Rumour Round-Up: Furthest Left Candidate Set for Unite Leadership Upset

It sounds like the race to be next Unite boss could be heading for a big upset as The Mirror and Huffington Post report the far-left Sharon Graham, an overlooked outsider, looks set to steal a win. According to The Mirrora sample of 8,000 votes spread across 22 tables showed her to have the largest pile on each. They point to a “formidable” grassroots campaign…

Back when Guido did his last runners & riders article, Sharon was seen as “unlikely to take the top prize this time”; which would more likely go to either the Unite establishment candidate Steve Turner, controversial left-wing McCluskey ally Howard Beckett, who dropped out to back Turner, or the Starmerite “right” candidate Gerard Coyne. The final result isn’t out until Thursday.

Sharon’s platform has included saying the union’s “obsession with the Labour party needs to end”:

“We need to move beyond the internal struggles of the Labour Party. Labour will likely be in opposition for most of the next decade and workers can’t afford to wait.

As General Secretary I make no bones about saying that I will not be giving out blank cheques to any politician or political party.”

Her offering won over the hard left Socialist Worker, who have argued her campaign “reflects a thirst for change in Unite.” She also won backing from the SWP and Socialist Party, something she praised…

The reaction inside Labour to the speculative news is interestingly split; on the one hand she’s on record saying “Keir Starmer has failed workers” and is threatening to cut off funding. On the other if she’s promising to move away from internal Labour politics she may prove quieter on some rows, which may save face for Starmer. A Labour insider tells Seb Payne “The moderates haven’t won, nor have the communists”…

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