IN a tight vote last week the Unite Greater Manchester Community branch nominated Len McCluskey for the General secretary on Britain's biggest union; Unite the Union. The figures given to Northern Voices were:
Len McCluskey : 14; Ian Allinson : 13; Gerard Coyne : 0
Our contact in the Manchester Community Branch says that 'according to this this week's Weekly Worker, (Ian) Allinson has 7 nominating branches so far. He has until 17 February to get another 43 - it looks like a tall order!'
Candidates need 50 nominating branches to get onto the ballot paper for the election.
NV has taken the position that it is vital that as many names as possible are on the ballot and that a 'coronation' of Len McCluskey would be an unhealthy result for Unite and democracy. Because the suggestion is that the election was called for selfish reasons to extend his term in office.
In our opinion some elements appear to be moving heaven and earth to keep Ian Allinson off the ballot by blustering about splitting the vote of the left. If this is the case and the Unite bureaucracy is determined to keep Mr. Allinson out of the race, it will create much bad blood in the labour movement.
Today, we calculate that according to Ian Allinson's Twitter account there are some 24 nominating branches opting for Mr. Allison*, but some of these may not yet have registered their nominations officially.
* NV spoke to Ian Allison last night and he said that he had only 22 branches that had confirmed their nominations to him.