Analysis Breaking Exclusive

Exclusive: Graham-backed EC candidate pays £7k over sexual harassment of wife’s carer

Unite executive candidate on slate backing Sharon Graham ordered to pay for texting ‘inappropriate advances’ to care worker the same age as his daughter

A candidate in Unite’s recent executive council (EC) elections, who stood as part of the ‘slate’ of candidates backed by – and backing – Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, has been ordered to pay just under £7,000 to his wife’s carer after the worker sued him for sex discrimination and sexual harassment.

Mick Rice was recommended by the pro-Graham campaign as the ‘retired’ section candidate:

Yet despite the pending case, Rice both agreed and was put forward by the pro-Graham camp to stand in the elections in April this year – and has now been ordered to pay compensation to his former employee for sexual harassment that damaged her mental health, as the Daily Record has reported:

This is not the first time that the Graham slate, which performed poorly in the elections and both lost pro-Graham stalwarts from the EC and failed to gain a majority, despite the alleged involvement of Graham’s paid organisers and the use of ‘dark money’ to promote the slate on social media ads.

Tony Seaman, a close Graham ally, was allowed to stand for election despite the union admitting that he had made racist social media posts; Graham denied knowing another candidate after similar racist posts emerged – and questions were raised over the eligibility of other pro-Graham candidates, who were still allowed by the union to stand.

Graham’s own tenure as Unite boss has been marked by a string of allegations – which neither she nor the union has denied – of abuse, cover-up and failure to protect women:

And most recently, she has provoked outrage among members by banning events exposing the Labour right’s smear campaign against former leader Jeremy Corbyn from Unite premises – a move that the union first claimed was because it wanted to conserve union resources, but subsequently gave away had been made in order to appease right-wing pro-Israel groups.

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