By Claire West

With less than a week left before voting begins for the next Labour leader, the joint leaders of Unite have written to 400 000 members eligible to vote in the Labour leadership election urging them to support Ed Miliband.

Writing to union members who will be able to vote in the Labour leadership election, joint general secretaries, Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley state: "The election is about the future. It's about who can drive the Labour Party forward with a sense of purpose and direction to reconnect with the trade unionists and many ordinary people who used to vote Labour. It's about standing up for the millions hit by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition cuts. And it's about saying together we can create the better, fairer society we all want.

"Ed Miliband is the candidate we believe can take on the Con-Dem coalition and do the job Labour needs. "