Len McCluskey is apparently out to prove his status as the anti-Midas of British politics. It’s hard to think of anything he has touched which hasn’t gone sour.
With scandals already running over Falkirk, Grangemouth, alleged thuggery, the union’s tax bill and McCluskey’s control of Ed Miliband, perhaps it was only a matter of time before Unite’s internal politics joined the list.
The union’s leadership election was a showcase for Len’s power – as could be seen in his total dominance of the Morning Star during the race. Now it’s got more serious.
Today’s Sunday Times reports that the Certification Office, which regulates the Trade Unions, has launched an investigation into whether McCluskey’s re-election was free and fair.
The defeated challenger, Jerry Hicks, claims almost 160,000 people were balloted despite not being members of the union. Some ballot papers were sent to people who had died.
Ordinarily, such complaints might seem like sour grapes. But given Len’s defence of dodgy practices in Falkirk and the fact that figures involved in the Falkirk and Grangemouth scandals were helping to run his campaign it’s understandable that Hicks is concerned.
As he asks,
“Was Falkirk an aberration or a modus operandi?”
As the investigations pile up, looking into seemingly every aspect of Unite’s politicking, perhaps we will soon find out.