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.
“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…