Red Len: Second Referendum Threatens “Democratic Fabric” of the UK

Len McCluskey has come out with the most robust line yet from someone close to the Labour leader against a second referendum, telling Peston that trying to “deflect away” from the result of the 2016 referendum “would threaten the whole democratic fabric on which we operate”.

Meanwhile John McDonnell was busy doing the opposite and talking up the possibility of a second referendum last night, when he wasn’t attacking Churchill. A deliberate two-pronged strategy from Corbyn’s inner circle or signs of genuine splits emerging?

Len and Seumas in Fyne Company at New Year Bash with Karie Murphy

The left’s head honchos have never been adverse to a good party and this New Year was no exception with Unite boss Len McCluskey and Seumas Milne celebrating in style at the luxury Loch Fyne Hotel & Spa in Inveraray for a cool £429 a head. Len donned his not-very-proletarian black tie for the celebrations, Seumas looked more avant garde in a black turtleneck and chinos:

It wasn’t just a trip for the boys, Corbyn’s chief of staff Karie Murphy was also there to enjoy the Hogmanay celebrations on the shores of Loch Fyne. Close friends Len and Karie were spied holding hands on the way out of the bar and Guido’s kilt-wearing co-conspirator reports that the pair shared a room together. No doubt having late night policy discussions.

Len and Seumas were also spotted at what was billed as the “Chef’s Gala New Year’s Eve Dinner”

UPDATE: The “blonde” sat opposite Seumas is apparently Samantha Hemsley, partner at Thompson’s and Unite assistant general-secretary Howard Beckett’s long term relationship.

UPDATE II: Samantha Hemsley has contacted us to make clear she did not attend the event as Seumas Milne’s guest.

“I can confirm I am not in a long term ‘relationship’ with Howard Beckett. He is a close friend.”

A previous version of this story misidentified her picture. Apologies for the confusion.

 

Len on the People’s Vote

Len McCluskey on a second referendum…

“We’ve had a People’s Vote, they voted to leave.”

Denial of Anti-Semitism is Normalised on Labour Fringe

Multiple Labour fringe events are to be addressed by the union boss who suggested the Labour anti-Semitism row was ‘created’ by Israel.

“Now I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but I’ll tell you what – one of the best forms of trying to hide from the atrocities that you are committing is to go on the offensive and to actually create a story that does not exist for people on this platform, the trade union movement or, I have to say, for the leader of the Labour Party.”

Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the PCS Union, who publicly insinuated anti-semitism is “a story that does not exist” in the Labour Party, will be speaking at:

  • Labour and Palestine’s ‘Speaking Up for Palestine’ alongside Len McCluskey and Richard Burgon.
  • CLASS’s ‘Review Of The Year’ alongside Owen Jones and Clive Lewis.
  • Public and Commercial Services Union’s ‘Social Security Under a Labour Government – What Would Need To Change’, alongside John McDonnell.

Labour are normalising people who deny that their anti-semitism problem exists. This shouldn’t be considered normal…

Unite Threaten to Sue Jewish Member Who Raised Concerns

Just when you would have thought that the left would be trying to rebuild bridges with the Jewish community, Unite have responded to a member’s legitimate concerns about anti-semitism by threatening to sue the Jewish complainant, David Levene. Unite officially are warning “be advised that legal advice is now being sought in relation to this public accusation levelled at our general secretary”. If Unite’s Andrew Murray really goes down this route they are crazy…

Red Len’s Mixed Messages

Awkward listening for Jezza at Unite Policy Conference which is meeting today in Brighton. Red Len told delegates:

“My message is to Jeremy and our comrades in the party leadership. We all know that the next election is far from in the bag. We know that we need to do more to expand our support, including among those who should have voted Labour last year. And it is plain that one problem is a weakness in some industrial areas outside the big cities, among older working-class voters in particular…Test every policy against how it is going to play in Walsall and Wakefield, Mansfield and Middlesbrough, Glasgow and Gateshead”

Better to address that message to Shadow Cabinet remainers…

Not sure how that squares with Len’s other intervention today: he said Unite would back a Second Referendum if its members demand one. Corbyn has set his face against the idea. Unite’s out-of-touch officer class sending mixed messages to the rank and file…

Red Len To Face Full Hearing Over UNITE’s Election Shenanigans

Retired high court judge Jeffrey Burke QC, acting on behalf of the Certification Officer has ruled that UNITE were entitled to call the controversial recent election. There will now follow a full week-long hearing in June. The judge will hear arguments about the 10 complaints made by challenger Gerard Coyne to the Certification Officer, the unions’ watchdog, about the conduct of the election. There are a lot of allegations about murky goings on

Corbyn Aide ‘Wrote Len’s Piece Calling Anti-Semitism a Smear’

Len McCluskey’s now infamous New Statesman article dismissing anti-Semitism as a “smear” and threatening Labour MPs who spoke in the anti-Semitism debate with deselection was actually written by Corbyn aide Andrew Murray, Jon Craig reports. Murray is Len’s chief of staff at Unite but is also a “part-time consultant” in Corbyn’s office. Readers will remember the former Communist Party member’s other greatest hits include defending Stalin, the Soviet Union and North Korea, celebrating the Russian Revolution and repeatedly parroting Kremlin talking points. Craig says he has had it “confirmed by a top union source” that Murray was the author of McCluskey’s article. Corbyn publicly says that anti-Semitism stories are not a smear and praises the MPs who spoke out about abuse. Privately his aides are writing articles saying it is a smear and threatening them with deselection… 

UPDATE: Unite dispute Jon Craig’s top union source and insist Len wrote it himself.

Len Threatens Labour MPs Who Speak Out Against Anti-Semitism

Jeremy Corbyn says the Labour anti-Semitism stories are not a smear – well Len McCluskey hasn’t got the memo. The Unite boss has written a sinister article for the New Statesman condemning the Labour MPs who spoke out against anti-Semitism in parliament, and threatening them with deselection. Len accuses Chris Leslie, Neil Coyle, John Woodcock, Wes Streeting and Ian Austin of “sustained smearing” of Corbyn. He concludes: “Promiscuous critics must expect to be criticised, and those who wish to hold Corbyn to account can expect to be held to account themselves”.

Wes Streeting responds:

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: no abuse, intimidation or threats of deselection will prevent me from voicing the concerns of my Jewish constituents about antisemitism in the Labour Party.”

Neil Coyle says:

“Jeremy says antisemitism must be tackled. Len claims it doesn’t exist. Undermining the leader and Party efforts to tackle the problem.”

Corbyn’s article in the Evening Standard yesterday is worth nothing when he allows his outriders to continue to dismiss anti-Semitism as a smear…

UPDATE: Tory MP Andrew Percy:

“To suggest that Labour MPs who have been threatened with rape, violence and threatened in thousands of aggressive and anti-semitic tweets, are somehow making it up to get at Jeremy Corbyn is disgusting. Len McCluskey is an outrider for Corbyn and this is further confirmation that far from doing anything to stamp out this racism in our politics, Labour plan to continue being a safe space for anti-semites and bullies. What do you expect from a party endorsed by former BNP leader, Nick Griffin?”

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…

Len on Winning

Len McCluskey speaks from the Corbynista alternative universe:

“To the whingers and whiners who say we didn’t win, I say this. We did win.”

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’s Aide Handed Safe Labour Seat

Len McCluskey’s bag-carrier Dan Carden has been selected as the Labour Party candidate in Liverpool Walton. You’re either in front of Guido… as we reported two weeks ago, Len had been trying to stitch the seat up for his aide…

Len Tries to Stitch Up Liverpool Walton For His Bag-Carrier

A Labour HQ source says Len McCuskey’s bag-carrier Dan Carden is trying to secure the selection in Steve Rotheram’s soon to be vacated seat of Liverpool Walton. Unite are trying to use their sway on Labour’s NEC to have Carden imposed as the candidate – remember all Labour selections are dictated centrally by the NEC. Other Labour candidates battling Carden for the seat include Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson and Angela Eagle’s former aide Dan Hughes, who somewhat bizarrely also worked on Corbyn’s leadership campaign. Carden is a true believer, on the loony wing of the loony left…

Len and Seumas’ Champagne Celebration

Allies of Len McCluskey mocked Gerard Coyne and Labour Blairites earlier by claiming they would be drowning their sorrows with “Peroni and chablis”. Well, tonight Red Len is drinking champagne at a victory party with Seumas Milne and a who’s who of lefties at Boot and Flogger by London Bridge. A bar in the heart of the City, famous for serving champagne in tankards…

UPDATE: The cheapest bottle of champagne at Len’s victory party is £51. The group have got through 20+ bottles of bubbly as of 8:52pm.

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

Unite Election’s “Independent” Overseer Supports Len McCluskey

As Unite’s bitterly fought general secretary election reaches its endgame, Guido can reveal the “independent commissioner” chosen to oversee complaints about the ballot once wrote in support of candidate Len McCluskey. In an article for OpenDemocracy website, Ewing defended Len McCluskey from a negative Guardian editorial on Unite’s leadership:

“After the vigour and excitement of the student demonstrations against the cuts, today’s Guardian leader derides Unite’s new general secretary Len McCluskey as a ‘Bourbon’. Why? Because he proposes trade union action and strikes rather than defeatist acceptance of the government’s unjust and counter-productive deficit reduction plans… What does the Guardian editorial team – embedded in secure jobs in a plush new office – expect of trade union leaders in the face of the most swingeing attacks on jobs and services in a generation… “

Professor Keith Ewing has numerous other connections to Red Len:

Unite rules state:

“The union’s rules provide for an independent Election Commissioner to adjudicate on complaints by candidates or the Executive Council. This is Professor Keith Ewing. Both the Returning Officer and Professor Ewing can be reached through the union’s Head Office.”

Len has cronies in the right places…

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…

Len: Karie and I Just Friends

This week’s New Statesman cover story on Labour (worth a read) contained an interesting nugget on relations between Len McCluskey and Karie Murphy, the courtesan in the court of Corbyn. When published yesterday the piece referred to Karie as Len’s “partner“, now it calls her his “close friend”.

Guido hears the famously litigious Len was particularly upset and ordered the article to be amended. Len’s spinner insists there were “no lawyers at all”, just a polite request for a correction. Surely everyone knows the correct journalistic style for Len and Karie is “close friends”…

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.[…] Read the rest

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