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Beckett refusing to accept result, UL executive members calling for re-run after Turner ‘wins’ by 3 votes – evidence of at least 12 members denied vote already while vote given to deceased

Steve Turner has been awarded the United Left nomination by 3 votes – 370-367 – but at least twelve examples of alleged vote-rigging have already emerged, including:

  • Lance Charleson, a Beckett supporter, has been denied a vote in spite of repeated attempts to obtain his ballot
  • June Shephard, a Beckett supporter, did not receive a vote
  • former Labour general secretary Jennie Formby, who publicly endorsed Beckett, was denied a vote
  • Joe Strutt, another who endorsed Beckett, was denied a vote
  • at least 2 new UL members were given a vote in spite of joining only a short ago, when the cut-off for eligibility was in March
  • at least one deceased member was given a vote

Others received ballots that could not be cast – all Beckett supporters. At least eleven were in Scotland, which massively favoured Beckett.

If 12 examples – enough to swing the result – have emerged within moments of the result, how many more might there have been?

Beckett and a number of members of the UL executive are refusing to accept the result – and they are right. It must be set aside until all such instances are thoroughly investigated – and re-run if necessary.

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83 comments

  1. They definitely need to do a re run as some shenanigans going on here. What is is it with the right of the party? They may as well be Tories with their under handedness and vote rigging. Disgusting!

  2. How is Steve Turner a life long member of UNITE who started out as a bus conductor a member of the right? Perhaps lawyers just can’t accept a democratic vote without wanting to challenge and earn some legal fees!!

    1. I know nothing whatever about Steve Turner but having been a bus conductor and lifelong member means nothing – I’ve known some very right wing union reps.

    2. I wonder if Skwawbox would be so irate if their candidate had won by three votes 🤔🤫

      1. YES NO DOUBT IT WOULD my cynical little friend This corrupted vote MUST be corrected as Steve Turner would no doubt not want to have this black cloud hanging over his head undermining his mandate , wouldn’t you agree ?

        Strange that we have heard nothing from Mr Turner on that ,,, perhaps Paul you might like to ask him to comment here on SB hummm !!

      2. yet again Tory boy you persist in sticking your nose in , I was not addressing you now fuck off

      3. I just love the standard of debate here. And you wonder why your candidate lost: Despite all the false outrage here not much support gathering for a re/ballot (or as the remainers used to say a second referendum). As a UNITE member happy with that

      4. rob – We were told on Sunday that Len McCluskey would be attending a meeting about this on the Monday.
        This meeting apparently took place yesterday and yet we haven’t heard a squeak out of either UL or Len.
        Are we therefore to presume that having looked into all the circumstances they’ve concluded that the vote was valid.

      5. Go fuck yourself SH as Ive told you before I am in no mood to engage or debate fuck all with a Starmer voting Tory cunt like you .

      6. rob – …..and yet here you are again, choosing to engage with me. Do you have another explanation for the silence from UL and Len.

  3. How could such corrupt practices possibly happen behind McCluskey’s back?
    Whether he connived or just failed to notice, if he doesn’t set this right it proves him unfit to see out his term of office and the election must immediately be rerun under outside supervision of a body such as the electoral commission.
    If Unite members are sucker enough to tolerate this then I’m terminating my three-week-old membership.

  4. What planet are you people on. There is no right here, this was a vote to select a united left candidate for a trade union election. Neither was the vote anything to do with the Labour Party so I don’t know which “millionaire shyster lawyer” is being referred to. Steve Turner and Howard Beckett are both decent militant left trade unionists, so if you don’t know the first thing about that whereof you speak, better to keep it zipped.

    As regards shennanigans, Skwawk is up to his neck in them. He has been partisan in supporting Howard Beckett, which is fair enough but he has portrayed Steve Turner (as is clear from the first two contributions to this thread) by a series of omissions and distortions as somehow more right-wing than Howard Beckett. That is not necessarily true at all; Steve Turner is the national chair of the Peoples Assembly Against Austerity, a fact Skwawk has signally failed to mention. Before crying foul, perhaps Skwawk should examine the scurrilous content to these past few desperate attempt to swing the election for his man.

    Personally I would have been happy whoever won; it was a contest between two dedicated servants of the union and the left, either of whom would prove a great leader. Dirty tricks and distortions are surplus to requirements.

      1. Sharon Graham will beat the both of them hands down , The United Left are not as big as they thought they were

    1. Labresbisgalloise, I agree with you, both Steve Turner and Howard Beckett are suitable candidates. It is sad that less than 800 members get to decide who out of the two is going to be the left candidate to replace McCluskey.
      I fear that a repeat of this exercise is doom to failure, because the vote would most likely result in another tight vote and it appears that their isn’t much of a chance that the loser is going to accept the result.

      1. Maria – It is sad that the turnout for the last Unite leadership election was just 12.2% which rather makes a mockery of the so called mandate that Union weal within the party.

    2. Whoever you wanted to win, a 3-vote result with far more than that supporting the other candidate barred from voting and a *dead member casting a vote* is unsafe to put it kindly. If Turner wins a cleanly-counted re-run good luck to him and he’ll deserve the support to win the GS contest. But nobody who gives a shit about democracy should be happy with Saturday

      1. Absolutely correct SB , it’s utterly and completely about a clean and honestly run vote , who ever wins a re run fine by me , BUT not this way , if folks are happy with this kind of dishonesty and corruptness then maybe the RW of the Party under SIr Starmer is the place for them .

      2. rob – What was decided at yesterdays meeting, the one that that was called to study a report on these allegations.

        In the absence of any statements from either Len or UL about the outcome of this meeting it is difficult not to conclude that having examined all the evidence that Len and the UL judged that the vote was valid.

        Of course things may change over the coming days but at the moment the vote stands.

  5. I appreciate that Union leadership votes aren’t famed for their large turnout but the magnificent turnout here of only 737 represents less than 0.07% so it is difficult not to conclude that this vote (regardless of the result) will have little to no impact on the final result of the actual election..
    Perhaps Unite should adopt an STV system then there wouldn’t be a need for this nonsense.

      1. labrebisgalloise – I was never in any doubt about it being a vote by a very small faction of Unite’s membership. I’m struggling to see why the wider membership should take much notice of a vote by such a small unrepresentative faction who despite naming themselves ‘United Left’ are self evidently split straight down the middle. The whole thing is a load of nonsense.

    1. This was a vote of paid-up UL members to determine who the UL would support in the forthcoming GS election – not a vote of the entire union!

      1. Jim – I am well aware of that, I can only presume you missed my post 7:47, immediately above yours.

    2. The turnout was high of the United Left membership of not much more than a thousand. Get your facts straight, Steve

      1. SB – I have got my facts right. I was trying to reflect that the total number of votes cast in this UL (65%turnout) ballot on which candidate to recommend only represents a very tiny minority of the Unite membership and that given the roughly 50/50 split who won is of little consequence either way. However it is spun the UL is self evidently divided and split down the middle in their support for these 2 candidates.

      2. That’s the nature of groups within a big organisation. You said it was a turnout of 0.07%, that was untrue

      3. It was not my intention to deceive anyone and as I said above my intention was to highlight the very small percentage of the overall membership that this small group represents. Here’s an edited version of my OP which I hope is clearer.

        The 65% turnout from UL represents less than 0.07% of Unite’s membership so it is difficult not to conclude that this split vote (regardless of the result) will have little to no impact on the final result of the actual election.

        Perhaps Unite should adopt an STV system then there wouldn’t be a need for this factional FPTP nonsense.

  6. Lobbying for one’s favoured candidate isn’t a dirty trick, and that’s all Skwawkbox has done afaik.
    Counting “dead men’s votes” is definitely a dirty trick though, as is not counting the votes of people who are entitled to vote, or excluding them from the ballot completely as is alleged.

    1. “I know nothing whatever about Steve Turner.” Wouldn’t it have been reasonable to check out his record before pronouncing on the election? Skwawk has presented an entirely false image of Steve, mostly by omission and innuendo. Steve and Howard have both written copious amounts in the Morning Star and that’s not a bad place to start to compare their politics. I think you’ll find that both would be eminently suitable and capable of leading UNITE rather than saying “having been a bus conductor and lifelong member means nothing – I’ve known some very right wing union reps,” which implies that a) you know nothing about Steve Turner and b) someone gave you the impression he was right wing.

      1. I didn’t call him right wing – I only stated that being a bus conductor and long time member doesn’t prove someone left wing, because Paul Wheeler implied that it did.
        I accept and regret that SB hasn’t presented Steve Turner’s record of achievements, but I recall no innuendo.
        Perhaps I’d find Steve Turner’s accomplishments equal to Howard Beckett’s had I read anything about them from SB or anyone else including the man himself. Maybe he’s too modest to bang his own drum – a laudable characteristic unless you’re running for office.
        I didn’t “pronounce on the election” except in regard to the appearance of cheating – and I didn’t blame Mr. Turner or his supporters for that either – I blamed the man I believe bears responsibility for ensuring a fair contest – the incumbent, Mr. McCluskey.
        All in all I believe my comment was fair, particularly prefaced as it was by my admission I knew nothing about Mr. Turner.
        You, on the other hand, labrebisgalloise, do seem to have an axe to grind.

      2. What’s Steve Turner’s record got to do with calling a dirty result dirty? Nobody is suggesting Turner was involved and if he wins a clean count, good luck to him – but nobody in their right mind could call this clean

      1. I don’t know ,,, try asking Tony Blair he’s good at dead things like war

  7. Well, as a UNITE member, but not registered for UL (out of inertia, nowt more) I just want to hear what Sharon Graham has to say.

    1. david – Sharon Graham didn’t seek the support of this small faction so she wasn’t included in this vote. Maybe the third of UL members who didn’t vote would have voted for her.

    1. Thanks for the link labrebisgalloise, now I know a little more about Steve Turner I’m even more convinced Howard Beckett’s the man for the job.

      1. Good. – but I’m not sure why Skwawk needed to hide so much, including the fact the that the millionaire solicitor Beckett was fined for ripping-off disabled miners. Frankly I don’t think that should disqualify him because his recent record (with the Birmingham bins for example) is excellent.

      2. Same as above to Denham – Beckett was *not* ‘fined for ripping off disabled miners’ and that’s a matter of record for anyone who bothered to check. Beckett was fined for what the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority called a ‘side issue’: a *procedural* failure that didn’t cost the miners a penny. The SRA was far more interested in the fact that Beckett had not reported a cashier who had stolen money – but instead had *replaced that money from his own funds* so she could repay to him in instalments.

        Short version, Beckett was never even *accused* of profiting from the miners’ compensation – let alone fined for it. Withdraw your assertion if you care about facts – and it’s a bit rich you accusing me over my coverage of the contents when you’re propagating this kind of smear

  8. All that uncle Len has done as far as I’m aware is to call for the contest to be clean and not to engage in personal abuse. As for turnout, I don’t know but I suspect the membership of UL is around 1200 so the figures suggest a turnout of this particular electorate of well over 50%. This is however a minefield because Jim Denham is an AWL supporter, one of a breed I wouldn’t generally piss on if they were on fire. Skwawk was similarly partisan in promoting the momentum opposition, which included some AWL wallies as well. It’s sometimes confusing but my main take from this is fuck all sectarians and their secret agendas.

    1. The turnout was 65% so that would indicate a membership of around 1,135. Only around 1 in a 1,000 of Unite’s membership belong to UL.

      1. Steve: nobody is claiming that the UL represent the entirety of Unite’s membership: but, surely, we have the right to conduct an internal hustings to decide who we support? What’s undemocratic about that?

        I’d also add (for the benefit of Labbrebiscgalloisie, that Beckett’s much-vaunted “victory” for the Birmingham refuse workers, was to have signed up to the deal that the GMB had already agreed with Birmingham City Council!

      2. Jim – Your thoughts about whether anyone is claiming they are representative is a bit of a strawman. I certainly haven’t claimed this, in fact I think I have been quite clear that I regard UL as just a small faction which is why I’m puzzled why such importance being placed on this vote which if we are honest is a more or less 2 way split straight down the middle. (split equally 3 ways if we include the abstentions)

        Of course you have the right to organise and lobby for what you believe in but given the indecisive vote I question why anybody would be influenced much either way by a split vote from a faction that only represents 1 in a 1,000 members.

      3. Denham, this is also bollocks and shows a complete lack of understanding – or a wilful one – of the bin disputes, with the emphasis on the plural. One dispute was *about* the fact that the council had agreed terms with the GMB that weren’t offered to Unite members – so getting the same as GMB was the whole point.

        The *other*, bigger (and earlier) one was about the council’s use of threats to try to force bin workers to accept a pay cut. BOTH of those resulted in wins for the workers – and both were driven by Beckett. What an absolute POS you are

    2. …eeerrr: who, exactly is the “sectarian” here? I’ve attempted to give an honest and objective assessment of what’s going on within the UL of Unite. The AWL do not have a dog in this fight, but we are capable of an objective assessment: Beckett is a classic fake-left poseur, who even posited dissafiliation during his UL presentation. Turner is an honest, if uninspiring reformist bureaucrat. T Since selling his company to Thompsons at an enormous profit he’s become a millionaire.The crucial difference is that Turner was a rank and file steward: Beckett’s only ever been a bureaucrat and joined as a solicitor – and indeed, the boss of his own company. His being fined for ripping off the miners’ compensation scheme has already been dealt with. This shyster is not fit to lead our union.

      1. Denham, as usual you’re a twat and in this case a libellous one. Beckett was not fined for ‘ripping off the miners’ compensation scheme’ – a fact easily verifiable from the legal record. I’d suggest you withdraw your shite quickly, as otherwise you’re going to be barred from the comments

      2. Just (again) correcting Denham’s libellous shite. Beckett was never even *accused* of ‘ripping off the miners’, let alone fined for it – and the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority records are available for any who want to verify that. Those who want the full story, do a search for ‘from his own funds’ and you’ll find what actually happened

      3. SB – If this is the case and everything is as clear-cut as you say then perhaps it would have been better all round if Becket had simply issued a rebuttal to the accusations instead of relying on Len’s rather flawed advice that UL members should just ignore the smears that should not be discussed. Removing the doubt that must have lingered in some members minds may have got him over the line.

    1. WOW – a whole 9 votes in 2 hours and counting. At this rate only another 22,222 hours to reach 100,000

      1. frank – Well four hours and counting and unfortunately only another 4 people have got the joke. 🙄

  9. I believe the facts are approximately as I stated – my statement and yours may both be ‘factual’ but mine is at least an attempt at the whole truth whereas yours quite deliberately lies by omission – it’s as self-servingly reductive as the Times article.
    Demanding “yes or no” answers to complex questions is infantile – in SB’s place I’d fucking ban you with extreme prejudice just for insulting everyone on the forum with such dross.

    It’s how thick-headed Moonies attract thicker-headed converts, you twerp.

  10. So sorry to read this. Only joined UL this month. But arguments for a re-run are sound.

  11. I remember in the 80’s LP when elections took place. If the ‘wrong’ candidate won then there’d be an investigation that would prove that the election was invalid. It would e run again until the ‘right’ candidate won. I wonder how many Turner voters didn’t receive a ballot paper and also wonder if Unite would rerun the election if Becket had won.

  12. …and more recently was the selection for the current LP MP in Wavertree, Liverpool. Registration for ballot papers from NW region wasn’t done correctly, disbarring some members from voting. I complained but it made no difference at all. Some only adhere to democracy and rules when they’re in charge. They can’t abide to be in a minority.

  13. My sentiments also David McN , I don’t remember hearing Turner challenging Starmer to up his game over opposing the Tories but then perhaps that’s why the Starmerite voters on here like Turner so much , don’t rock the boat least of all challenge the rich millionaire Knight of the realm who now leads the LP ,,, unfuckn believable that Sir is leading a working class prty what an absolute fckn joke
    The vote was corrupt imo and needs to be re run , I don’t particularly give a fuck who wins in fact, but honesty and real democracy is key other wise the UL is no better than the twats on the RW of the party

    1. Rob if you don’t like millionaires why do you want a millionaire solicitor to lead a working class union?

      1. WTF has him being a millionaire got to do with the honesty and security of the vote which is my point , if you love millionaires then no doubt you are very happy with that right wing twat Starmer leading the Labour Party , same analogy , a false pathetic distraction from the crux of the issue .,
        Now over to you to explain and justify why a flawed corrupted vote with straight up evidence that such has occurred should in any way be acceptable ?

    2. rob – Unless you have an alternative explanation it looks like Len McCluskey and UL have after reviewing all the available evidence at their meeting yesterday decided that the vote was valid and should stand.

      1. Steve, if that turns out to be the case mine may turn out to be the shortest ever membership of Unite. Unfortunately I think I may have paid subs a year in advance…

      2. David – It is very difficult to make a judgement until we know all the facts – which will probably be sometime never. Given the report on Sunday that this meeting was taking place the next day I’m a little surprised that we haven’t had a follow up report.

  14. Fuck off Tory Boy and TBC that’s not an engaged response but a clear and concise insult , just so you understand the difference .

    1. rob – I would be far more impressed if you actually addressed the issue rather than running away.

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