McCluskey’s £70 Million Hotel Loss

In December Len McCluskey was forced to welcome a QC-led inquiry into his Unite hotel pet project, which cost members a whopping £98 million. Only slightly above the £7 million it was supposed to cost…

He may not welcome new figures revealed by The Huffington Post today that two evaluations of the lavish pad have estimated its worth at just £29 million. This figure was actually from a second evaluation, after the first concluded it to be worth a mere £27 million. To put it simply, Len’s lost £70 million…

HuffPo discovered the figures after Sharon Graham – Len’s replacement – revealed them on a call with Unite officials, one of whom expressed the group’s shock at the disastrous evaluation. Back in September McCluskey told Sky News that they were the “only one who’s interested” in the story – Guido has a feeling that evaluation was pretty far off the mark…

mdi-timer 15 February 2022 @ 13:50 15 Feb 2022 @ 13:50 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
McCluskey Welcomes QC Inquiry into his Members-Funded £98 Million Unite Hotel

Earlier this month Unite announced it is to cut its funding to Labour due to believing money would be better spent on union campaigns. That was what their newly elected leader, Sharon Graham, claimed. Since 2017 Unite membership fees have been plunged into Len McCluskey’s hotel and conference centre vanity project in Birmingham. It was supposed to cost £7 million, however ballooned to an eye-watering £98 million…

Last night Sharon Graham confirmed there would be a transparent, QC-led inquiry into the building of it, which has also had questions surrounding the fact the development’s main construction contract – worth £95 million – was awarded to a mate of Len McCluskey.

Despite Len telling Sky News back in September that “it’s a fantastic investment and [Sky’s] the only one who is interested in that any more”, Graham’s admitted there are questions that “need to be answered in a timely fashion”.

“to ensure transparency the outcome of the inquiry will be made public.

“I will also be doing everything possible to recover all monies due back to the union.”

Last night he tweeted an inquiry was “sensible and will answer any questions”. Unfortunately for any Unite members hoping to hold McCluskey to account, he’s already checked out…

mdi-timer 21 December 2021 @ 15:52 21 Dec 2021 @ 15:52 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Unite Fined £45,000 for Spam Calls

Breaking news from the Information Commissioner who’s just fined Unite the Union £45,000 for making tens of thousands of calls to telephone numbers registered with the TPS service. They say their advice was either “ignored or not acted upon”.

Unite was reported to the commissioner in January 2020 after complaints were made about unsolicited direct marketing calls, despite being registered with the Telephone Preference Service, a free opt out service enabling individuals to no longer receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. In total 27 complaints were made against the union.

In total they found 57,665 calls made to TPs registered numbers, out of a total 726,853 calls made that connected. Guido’s sure Unite will have no problem finding £45,000 down the back of their sofa…

Read the report below:

Read More

mdi-timer 3 November 2021 @ 11:39 3 Nov 2021 @ 11:39 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Howard Beckett Rumoured Out from Unite

As Labour conference wraps up, rumours are circulating that Howard Beckett is finally out of Unite. While multiple sources claimed he’d been given the chop, another more senior Labour source says they’ve heard it is his decision to leave. The chair of Jewish Labour astutely points out Beckett’s name was missing from Unite’s official statement on Starmer’s keynote speech today:

A Unite spokesperson would only say that: “Unite does not comment on staffing matters.”

Guido wonders how large the pay-out will have been… 

UPDATE: BBC’s Iain Watson is reporting tonight that Beckett has only been removed from his political role. Beckett Is said to be “considering his options”.

mdi-timer 29 September 2021 @ 16:23 29 Sep 2021 @ 16:23 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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”…

mdi-timer 24 August 2021 @ 16:16 24 Aug 2021 @ 16:16 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
GMB and Unite Balloting Strike Action Over Labour Party Redundancies

Unite and GMB are balloting strike action after plans to “reorganise” the Labour Party were announced to staff on Tuesday. The proposed cuts would result in approximately 90 redundancies. Hardly a surprise; Labour’s finances are in the gutter. Three elections, declining membership numbers, and a series of legal fights over antisemitism have inevitably taken their toll…

London region organiser for the GMB Vaughan West said:

“GMB will ask members if they are willing to strike over compulsory redundancies. If the answer is yes, we will not hesitate to move to a formal strike ballot.”

A regional officer for Unite added:

“Labour staff have worked tirelessly for the party and should not be made to pay the price for this reorganisation.”

This does not bode well for Starmer… 

mdi-timer 18 August 2021 @ 14:04 18 Aug 2021 @ 14:04 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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