The Guardian, Daily Mirror and others have announced this afternoon that Gerard Coyne, Len McCluskey’s main challenger for Unite General Secretary, has been suspended by the union from his position as a regional organiser.
Unite‘s press office was unable to offer a comment at this time, but the SKWAWKBOX understands from union sources that the suspension may be connected with the alleged data breaches broken by this blog and the excellent Evolve Politics and will last while a formal investigation is carried out.
The SKWAWKBOX is awaiting confirmation from the union of the impact the suspension will have on his candidacy. Although Coyne is considered to have little chance of victory, voting in the contest has now closed so it may be that the contest will be allowed to run to its natural conclusion to prevent right-wingers claiming he was suspended because he stood a chance of winning – like this premature conclusion by Progress‘ Richard Angell:
However, it’s unlikely that Coyne would be able to take up the role in the event that he wins, until the investigation is completed. Should he be dismissed from his organiser role as a result of the investigation, of course, it is unlikely that he would be qualified to act as General Secretary even if he were to win the ballot.
If the suspension is indeed connected to the Labour data use, then yet again, the SKWAWKBOX has broken information with a high-level national impact. No wonder the right has been trying to undermine us.
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