Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Expelled Labour MP, Eric Joyce, Makes Allegations Against Unite & Labour Party

FALKIRK MP Eric Joyce has said Labour is protecting the position of the Unite union organiser, Stevie Deans, at the centre of a selection row because it 'fears' the organisation’s leadership.  Stevie Deans has been accused of trying to rig the selection of the next Labour candidate in Falkirk.  But Mr Joyce said Mr Deans remained party chairman in the constituency.

Mr Deans has now resigned from his job at the Grangemouth oil refinery, where he was facing a separate inquiry.  Unite previously voted for strike action over his treatment, which led to last week’s shutdown of the plant.

Mr Deans, the convener of the union in Scotland, worked at Grangemouth for about 25 years. Before resigning, he had been suspended by Ineos over claims he had used company time for union business.
Ineos, which runs the oil refinery and petrochemical works, had been expected to reveal the outcome of a disciplinary case against him on Tuesday.

Separately, Mr Deans was accused of trying to rig the selection of a parliamentary candidate in his role as chairman of the Labour Party in the Falkirk constituency.  It was claimed he had signed up dozens of new members for Labour, promising the recruits that Unite would pay their membership fees on the understanding they would back the union’s choice in the contest to select someone to replace Mr Joyce.

Labour decided in September that no individual or organisation had broken rules after evidence of wrongdoing was withdrawn.  But Mr Joyce, who lost the Labour whip and agreed to stand down following his conviction for assault in a House of Commons bar, told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme:
'The Labour Party, because it won’t allow people to elect a new chair, is effectively keeping Deans in place, and I think it’s to some degree because of a substantial amount of fear inside the Labour Party of the Unite leadership.'

Mr Joyce said Unite’s primary objective was moving Labour to the left rather than protecting workers’ interests.  But the union’s chief of staff, Andrew Murray, told Today Mr Joyce had given a 'wrong reading' of the situation.  He added that there was 'no evidence' that 'anything untoward' had taken place.

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