Hartlepool MP Iain Wright is backing front-runner Andy Burnham in the race to be the Labour Party’s next leader, it was revealed today.
He is one of 53 MPs supporting the shadow health secretary’s bid to succeed Ed Miliband.
Mr Burnham has confirmed his place on the ballot paper by recording support from at least 35 MPs.
Figures published by Labour show Mr Burnham has been formally backed by 53 Commons colleagues since nominations opened this morning, ahead of shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper on 40 and shadow health minister Liz Kendall on 36 - including Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson.
Left-winger Jeremy Corbyn has been endorsed by 11 MPs - including Easington MP Grahame Morris - and shadow international development secretary Mary Creagh by just five.
Nominations are open until June 15, and the result of the election will be announced on September 12.