SHADOW Brexit secretary Keir Starmer has gained more union backing for his bid to become Labour Party leader. The early front-runner for the top job has been endorsed by the Community union.

The organisation backed shadow education secretary Angela Rayner for the post of deputy leader but also urged its members in constituency Labour parties (CLPs) to help ensure that Labour’s only MP in Scotland, Ian Murray, makes the final ballot for the deputy post.

READ MORE: Keir Starmer lays out Scottish independence stance

Candidates are required to have won the nomination of three Labour affiliates, including at least two unions, which amount to at least 5% of affiliate members. The only other route on to the ballot is by receiving nominations from at least 5% of CLPs.

Both Unison and Usdaw have already given Starmer their backing in the race to replace outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn in April. The latest union endorsement came as Starmer was calling for a radical redistribution of power, wealth and opportunity as he returned to the Labour leadership campaign trail. The shadow Brexit secretary was forced to cancel events when his mother-in-law was admitted to hospital following an accident last week. Resuming campaigning yesterday, he warned that urgent change is necessary to ward off a risk of the break-up of the United Kingdom after Brexit.

The Holborn and St Pancras MP will travel to Scotland, England and Wales in the coming days. He said: “We need to end the monopoly of power in Westminster and spread it across every town, city, region and nation of the United Kingdom. We have to end the status quo and put power, wealth and opportunity back into the hands of the people.

“We need a new constitutional settlement: a large-scale devolution of power and resources.”