The 17-year-old founder of the #Milifandom movement has endorsed Andy Burnham as the next leader of the Labour party, aides of the leadership candidate told BuzzFeed News.
Abby Tomlinson unexpectedly shot to fame when she started the #milifandom movement on Tumblr during the general election, turning Ed Miliband into an unlikely heartthrob. The former party leader thanked Tomlinson and her fellow supporters during his resignation speech as party leader.
Following heavy lobbying from all the leadership contenders, the unexpected star of the Labour party has decided to back Burnham in his battle for the Labour leadership.
"Out of all of the candidates, it was Andy who I found the most inspiring," said Tomlinson. "He listens to people and responds and we need someone with their ear to the ground like that. He isn't afraid to stand up for what he believes in."
"Andy stands the best chance of leading a united party. His bravery means he'll be able to take the fight to the Tories and stand up week after week at PMQs which is crucial."
Burnham was the early frontrunner in the contest but has slipped behind left-wing candidate Jeremy Corbyn in recent weeks, in part due to the support of an influx of young supporters who have joined the party in recent months. Burnham's team will be hoping the support of Tomlinson can reverse this trend.
Meanwhile the Burnham campaign have been trying to portray their candidate as the only one who could win support from the general public, as opposed to just Labour party members. On Friday night they released a poll of 1,001 individuals by US polling firm Research Now, which showed Burnham in the lead among ordinary Britons with an interest in the Labour leadership election.
The poll found 30% of the members of the ordinary public would vote for Andy Burnham, 24% of the public would vote for Jeremy Corbyn, 24% would back Yvette Cooper, and just 21% would vote for Liz Kendall to be Labour leader.
Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Jim Waterson at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.