Unite to hold early General Secretary election

December 4, 2012 3:33 pm

After the GMB’s Paul Kenny announced his plans to step down earlier today, it seems that there’s big General Secretary news from another major union today too.

Len McCluskey has triggered an early General Secretary election at Labour’s biggest affiliate Unite. Jerry Hicks – who came second to McCluskey in the last General Secretary race at Unite – tweeted earlier today that an election on the leadership of the union would be announced imminently. Sources within the union have indicated to us that the vote to bring the election forward to early 2013 passed by 49 votes to 19 at today’s meeting of Unite’s Executive Committee.

By bringing the election forward, Unite would avoid having their General Secretary election overlapping with the General Election in 2015 (which was also believed to be why Kenny chose to stand down early). The idea of two of Labour’s biggest affiliates conducting General Secretary elections during a General Election campaign would not have been greeted with pleasure by anyone within the Labour Party hierachy.

Len McCluskey is expected to be a candidate, and would start as a clear favourite for re-election. If re-elected, his term of office would run from 2013 to 2018.

Update: Unite’s Executive Council have confirmed the news, releasing the following statement:

“The Executive Council welcomes the progress towards creating a common Unite constitution, structure and culture over the last two years, and believes that the benefits of those are starting to be felt throughout the union and wider labour movement.

“With a devastating economic crisis still unfolding, the need throughout the movement for clear and purposeful leadership will be of continuing importance. Unite’s own further integration and development would also be enhanced by clarity and stability regarding the union’s leadership over the next period.

“The Executive also noted that rule 15.2 mandates that the next General Secretary election will take place in 2015, at the same time as the General Election itself is scheduled. Any outcome of the General Election will certainly raise important issues for Unite and its membership, in particular in relation to our political strategy and our links with the Labour Party, requiring strong leadership at the time. It will be no time for a vacuum such as would inevitably be the consequence of a General Secretary election campaign at the same time.

“In light of these considerations, the Executive Council resolves to hold an election for the post of Unite General Secretary as soon as practicable.”

  • Dave Postles

    Good man. Well done.

Latest

  • Comment Polling Clacton polling: What does it say for Labour?

    Clacton polling: What does it say for Labour?

    The date for the by-election in Clacton was confirmed this morning as Thursday, October 9th – not only the day after the Lib Dem conference finishes but also David Cameron’s birthday. The two polls so far in the constituency do not point to many happy returns for the Prime Minister, as the result appears to be a foregone conclusion. At the weekend, a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday gave UKIP a 44% lead over the second place Tories. […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Does Labour have a problem with black men?

    Does Labour have a problem with black men?

    Now that may seem a strange question for a Party that has both Chuka Umunna and Sadiq Khan in its Shadow Cabinet but something troubling is emerging from the current round of Parliamentary selections. Of the 100 constituencies where Labour hopes to make gains or when Labour MPs have announced their retirement/parliamentary by-elections since 2010 so far just three have selected a BME male candidate. And this is from a section of society which is immensely loyal to the Labour […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Why are you Labour?

    Why are you Labour?

    Why are you a member of the Labour Party? I’d been a member for years when someone first asked me that question. On some level I guess I knew the answer, but no-one at any Constituency Labour Party meeting, canvassing session, conference – or even in the pub  –  had ever outright asked me the question. It was Arnie Graf – an American, rather than someone steeped in the party their whole life – who asked me. It was an obvious […]

    Read more →
  • News Eddie Izzard commits to running for “Parliament or Mayor” by 2020

    Eddie Izzard commits to running for “Parliament or Mayor” by 2020

    Comic and actor Eddie Izzard has reaffirmed his longstanding commitment to entering electoral politics by 2020, by going for a Labour parliamentary selection or London Mayor. Izzard is a lifelong Labour supporter (and Londoner) and has spoken in the past of his desire to become London Mayor. However, the recent announcement that Boris Johnson does not intend to stand for a third term has raised the chances of Labour winning the mayoralty in 2016, and thus there being a Labour incumbent in […]

    Read more →
  • News Jowell takes on new London-based role before potential mayoral bid

    Jowell takes on new London-based role before potential mayoral bid

    Tessa Jowell has taken on a new role lecturing at the London School of Economics (LSE), which should give her the time to concentrate on a likely campaign to be Labour’s candidate for London Mayor. Jowell, who is standing down as an MP next year, has started her post as Professor of Practice with the LSE Cities and in the Department of Government part-time. Jowell is currently considered one of the front-runners in the race for Labour’s candidacy, but all […]

    Read more →