Analysis Breaking Exclusive

Exclusive: man ‘groomed to be next TSSA GS’ suspended after Kennedy report on sexual harassment

Luke Chester was part of union’s ‘locus of power’

Luke Chester – the man ‘groomed’ to be next TSSA general secretary, according to the Kennedy Report

As Skwawkbox reported last night, the explosive report by Baroness Kennedy on sexual harassment and bullying within the TSSA union has already seen senior officers of the union removed or resign – and former general secretary Manuel Cortes had already ‘retired’ under a cloud last year following public allegations by former staffer Claire Laycock.

Now Skwawkbox can reveal that the man said by the report to have been ‘groomed’ to be the union’s next general secretary has been suspended after Kennedy delivered her report to the union.

The report names Chester as one of a small group of people acting as the ‘locus of power’ within the union – a group that thought it could get away with anything and that ignored allegations or denigrated those who made them – and notes that he was being lined up to replace Cortes until she called for the general secretary election to be put on hold.

Chester, who was also named by whistleblower Claire Laycock in a video she made outlining her accusations, also appears to have deleted his Twitter account – and did not respond to Skwawkbox’s request for comment.

Skwawkbox understands that Chester’s suspension is one of a raft of actions against senior staff taken in the last day, on top of the resignation of the union’s president and treasurer in the immediate aftermath of the report’s publication.

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  1. Breaking News

    West Lancashire by-election: Labour’s Ashley Dalton secures victory
    Ms Dalton secured a majority of 8,321 over Conservative candidate Mike Prendergast, with a 10.52% swing from the Tories to Labour.

  2. Labour win the West Lancashire By-election, with a majority of, 8326 on a Turnout of 31.4%.

    The Majority was similar to the GE win in 2019, with the Turnout down – massively – by -40.7% from 2019, which was 72.3%.

    If we look at 2017, the Majority was 11,689 on a Turnout of 74.41%.

    Now, let’s sit back and watch Blackfriars Labour try to spin this as ‘progress’.

    1. George – What is there to spin, the facts tell there own story. Labour won with as near as damn the same numerical majority as in 2019 on a much lower turnout which logically increased their share of the vote by a very substantial margin (233%).

      Have you seen the latest opinion polls Labour is still consistently ahead and has a 26% point lead. Keir Starmer also has a 26% point lead over Sunak.

      The latest MRP poll is also very encouraging
      SNP ‘would overtake Tories in snap Westminster election’
      The exclusive, large-scale MRP poll of 28,000 people found that if there were an imminent general election the Tories would be left with fewer seats than the SNP. Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s Westminster leader, would be the Leader of the Opposition.
      The figures, from pollsters Find Out Now and experts Electoral Calculus, report Labour winning 49 per cent of the vote and the Tories down to 23 per cent.
      MRP polling means results in individual seats can be calculated. The polling forecast that Labour would gain 306 seats, taking its total number of MPs to a record 509 out of 650 seats available.
      The SNP is the next largest party in the Commons, with 50 MPs, while the Conservatives would be in third place with just 45, down from 365 at the 2019 election.

      The Liberal Democrats would more than double their number of MPs from 11 to 23. Plaid Cymru and the Greens are unchanged at four MPs and one respectively.

      1. Sure, and the thing that the US just shot down was a pig?

      2. goldbach – You’re more than welcome to link to the polls that support your perspective, I’ll look forward to reading them. 😏
        What precisely are you offering the electorate as a credible alternative that they can vote for?😕
        Is there any news yet about whether or not Jeremy is going to risk standing at the next general election? 🤔

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