Union Regulator Told McCluskey Broke Rules in Unite Election

Trade unions regulator the Certification Officer has been told Len McCluskey allegedly broke Unite rules in the bitter General Secretary election he narrowly won last year. Red Len defeated Gerard Coyne by just over 5,000 votes last April. Now in proceedings brought by Coyne the regulator is being asked to assess whether McCluskey:

  • Acted improperly by calling a contest for a post despite the fact there was no vacancy;
  • Used members’ money to resource and staff his campaign, fund his election and travel around the country;
  • Used his position as general secretary to gain an unfair advantage;
  • Retained control over Unite and had full time staff working for his re-election campaign during the months when he claimed to have resigned.

Coyne said:

“Mr McCluskey styled himself during the campaign as ‘General Secretary of Unite’ when he was a candidate in an election he had called for his own benefit. He used the machinery of Unite to gain an unfair advantage…

“Did he know that he was breaking his union’s rules?  If he did not know, that was gross incompetence. If he knew, and thought he would get away with it, it was worse than incompetent; it showed contempt for the union and its members”.

The verdict follows after Easter. If Unite’s rules are found to have been broken the election will be declared null and void and a new contest will take place…

Coyne: Danger of Purges in Labour Party

Coyne Investigation Led by Corbyn’s Commie Chum

Gerard Coyne, who challenged Len McCluskey for the leadership of Unite, has been sacked from his job as a regional organiser for the union. A kangaroo court led by McCluskey and Corbyn’s communist ally Andrew Murray – who now works for Jez – dismissed Coyne on trumped up charges. The election returning officer from Electoral Reform Services – the independent organisation which conducted the poll – had already ruled that there was no breach of the rules. Coyne said in a statement:

“The disciplinary hearing was nothing more than a show trial and the irony not lost on me that Mr McCluskey’s chief of staff, Andrew Murray – a self-confessed admirer of Joseph Stalin – was the investigator and decision maker on the charge I was dismissed for. It is beyond parody that I, as a 30-year member of the Labour Party, should be accused of harming Unite-Labour relations by Mr Murray, a member of the Communist Party for 40 years. It is a public warning to any member of Unite’s staff who is thinking of challenging the way the McCluskey gang run the union: ‘step out of line, and you will be out of a job’. Political dissent is not tolerated inside Unite.”

Coyne says he will appeal. He should complain to his union…

Len Purges Coyne

On the day the votes in the Unite leadership election are counted, Len McCluskey’s rival Gerard Coyne has been suspended from his role as regional secretary in the West Midlands. He remains a Unite union member in good standing and still eligible to become general secretary. It’s said to be a very tight indeed, there are rumours among Labour moderates that Coyne is ahead in the early counting…

A Coyne spokesman said:

“We can confirm that Gerard has been suspended from his position as West Midlands Regional Secretary of Unite the Union. We will not be commenting further at this stage.

The hard left never changes…

UPDATE: Email sent to Unite members:

Dear Colleagues

This is to advise that Gerard Coyne has been suspended from his duties as Regional Secretary pending an investigation into certain issues which have arisen.  I will be continuing as Acting Regional Secretary whilst this investigation takes place.  The investigation is, of course, being conducted under procedure, and it should not be assumed that any offence has necessarily been committed.  You will appreciate that it is not possible to comment further on this matter.

Yours

Des Quinn
Acting Regional Secretary

Ballot Balls-Ups: Admin Errors Plague Unite Election

A Unite member was confused on receiving a voting pack for the union’s general secretary election which mistakenly included two candidate statements by Len McCluskey – instead of one each from Len and contender Gerard Coyne. The candidate statements leaflet was a Len-only document…

Meanwhile, ballot papers were mailed to Unite members for the National Young Members’ seat on the Executive Council. That mail-shot was sent again when the Union realised it had broken the ‘spirit’ of its own rule book…

Last year Unite acting general secretary Gail Cartmail wrote of the early general secretary election:

“The decision was taken by the union’s executive council in order to save the union about £1m by aligning the ballot with that for the union’s executive council.”

A lot seems to be going on postage…

Pro-Len Activists Binning and Burning Coyne Mailshots

A member of Unite’s ruling body has bragged about burning election mailshots sent by Len McCluskey challenger Gerard Coyne, prompting suspicions that a concerted effort is underway to block Coyne campaign materials from reaching members while voting is underway. One pro-Len account posted a video showing an activist throwing Coyne materials into the back of a refuse truck. Meanwhile, Ivan Monckton, who sits on Unite’s executive council, tweeted that “the pack of stuff” he received from Coyne’s campaign “went on fire”…

Another member of the executive council, Kate Osborne, sent a similar tweet. And here a Unite shop steward boasts of binning Coyne leaflets intended for his members… 

A source told Guido:

“There’s been enough of these incidents in the past few days to know it’s not a coincidence. Two weeks ago Len’s chums threatened to sue their own members if they handed out our newspaper. Now it looks like they will stoop to any level to interfere with the democratic functioning of the election by trying to stop Gerard’s message reaching the members. It’s desperate stuff and shows they have realised they are losing.”

Red Len’s footsoldiers doing his dirty work…

Pro-Len Unite Insider Sending Anti-Semitic Tweets to Coyne

Well this is certainly a curious one. An anonymous Twitter account going by the name “Union bloke” has been sending Red Len’s rival Gerard Coyne a slew of anti-Semitic tweets. You might think anonymous anti-Semitic abuse is part and parcel of hard-left politics, yet there is something different about “Union bloke”. Other tweets from the account include internal union documents which Unite sources say would only be available to serving, high-ranking officials in the union. A Unite source tells Guido:

@1UnionBloke is internally believed to be a senior official in the Unite union. He has also tweeted details of the location of Gerard’s home, including a picture, which is particularly sinister.

Screenshots taken before the account was deleted also reveal it was followed by senior Unite officials and activists including Len McCluskey’s baby momma Jennie Formby. It would appear that someone relatively senior in Unite is sending racist abuse to opponents of Red Len…

Mirror in McCluskey’s Pocket

Daily Mirror readers could be forgiven for knowing little of the bitter battle for control of Britain’s biggest trade union Unite. The paper once had a proud history of covering union politics, yet the contest between Len McCluskey and Gerard Coyne barely makes it into the paper – much to the annoyance of leftie hacks and union tankies alike. Unite’s £400,000 contribution towards McCluskey’s swanky London pad was for some reason not deemed newsworthy…

Canary Wharf insiders believe the problem lies with the management’s desire to keep on receiving oodles of Unite cash signed off by Red Len. One Mirror source said:  

“Unite probably hand over between £50,000 and £100,000 a year in term of various types of sponsorship, helping with the wage bill, advertising etc. It is any wonder they don’t write a bad word about McCluskey or the battle to get rid of him?  It’s a travesty and a betrayal of the readers.”

Ros Wynne-Jones’ weekly “Real Britain” column contains numerous plugs for causes and events championed by Unite. At the bottom of her page each week there is a message to say her musings are “in association with Unite the Union”. Hacks at the paper believe the Unite cash could be enough to fund Wynne-Jones’ salary. The Mirror is one of the few papers left with an industrial correspondent. Along with transport and education, Mark Ellis is supposed to cover the unions, though he seems strangely reticent to write about McCluskey at all – despite his strong Unite links. McCluskey’s union was coincidentally on hand to help fund free booze at the Mirror’s Labour conference knees-up…

The few stories about the Unite leadership battle between McCluskey and Coyne that have made it into the Mirror have included the following gems:

  • On Monday March 6th Kevin Maguire column’s column revealed: “Unite supremo “Red Len” McCluskey is hot favourite to be re-elected leader of the country’s largest trade union after winning huge support
  • On Thursday March 2nd Mirror readers were told: “Len has 82% Unite backing
  • On Tuesday March 7th the paper quoted McCluskey saying he would “work night and day” to fight for Vauxhall staff whose jobs were in danger

Mirror readers and the union members the paper claims to champion will have to look elsewhere if they want more than the odd pro-Len puff piece…

Skeletons in McCluskey’s Closet: Anti-Len Protest at Unite

A protest took place outside Unite’s headquarters this morning exposing the skeletons in Len McCluskey’s closet. Gerard Coyne-supporting Unite members brandished four life-size skeletons bearing the stories McCluskey doesn’t want to talk about during the election campaign: “Luxury Apartment”, “Subs Up Services Down”, “Loans to Jeremy Corbyn” and “Cling on Till I’m 71”.

The demonstration was timed to coincide with a meeting of the union’s executive. Len was supposed to attend but was nowhere to be seen.

Around 20 pro-Len activists attempted to stage a counter-protest, trying to cover the skeletons with placards, chasing both anti-Len protesters and the press pack up and down the road.

Asked if McCluskey had organised the counter-protest, one said: “This is nothing to do with Len McCluskey, this is a spontaneous action.” Red Len’s footsoldiers couldn’t prevent the skeletons in his closet being exposed…

Red Len Loses Unite’s Parliamentary Branch Nomination

There was a packed room for the Unite Parliamentary Branch nomination meeting just now. Despite the presence of members of the Labour leader’s office including Corbyn’s trade union liason official – Nancy Platt – and the thumbscrews being applied by Karie Murphy and Jon Lansman with a crowd from Momentum’s HQ who don’t even work in parliament, the result was 35 to 25 in favour of the moderate candidate, Gerard CoyneA symbolic defeat for Len McCluskey….

McCluskey’s Contempt of Parliament: Commons Investigation Launched

Moderate Labour MP Wes Streeting has asked the Leader of the House to investigate a covert recording of a meeting of Labour MPs with “trade union leaders”. David Lidington says he is going to probe this breach of parliamentary rules. In theory if the spy is identified they could be found in contempt of parliament and imprisoned in the cellroom by the Serjeant at Arms…

This is all related to Len McCluskey‘s fight for the leadership of Unite with Gerard Coyne. Their enmity dates back to a move reminiscent of a Stalinist show trial to implement ‘people’s justice’, with McCluskey disciplining his leadership rival, Gerard Coyne, as a punishment for addressing a group of Labour MPs in parliament “without permission”.

McCluskey gave Coyne a “final written warning” for speaking at an event held in parliament by Labour for the Common Good. The continuity New Labour group founded by Chuka Umunna and Tristram Hunt is an organisation that McCluskey says does not fit with “Unite’s political vision”. Following the disciplinary hearing McCluskey found that Coyne was guilty of a breach of trust and gave him a final written warning. The evidence at that disciplinary hearing was based on a recording…

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