paul Maloney, GMB southern regional secretary added: “In the face of savage austerity and a Tory government, Sadiq has worked tirelessly as mayor to support Londoners.
“By investing in social and council housing, freezing transport fares and with record City Hall investment in the Met police to tackle gun and knife crime, Sadiq has shown he is on the side of London’s workers.”