‘Mixed bag’ of results sees left slate and unaligned perform well, but some of controversial general secretary’s closest allies no longer on committee despite organisers’ reported efforts and ‘dark money’ spent on ads to support them
The Unite executive election results on Wednesday saw general secretary Sharon Graham receive a number of blows as the efforts of her cohort of organisers to drum up votes for her slate of candidates – and ‘dark money’ spent on social media ads to support them – failed and a number of her closest allies were voted off the union’s executive council. By contrast the United Left ‘Members First’ slate did well and PULS, the Scottish left section, saw all of its candidates elected.
Graham has been accused of attempting to have bullying and misogyny evidence against her husband, who now works in her team and was on a final warning from the union for his conduct before she took over, destroyed. The election saw the union management accused of allowing pro-Graham candidates to stand who did not qualify under Unite’s rules – as well as a Graham ally the union admitted made racist comments, but took no action against. The union has refused to make a meaningful response to these and other allegations.
A Unite insider told Skwawkbox:
The results were quite a mixed bag. United Left’s ‘Members first’ candidates did well, as did some candidates who weren’t on any slate – but Sharon’s biggest hitters are gone. Given the amount of effort her organisers put into trying to whip up votes, it was a pretty dire result for her.
Graham had been said to be trying to tighten her grip on the union, but the new executive is expected to be more difficult for her to control, not less.
United Left took the high road and congratulated all the winners, but knowledgeable observers said that there was a barb in their last line for some of those now voted off the ‘exec’:
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