UNISON president expelled for sharing articles from proscribed organisation

Elliot Chappell

Andrea Egan, elected president of Labour-affiliated trade union UNISON, has been expelled from the party after sharing articles from Socialist Appeal on social media.

In a letter sent to Egan on November 15th, the UNISON president was informed of the decision to expel her as a result of her sharing two articles – from the organisation proscribed by Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) in July 2021.

A Labour spokesperson said at the time that the group, among others, was “not compatible with Labour’s rules, or our aims and values”. The NEC also proscribed Labour in Exile Network, Labour Against the Witchhunt and Resist and later the Labour Left Alliance, Socialist Labour Network and the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty.

Egan shared an article by Socialist Appeal on July 16th, before the NEC’s vote for the ban, about the prospect of the organisation being proscribed – commenting: “Who’s next.” The second, shared after the vote, related to left-wing UNISON members organising within the union.

Egan said the decision to expel her “does nothing to support” unity in the labour movement, adding: “There’s only one enemy at the moment, and that’s the Tory government. We should be unified in our fight against them.”

The president of UNISON is voted in by the union’s national executive council (NEC) for a term of one year. The expulsion of Egan comes after allegations of factional stitch-ups in favour of the leadership during MP selection processes and tensions with trade unions over the party’s stance on industrial action.

Commenting on her expulsion, Momentum described the move as “shameful” and accused the Labour leadership of “attacking leading trade unionists” and “destroying the unity of the labour movement in the process”.

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