Exclusive: Turner, Graham dodge hustings with Beckett, organised by Unite Community members

Beckett accepts invite to West London Unite Community hustings debate, others refuse and insist on individual Q&As

Howard Beckett, who agreed to the hustings, flanked by rivals Steve Turner and Sharon Graham

Unite candidates Steve Turner and Sharon Graham have refused to participate in a debate organised by West London Unite Community to help them decide whom to support in the union’s general secretary election. Rival Howard Beckett accepted.

According to members of the hundreds-strong West London Community branch, Turner refused to participate in a joint session and said he would only attend an individual ‘Q&A’ with no other candidates present. Sharon Graham said that if Turner wasn’t taking part, she wouldn’t either and would only attend a separate session on her own.

Beckett, by contrast, had immediately accepted the invitation.

All the candidates attempting to gain the required number of branch nominations have been invited to a live online hustings to be held by Socialist Telly – which is run by Unite members – next Monday evening, 3 May.

At the time of writing, only Howard Beckett has responded and has accepted. Candidates who do not take part will be ’empty-chaired’, as happened with Labour candidate Paul Williams at the recent hustings for the Hartlepool parliamentary by-election.

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