Unite leadership candidate Gerard Coyne suspended from job

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 20, 2017

Gerard Coyne, now the West Midlands secretary for the Unite union, is challenging Len McCluskey for the general secretary job.

There are three candidates for the post of general secretary - Mr McCluskey, Mr Coyne and grassroots member Ian Allinson.

The move comes as counting is about to get under way in the union's leadership ballot.

Coyne has accused McCluskey of wasting Unite money with his central London flat, while McCluskey has responded in kind by alluding to Coyne's "mansion".

Sky News understands that the decision to suspend Mr Coyne from his post as West Midlands regional secretary was taken by the acting general secretary Gail Cartmell, a McCluskey ally.

A spokesman for Coyne, via PoliticsHome, said: "The email said Gerard had been suspended from his duties". "We will not be commenting further at this stage".

Mr Coyne was criticised by Mr McCluskey for being too close to a number of Labour MPs in the West Midlands who opposed Mr Corbyn's leadership.

A spokesperson for Unite said they could not confirm whether Coyne had been suspended, and even if he did, he could not reveal details because "we do not comment on internal staffing matters".

"The investigation is, of course, being conducted under procedure, and it should not be assumed that any offence has necessarily been committed".

Unite has 1.4 million members, and past year donated £1.5 million to the Labour party.

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