The north-west regional grouping of United Left has announced that it is not backing any individual candidate to be the next general secretary of the giant Unite union.
The move will be a heavy blow to the London-dominated national UL, which has tried to intimidate regional and national groups into supporting its demand for support for its controversial and heavily disputed decision to back Steve Turner. That decision came after a hustings in which a number of supporters of Howard Beckett were barred from voting that would have been considerably more than enough for Beckett to win the contest had they not been barred, while late joiners who backed Turner were allegedly allowed a vote.
The details of the NWUL decision are:
The London-dominated UL national expelled the entire Scottish ‘PULS’ section for demanding transparency and a proper investigation of the disputed hustings and threatened Welsh members with the same fate if they did not toe the ruling group’s line. The PULS secretary accused the London group of breaching data laws in trying to bypass PULS to poach its members – and a group of Turner supporters apparently acting as a north-west front for UL London was accused of a similar data breach in its campaigning.
The schedule for the election to choose Unite’s next general secretary – one of the key positions in the whole Labour movement – is expected to be announced soon. Unite insiders still believe that disgraced right-winger Gerard Coyne will fail to achieve enough branch nominations to qualify.
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