Red Robbo Dead

Infamous trade unionist Derek ‘Red Robbo’ Robinson died yesterday, aged 90. Red Robbo was one of the best-known trade unionists of the 70s, and was involved in around 500 disputes at British Leyland’s Longbridge works. Guido would have said that after Thatcher we’d never see his like again. If Corbyn gets in however…

Police Consider Action Against Scandal-Hit Lavery

Police are poised to investigate scandal-hit Labour chairman Ian Lavery after he received £165,000 from a 10 member trade union which he ran before becoming an MP. A Newsnight investigation broadcast earlier this month found the socialist hardliner enriched himself via mortgage transactions over the 18 year period when he was General Secretary of the NUM Northumberland Area. The revelations followed an earlier investigation by the Sunday Times’ James Lyons who exposed how Lavery benefited from a miners’ benevolent fund. A report by trade unions regulator the Certification Office raised questions over a string of mortgage transactions and a “severance payment” of nearly £90,000…

A Northumbria Police spokesman said:

 “Northumbria Police had previously received a complaint which was recorded and put on hold to allow an investigation by the Certification Office. Following the outcome of this investigation Northumbria will review the findings of the Certification Office’s report, which has now been received to establish if any further action is required by the force.”

A spokesman for Ian Lavery said he was “unaware of any police investigation”. Another Labour MP to lose the whip? Or will Jez keep his mate on…

Corbyn Stands By Disgraced Lavery

Labour Party chairman and top Corbynista Ian Lavery is one of the biggest wrong ‘uns in Westminster. If there was any natural justice in Labour they would have sacked him when the Sunday Times’ James Lyons exposed how he shamelessly benefited from a miners’ benevolent fund. Last night Newsnight’s John Sweeney had more: Lavery received £165,000 from a 10 member trade union which he ran before becoming an MP. Their investigation finds the disgraced socialist hardliner enriched himself via mortgage transactions over the 18 year period when he was General Secretary of the NUM Northumberland Area. He also took a huge redundancy package before his election in 2010. Trade unions regulator the Certification Office found:

  • 1994: The Northumberland Provident and Benevolent fund lends Lavery £72,500 to buy a house. In 2007 the union forgave the loan, leaving Lavery £72,500 richer…
  • Lavery also kept £18,000 from an endowment fund associated with the mortgage;
  • 2005: Lavery sells 15% of his house to the union for £36,000. By 2014 the value of the house had fallen. He bought the stake back from the union for £27,500. A notional profit of £8,500…
  • 2010: On stepping down from the NUM Northumberland Area, Lavery receives “termination payments” totalling £89,887.83. Quite some termination package…

As Sweeney reports:

“The regulator says that neither Mr Lavery nor the union could provide documentary evidence of the process or the decision by which Mr Lavery was made redundant – or why, given he was leaving for a job as an MP, he needed any redundancy payments at all.”

In total Lavery stands accused of creaming off £165,000 from the union. Lavery is inside Corbyn’s inner circle. It makes a mockery of everything Jez claims to stand for that he has kept his broacialist brother in the tent despite a scandal which should have ended his career several times over. Indeed the Leader’s Office has given him a raft of promotions along the way. Is there anything Ian Lavery could do that would convince Corbyn to sack him?

Corbyn Suggests He Backs Illegal Strikes

Think that was 10 times Corbyn refuses to answer if he supports illegal strikes. A frustrated Marr responds: “What’s happened to Jeremy Corbyn that you can’t answer my questions?”

UPDATE: If anything Corbyn suggested he does back illegal strikes:

Khan Chooses Union Backers Over 3.5 Million Londoners

Faced with the choice between 3.5 million Londoners and his taxi union backers, Sadiq chose the unions. Khan promised he would not be a mayor for vested interests, well he has just hit Londoners in the pocket to please his GMB union backers who have been running the campaign against Uber. And he has delighted his militant LTDA union chum Steve Macnamara:

Londoners seeing first hand what a Labour mayor in hoc to the unions does for them…

Unite Hired Vicki ‘Hitler is Zionist God’ Kirby

A former Labour parliamentary candidate who was twice suspended from the party for anti-Semitic comments is now working for Unite as a regional officer. Guido can reveal that Vicki Kirby has been hired by Len McCluskey’s trade union despite her notorious history of anti-Semitic statements. In 2014 Kirby was ditched as a Labour PPC after a string of disturbing tweets where she suggested Hitler is the “Zionist God”:

Kirby was Vice Chair of Woking Labour Party, and refused to step down even as she was reported to the police by a fellow party official. She was suspended for a second time following another Guido story

Now Kirby is understood to be working for Unite, based in the union’s South East regional office. Kirby was contacted multiple times and put the phone down on Guido when we attempted to speak to her.  A Unite spokesman said: “We do not comment on staffing matters.” Remarkable that Unite won’t comment on this woman being on their payroll…

UPDATE: Guido understands Kirby has now left Unite. A Unite spokesman said: “While do not comment on staffing matters as a matter of course, Vicki Kirby is not employed by Unite.”

Unite Advertising “Self-Employed” Branch Manager Job

Given Jeremy Corbyn’s proclamations on workers’ rights at PMQs, Guido is intrigued by this new job advert from his Unite paymasters. The union are hiring branch organisers to work out of their offices in North London. Though rather than giving their employees contracts, Unite are offering the jobs only on “self-employed” terms. That means no national insurance contributions, pension, sick pay or holiday pay. Isn’t this the sort of “bogus self-employment” Corbyn and Unite campaign against? So much for looking after their union brothers…

Gun-Wielding RMT Union Boss Backs “Militants” to Take Out Blairite “C***s”

Readers will remember RMT union boss Steve Hedley, a Corbynista who ignored the kinder, gentler mantra to call fellow Labour members “careerist little sh*ts” and “right wing traitors”. Hedley had to serve a suspension from the Labour Party, though they let him back in earlier this year. Seems he has not learned his lesson. Agreeing with a Facebook friend’s complaint that the Scottish Labour Party is full of “Brownite and Blairite c***s who can’t wait to drive the knife in JC’s back”, Hedley called for “working class militants” to “clean house”.

The RMT is set to re-affiliate to the Labour Party since they love Jezza so much. Steve Hedley is the RMT’s assistant general secretary and a Labour Party member. Keeping the compliance unit busy…

UPDATE: A reader writes:

Interesting picture of Steve Hedley on today’s blog. He might think he’s holding a Russian AK 47, to go with his Red Army hat – when in fact he’s holding a WW2 STG 44 ’Sturmgewehr’ – a (Nazi) German assault rifle. Do you think he knows, or is he really trying to tell us something?

Taylor Report Coverage Hijacked by Union Sock Puppets

Coverage of this morning’s Taylor review of the gig economy was hijacked by Corbynista trade union activists, Guido can reveal. Sky News and the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme interviewed two Deliveroo riders, each of whom were presented as representative of ordinary workers, but are in fact hard-left organisers for the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB). Meanwhile, Wired ran a piece headlined “a courier’s view” written by another IWGB organiser. The union supported Corbyn’s leadership bid, and both Corbyn and McDonnell has spoken on IWGB demos. Like the wheel of a Deliveroo bicycle, all the contributors did was spin…

The rider featured in Wired, Guy McClenahan, refers to himself on social media as a “communist“. He branded Conservative voters “c****” and suggested Theresa May wants to hunt poor people with dogs. Wired neglect to provide this context…

Ben Geraghty, captioned on Sky as a “Deliveroo driver“, has been referred to by the IWGB as “one of our key activists“. He has been supported by the highly controversial anarchist Class War group who smashed up a Shoreditch cafe in response to the “gentrification” of the area. No mention of that in the Sky interview…

Megan Brown, captioned on Victoria Derbyshire as “courier for food delivery company” is in fact the IWGB courier branch chair. Buzzfeed reported that she took Deliveroo to court. She’s also given quotes about her work with the union to the Telegraph. The only thing these couriers deliver is their union’s lines…

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.

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…

You Pay £15 Million For Local Trade Union Pilgrims

Millions of pounds of taxpayer-funded subsidies are still being dished out to trade union ‘Pilgrims’ across the country, a report by the Taxpayers’ Alliance has found. Despite promises by the government to clamp down on so-called ‘facility time’, there remain 371 local authority staff members who spend more than half their time working for trade unions, while being paid by the taxpayer. The cost of facility time (paid time-off taken by trade union representatives to carry out union duties) was at least £14,648,030 since 2012. Nearly a third of those local authorities analysed did not publish the data on their involvement with unions, thereby breaking the law.

The map of local authority Pilgrims waste extends across Britain:

  • The worst offenders nationally are Birmingham City Council with £1,124,924 and Leeds City Council with £502,095;
  • In the North East, Sunderland – £258,697;
  • In the North West, Bolton – £390,481;
  • In Scotland, City of Edinburgh – £244,576;
  • In the East Midlands, Leicester City Council – £494,544;
  • In the South West, Bristol City Council – £134,931;
  • In the East of England, Suffolk County Council – £189,741;
  • In London, Lambeth Borough Council – £281,000;
  • In the South East, Brighton and Hove City Council – £262,016.

Alex Wild, Research Director of the TPA, said:

“Trade unions are voluntary bodies of members and so should only receive the support of those members, not taxpayers. A huge amount continues to fund union duties, often without the express knowledge or consent of taxpayers, which simply isn’t right.”
David Cameron’s government began the process of dealing with Pilgrims, time for Theresa May to see it through…

Corbyn Spent Two Hours on By-Election Day Addressing Small Crowd in Islington

The Sun‘s pics of Jeremy Corbyn having a snooze on Friday and his non-appearance at PLP yesterday have got Labour types talking about their leader’s work ethic. The rumour that Jez takes Monday off in lieu when he appears on Sunday morning TV persists. The photos above add to the narrative that the 67 year-old has been taking it easy.

On Thursday morning last week, by-election day, rather than travel up to Stoke or Copeland, he prioritised a small crowd of trade unionists at a Unison branch event in Islington. Guido’s source in the room says Corbyn was there for around two hours between 10 a.m. and midday, and there were only about 30 people present. While his colleagues made gruelling cross-country trips to get out the vote…

Corbyn Campaign Manager Flies Red Flag on Tube Strike Picket

Guido spies Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign director Sam Tarry flying the red flag on the Tube strike picket line at London Bridge station this morning. Tarry, who ran Corbyn’s re-election campaign in the summer, is the national officer of the militant TSSA union. Sadiq Khan has been working all morning to distance himself from the strikers, despite the Mayor receiving £10,000 from the TSSA and using their office as his HQ. The truth, as you can see in the photo above, is Labour support today’s strike…

UPDATE: Tarry speaks to LBC from the picket line:

Sadiq Khan Broken Promise Count

TfL fares

Promise: ‘I want to be crystal clear – no ifs, no buts – what you’ll pay if I’m elected Mayor in May 2016 is what you’ll pay at the end of my 4 years in office’

Reality: Daily and weekly caps are rising by an average of 2%, Travelcard season ticket prices are rising by an average of 2%.

Affordable housing

Promise: “Sadiq will set a target for 50 per cent of all new homes in London to be genuinely affordable.”

Reality: His new policy is that he hopes to convince developers to voluntarily meet a target of 35% affordable housing.

Police

Promise: 32,000 police officers on London’s streets.

Reality: Now only committing enough funds to maintain force’s current strength of 31,000 officers.

Trees

Promise: “plant two million trees by 2020”

Reality:No tree planting has been funded since the beginning of this administration”

Green energy

Promise: Make London run on 100% green energy by 2050.

Reality: Sadiq’s team admit they have no idea what the percentage was when he took over, let alone today, because energy generation is apparently now a matter for central government.

Strikes

Promise: “Make sure there are zero days of strikes”

Reality: Tube strike travel chaos for commuters today.

Sadiq cleverly getting the broken manifesto promises out of the way in the first year…

Christmas Repeats: Whitehall Union Boss Fills Empty Papers

Today’s papers went big on a whinge from Dave Penman, general secretary of the trade union of senior civil servants, complaining that Whitehall needs more resources because of Brexit. Easy copy for struggling on-duty reporters in the dead week before the New Year. But it really isn’t news…

Today Penman says: “The civil service is going to have to be given more resources to deal with Brexit”. The same point he made on November 23: “With no additional funding, departments will once again be asked to deliver ever more with ever less”. And November 15: “there is a deafening silence from Ministers over whether any additional resources will be provided to deliver this momentous task”. And October 12: “the Government needs to provide the civil service with the capability and capacity necessary to deliver a successful EU exit”. And September 2. And August 31. And July 5. And June 24. You get the idea.

It’s hardly a surprise that the boss of a trade union wants more cash. It’s not even new information either, he’s said the same thing every month since the vote. That’s the problem with the Christmas period: full of repeats…

Red Len Spinner Demanding End to Free Movement Lives in Spain

Len McCluskey is launching his Unite re-election campaign this morning, making an end to free movement one of his main campaign pledges. This puts him noticeably at odds with the pro-open borders Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott. Labour are promising a “populist rebrand” in the new year – is Red Len backing immigration controls a sign of change to come?[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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