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Sunday, November 10, 2013

New crisis hits Unite and Labour

Just when we thought that we had heard everything there is to hear about the Labour Falkirk 'vote-fixing' row, The Times comes up with a new angle. They report that the general secretary of Unite, Len McCluskey has got himself entangled in a row about his own election centred on claims that almost 160,000 of those balloted were not members:

His rival for the job, Jerry Hicks, has complained that the election was unlawful because people who had left the union were included in the ballot. Hicks said dead former members were among those who were sent voting papers.

The Certification Office — the union regulator, which has the power to order McCluskey’s election to be rerun — confirmed this weekend that it has launched an investigation. An official complaint is expected to be submitted to Unite in the next few weeks.

Hicks said this weekend: “Was Falkirk an aberration or a modus operandi? There are serious questions that need to be answered about these tens of thousands of non-members of the union who were sent ballot papers.”

Meanwhile, the same paper reports that the Co-op is to review whether to cancel its donations to the Labour party of up to £1m a year as part of a scramble to save cash.

Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, is one of 32 Labour MPs to be supported directly by donations from the Co-op’s political wing, however a cash crisis at the Co-op’s banking arm has prompted them to examine whether it should cut the donations.

Ed Miliband must be wishing that his brother had won the leadership election after all.
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