LABOUR leadership contender Rebecca Long-Bailey has made light of a false report that she is married to a multi-millionaire.

The shadow business secretary reacted with amusement after the Guido Fawkes political website mixed up her husband with a man who has the same name and a major shareholding in a chemical company. Long-Bailey has made much play of her humble beginnings in the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn, stressing her past experiences such as working in a pawn shop and call centres before becoming a lawyer.

The Salford and Eccles MP, 40, has positioned herself as the most socialist of the six contenders so far declared for the contest. Long-Bailey has insisted she is best placed to reconnect with working class voters who deserted the party in large numbers at the December General Election.

The website admitted it had got things wrong and apologised for the mistake. It tweeted: “Apologies, we screwed up. We got the wrong Bailey. Two Steve Baileys working in the chemical industry. A lesson to us to never follow up leads from Wikipedia.”

Meanwhile, Keir Starmer has secured the backing of enough Labour MPs to enter the second stage of the Labour leadership contest.

Candidates need nominations from 10% of Labour MPs and MEPs – which total 212, making the required threshold 22.

The latest figures show the shadow Brexit secretary has 26 nominations, placing him well ahead of his main rival, Long-Bailey, who is on nine so far. He was given the added boost of being backed by Unison, the country’s largest union, in a move that means Starmer is almost certain to get his name onto the ballot paper.

The union also threw its support behind deputy leadership candidate and shadow education secretary Angela Rayner.

According to figures published yesterday, backbencher Jess Phillips has seven nominations, while Wigan MP Lisa Nandy has six. Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has two nominations so far, and Clive Lewis has none.

Nominations from MPs and MEPs close on Monday, January 13. Candidates who receive enough nominations will then enter phase two of the contest, where they have to secure the backing of 5% of constituency Labour branches or at least three affiliate groups, two of which must be maid up of trade unions, to get onto the final ballot paper and face election by the membership.

Unison’s backing of Starmer provides him with further momentum at the start of the campaign.

The decision was taken by the union’s Labour Link committee, which is made up entirely of Labour members.

General secretary Dave Prentis said: “This is a pivotal time for Labour.

“We believe – if elected by the membership – Keir Starmer would be a leader to bring the party together and win back the trust of the thousands of voters who deserted Labour last month.

“Keir has a clear vision to get Labour back to the winning ways of the past.

“He is best placed to take on Boris Johnson, hold his Government to account and ensure Labour can return to power and once more change working people’s lives for the better.”

Starmer said he was “honoured” to receive the union’s backing, adding: “I want to lead a Labour Party that will stand side-by-side with trade unionists. United we can rebuild our party, take the fight to the Tories and win.”