Beckett formally enters Unite contest as McCluskey confirms retirement

Unite’s Howard Beckett, the strongly-supported left prospect to be the union’s next leader, has formally entered the contest with an announcement that he is seeking nominations to stand for election after the race was started by incumbent Len McCluskey’s announcement of his impending retirement to Unite’s executive yesterday.

Beckett has already attracted huge support from Unite members from different sectors of the union. He confirmed that he would be running after the union’s NEC signalled the starting gun for the election to replace McCluskey as Unite General Secretary. Beckett, Unite’s current Assistant General Secretary for Politics and Legal said:

The Executive Council of Unite the union have just agreed a timetable for electing a new General Secretary. I am delighted to say I will be asking for nominations from Unite branches in order to go on to ask the membership of this union for their vote. This is a critical time for workers across our regions and nations, and I know they expect strong leadership from Unite the union.

We know that this rabid Tory government is hell-bent on making workers pay for this health crisis – just like the made worker’s pay for the bankers crisis – I am determined to stop that from happening.

In the coming weeks I will lay out my vision for Unite and its incredible membership, as we emerge from this global pandemic. I am excited to be part of this contest. I will be holding an official launch of the campaign on Sunday 18th April at 7pm.

Unite Branches will have from 5th May to 7th June 2021 to nominate candidates. Candidates will need 174 branch nominations to proceed to the ballot – 5% of the union’s 3,467 branches. Voting begins on the 5th July.

Follow Howard Beckett on Facebook and Twitter and keep up with his official campaign accounts here and here. Unite members wishing to attend the campaign launch this Sunday at 7pm should register here.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to without hardship, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. I hope enough Unite Branches nominate Beckett between 5th May to 7th June 2021 – and that the aftermath to Starmer’s “just desserts day” on 6th May galvanises support for Howard’s campaign.

  2. He should be the leader of the Labour party. He’s done far more than the be current leadership to oppose Tory policy and at least he represents the working class.

  3. I hope they don’t fuck it up like the Unison vote and almost certainly the GMB vote
    Point of order
    If a new party was formed, wouldn’t it also split each union in 2
    So it really is a no brainer

  4. Regardless of ‘alleged’ wealth, of which I’ve seen no evidence, I will be using my Unite Community vote to vote for HB.

    He’s put in the footwork, like JC, he’s got a strong previous record of being on the right side of history; being on the frontline for workers every time fighting for them in court.

    He was the ‘ONE’ that fought JC’s corner via the courts in regards to JC’s right to be on the leadership ballot post pathetic chicken coup. He also doesn’t mince his words; He’s no sell out and I’d be proud to call him Unite GS

  5. That’s why the SCG should have become a financially independent operation WITHIN the PLP. Instead of reducing Unite’s donation to the PLP, McCluskey could then have re-directed some money to the SCG-parts of the party. Departing members (100,000+) could also have directed their monies to the SCG or specific CLPs.

    Of course the Labour-right are NEVER going to allow finacial independence for the SCG (or anything that challenges their control of finance. They would never implement any democratic (member-directed) funding models. And that’s why, reluctanly, I support RaV.

    Once Starmer topples (after May 6?) and the Labour right possibly tries to ‘appoint’ a new leader on the party, it would change the game. Only then, arguably, would a new party option be admitted or relevant.

  6. Let’s see what Stew of Toxicity The Thatcherite Neolabour Tory Party can bring to boil in their Cauldron of Hate. UNITE is the last of the Unions that are still predominantly in the hands of Democratic Socialists, even if they only act on ‘Special Occasion’. Nonetheless, for the most the membership are UK Labour Party, the Neolabour Party Tories seems to be gravitating towards Unison, GMB, etc.
    The Millionaire Property Owner Spin will certainly bubble up and pop several times, but the question is, is he working for the Good of The People or the Good of The Elites/Establishment/Machine!? From what I have heard and seen the answer to that is clear enough!
    Can anyone else see a Cauldron on top an open fire in the Forrest with rendezvous of a Starmer, Campbell, Mandelson & Blair Witch Pact for 03:30 am meets, chanting, Hubble, Bubble……… and Kuenssberg, Robinson, Maitlis, Rigby, Neil, Marr, Preston, Hodges, Freedland floating around them like a thick black smog, screeching like banshees!?
    Tee Hee Hee!

  7. As has been said, Beckett gets stuck in and puts it exactly how it is. Something I haven’t noticed from Turner…Not that I’ve paid too much attention, in all honesty. But I’m yet to read anything about his credentials.

    I’m sick to the back teeth of this new-fangled ‘politically forensic’ bullshit. If something ain’t right, it’s wrong. End of. I’m not interested in hearing chapter and bleedin’ verse about it; get to the point.

    No more of this ‘Excuse me, do you mind’ Stiff upper lip fannying about; more of the ‘Oi ! WTFH d’ya think your game is?’

  8. Voting for a millionaire Lawyer from Belfast?…Do you never learn?Turner is the voice of the working-class movement and socialism and a rock solid union man.Not too late to start a search on Google for Beckett and see what you find?

    1. …..And there it is, Hubble Bubble ….. POP! 😉
      If someone is Rich, he can’t be a Democratic Socialist?
      What about That Footballer who is doing a tremendous Job for The People?
      What about you, yourself? If you suddenly became rich, Lotto, Invention, Piece of Art, etc, etc can you no longer be a Democratic Socialist, you can no longer work for The People?
      Who are The Working Class?
      The People who live under the Breadline, The People just above The Breadline, The People who earn anything up to the £80K Tax threshold?
      There are many Tradesmen who earn in the top whack for their skill both as an employee and Self Employed.
      There is no such thing as a Class system, that is ‘their’ invention, (just like most of History) to leep us divided. There are only The People and The People who work for the Common Good of The People.
      Then the are The Elites/Establishment/Machine/1% and their Cling-On Wannabee People who work for the good of themselves and the The Elites/Establishment/Machine/1%.
      Those Wannabee People can be found from below the Minimum Wage to The Top 5+%.
      The Wannabee People in the Bottom half of the Income Scale would be considered “Working Class” but they are working hard against The Working Class/The People.
      The People vs ‘The Machine’, in the end it will boil down to that.

  9. Where can we see how the nominations are going? I hope Coyne wasn’t being duplicitous when he said he wouldn’t be able to get on the ballot as if he does, two left candidates might prove calamitous.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: