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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

McCluskey elected new Unite leader

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Len McCluskey has become the new leader of the Unite union

The country’s biggest trade union has a new leader after one of its assistant general secretaries easily beat off three rivals for the job.

Len McCluskey received 101,000 votes to become the next General Secretary of Unite, sources told the Press Association.

Jerry Hicks, a lay member of the union, came second with 52,000 votes, beating two other assistant general secretaries. Les Bayliss came third with 46,000 and Gail Cartmail came fourth with 39,000 votes.

Mr McCluskey, 61, is a lifelong trade union activist and has held several senior posts with Unite and the Transport and General Workers Union.

He will take over from Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson, who have been joint general secretaries since Unite was formed.

Mr McCluskey said: “I am honoured and humbled at the confidence Unite members have shown in me.

“My first task now will be to bring our union together and unite it in a campaign against the devastation the Government is unleashing against working people and their communities throughout the land.”

Ms Cartmail said she was “really pleased” with the level of support she achieved given that no faction of the union was backing her.

Unite is the country’s largest union with over 1.4 million members and is the biggest union affiliate to the Labour Party.

Turnout in the election was 16%. Mr Hicks said the low figure showed how disillusioned members were with the union.

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