Guardian omits Coyne’s data breaches, humiliating legal defeat, damning judge’s verdict and more
The Guardian/Observer website has announced that right-winger Gerard Coyne is preparing another bid to become the general secretary of the giant Unite union, as the Labour right again attempts to wall up the Labour party against any future prospect of real change for the better.
But the paper – all too unsurprisingly – fails to make any significant mention of Coyne’s abysmal record during the last one.
The nearest it comes is to note that Coyne was sacked by the union following his first bid in 2017 and that he ‘later dropped an unfair dismissal claim’ – though it gives ample space to Coyne’s attempts to justify his second bid and his claim to be making it because of receiving ‘much encouragement and support’.
But Coyne’s first attempt to become Unite general secretary was pocked and blighted with data breaches, incompetence, legal defeats when he refused to accept his loss – and an absolutely withering verdict on his credibility and conduct by the retired High Court judge who ultimately decided against him.
During that first contest, Coyne:
- advocated withdrawing Unite from national politics – as workers groaned under the crushing weight of Tory austerity – while his campaign held meetings with the Labour right’s disrupter-in-chief Tom Watson
- launched a ‘smear-fest‘ against rival Len McCluskey, while cosying up to West Midlands figures with proven record of dodgy property deals
- breached data laws – and foolishly admitted doing it on national radio – from at least two failed Labour party internal election campaigns, those of Labour challenger Owen Smith and West Midlands mayoral failure Sion Simon
- screwed up his breach of data laws by emailing non-Unite members in the data he had obtained unlawfully – including people living abroad
- told the BBC his unlawful use of data had ended – while his campaign continued emailing people whose data had been obtained unlawfully
- smeared Scottish Unite members and his own union – earning a searing put-down from the union’s Scottish secretary
- failed to distance himself from support from the racist EDL
- scuttled to the vile S*n ‘newspaper‘ to appeal for support as his campaign floundered
- threw two Unite members ‘under the bus‘ in a desperate bid to curry favour
- was suspended by Unite for his data breaches – and ultimately sacked
And after his bid failed Coyne – whose campaign boasted of the amount of cash and patronage he had:
- attempted interminable challenges to the result – but was often barely able to speak under cross-examination
- saw his claims rejected by, in turn, the election’s Returning Officer, the Election Commissioner and a judge – to be unsubstantiated against McCluskey, but to potentially implicate Coyne himself
- appealed the verdict of a retired High Court judge against him as he tried to overturn the election result – and was then slammed by another judge as ‘inconsistent, confusing and weak‘
- was then humiliated in his final appeal, when a retired High Court judge concluded that Coyne had:
– conducted an improper campaign
– been ‘unconvincing’ in his evidence
– breached data laws and election rules
– made serious false accusations against rival Len McCluskey
– made complaints in order to distract from his own actions and data breaches
This is the candidate on whom the Labour right is again pinning its hopes of dragging Unite to the right.
And the Observer ‘newspaper’ and sister Guardian site saw fit to give none of this information when it announced his bid.
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