The future of Tony Seaman, a close ally of general secretary Sharon Graham, on the Unite executive is in doubt, despite him recently winning re-election to the union’s ruling body, according to union insiders.
Seaman was allowed to stand despite the union already concluding that he had made racist comments on social media – and despite questions over the funding of his key role in the controversial Unite conference centre project – but insiders say that the election body and the union’s constitutional experts are re-examining his record and his eligibility to stand.
The news is a blow to Graham’s influence on the Unite executive, where her candidates had already underperformed and a number of her closest allies were voted off despite ‘dark money’ ads and the efforts of her organisers, as the left-wing ‘Members First’ slate performed well and achieved a majority.
Graham’s tenure as general secretary has been marked by controversy after she was accused of trying to have evidence against her husband destroyed – he was on a final warning from the union for his conduct and was the subject of a string of bullying and misogyny complaints, but now holds a senior position in her team. She has also been the subject of intense protests in Ireland over Unite’s treatment of Irish union legend Brendan Ogle, who did not support her bid to become general secretary.
Mr Seaman was not contacted for comment, as he has previously told Skwawkbox never to contact him again.
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