By politics.co.uk staff
Alistair Darling has thrown his weight behind David Miliband to become Labour leader, just days before the deadline for nominations.
In a letter to his constituency party, the shadow chancellor wrote: "David is a leader.
"He has the judgment and gravitas to make tough decisions. I have seen David up close - I know he can lead."
David's brother, Ed Miliband, is also picking up heavyweight support in the party, including Peter Hain, John Denham and Hilary Benn.
But the intervention of the shadow chancellor is a major trophy for David Miliband and the two men are now expected to appear at campaign events together.
"[David Miliband] has the right Labour values, with a deep commitment to equality," Mr Darling wrote.
"He has the ability to inspire the party with a compelling vision for the future, returning to our roots as a social movement for change. He has the maturity and humility to bring together different talents irrespective of whether they supported him.
"He will re-engage Labour with the public, particularly those with whom we have lost touch. He was a great talent in the Cabinet, standing up for what he thought was right and driving through the tough decisions. He built strong relations with leaders around the world. My counterparts knew and respected him."
Eighty-two MPs have yet to nominate a candidate for the leadership. The period for nominations ends next Thursday.