Len mccluskey

Lindsay Hoyle praises dodgy doners

As the Ukraine crisis worsened last night, where else would politicos be except the British Kebab Awards – which celebrate all that is good about the humble kebab shop. Alongside journalists, bag-handlers and spinners, a raft of politicians were queuing up to pay tribute to the industry including shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy and education minister Nadhim Zahawi, who delivered a fiery denunciation of Putin from the lectern. The guest of honour though was Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle. The Chorley MP used the occasion to both condemn what was happening in Ukraine and then reveal his own love of cooked meat dishes. He told the raucous attendees that:

Angela Rayner denounces Tory ‘scum’ (again)

Labour’s conference began yesterday and already there’s a familiar feel to events. We’ve had the timeless Labour shenanigans over membership rules, with an under-fire leader forced to compromise for his union backers. The party’s youth wing is on the war path, amid claims of organisers using ‘dirty tricks’ against Young Labour to scupper attendance at their events. Len McCluskey has done his bit to ‘help’ another leader by claiming he’d have backed Scottish independence and Starmer can’t win the next election. And now a leading Labour frontbencher has overshadowed their major policy announcement with foul-mouthed comments about the Tories. One long-suffering moderate buried his head in his hands when being told what

Len McCluskey’s £18 working class breakfasts

Trade union Unite are back in the news again after a brief hiatus following the end of the Corbyn melodrama last year. Outgoing general secretary Len McCluskey is facing questions about the £98 million of members’ money spent on building a four star Marriott hotel complex and conference centre in Birmingham which will house union offices. Despite a reported initial estimate of £7 million, the building costs ballooned to £57 million before construction began, with the key contract being awarded to Flanagan Group — run by McCluskey ally Paul Flanagan. This morning ‘Red Len’ showed he still has plenty of life left in him as he hit back at the

When will Red Len learn?

Few will be surprised that Unite has reportedly given no money to the Labour party since Keir Starmer took over as leader. Unite boss Len McCluskey and those around him were hardly thrilled at Starmer’s victory in the leadership contest. Why? Because they knew that it represented the end of the far left’s control over Labour. But if McCluskey is seeking to undermine Labour’s new leader, this will end badly and ultimately benefit only one person: Boris Johnson. It will also make the prospect of another thumping Tory win at the next election more likely. And, what’s worse for McCluskey, is that it could speed up the death of unions like

Len McCluskey calls on Labour MPs to vote down the Brexit deal

The Conservatives are currently in such disagreement over what the government approach to the second round of Brexit negotiations should be that the vote on the final deal seems a long way off indeed. However, it’s clearly on the mind of the Opposition. At a Resolution Foundation panel event this morning, Len McCluskey – the leader of Unite and top Corbyn ally – said he hoped Labour MPs voted down any Brexit deal the Tories come back with: ‘My personal hope and belief is that in late Autumn of this year the [Brexit] deal that comes back to parliament will be rejected, Theresa May will resign, and it will lead

Tom Watson is left out in the cold

Although the Labour party has managed to put on a more united front since the snap election, there have been signs to suggest Corbyn’s allies aren’t yet ready to forgive the moderates who tried to oust their dear leader just last year. From refusing to let the Mayor of London have a speaking slot at Labour conference to flirting with the idea of mandatory re-selection, moderates worry they are being left out in the cold. Appearing on Pienaar’s Politics on Sunday, Len McCluskey attempted to put an end to such reports. Corbyn’s close ally insisted that forgiveness was on the menu for anyone – so long as they now get behind

Len McCluskey’s hollow victory

Len McCluskey has seen off a challenge to be elected to a third term at the helm of Unite. And what a seeing off it was. When the votes starting to come in, and reportedly showed the top two contenders neck-and-neck, McCluskey’s rival was promptly suspended. Gerard Coyne was stripped of his duties as West Midlands regional secretary – although it’s not clear what he’s supposed to have done wrong or who his accusers are. Coyne has been a thorn in the side of the McCluskey hierarchy for some time. The Guardian points out that he was given a written warning in 2016. His offence? Speaking at an event hosted by moderate Labour MPs

Tom Goodenough

Len McCluskey’s victory finally gives Corbyn something to smile about

Len McCluskey has been re-elected as General Secretary of Unite. It was something of a messy fight: his rival Gerard Coyne was suspended yesterday – we still don’t know why – and the contest was much narrower than had been expected, with McCluskey winning by just 5,000 votes. The dismal turnout of 12 per cent also suggests that many of those eligible to vote were put off by the parochial rows at the heart of this contest. McCluskey accused a ‘cabal’ of Labour figures, who he described as ‘skilled masters of the darks arts’ of trying to use the election to oust Corbyn. While Coyne suggested that the general secretary of

Labour has abandoned workers. Trade unions must avoid doing the same

I’m not a member of a trade union, but I should be. As a freelance journalist, my employment situation is precarious — yet it still wouldn’t occur to me to join the National Union of Journalists. My reasons are both personal and political, but mostly practical: the NUJ talks tough but, in the end, seldom achieves more than a few quid extra in your redundancy package. Still, the union movement seems bent on wooing me; at least that’s how I’m interpreting Gerard Coyne’s campaign to oust Len McCluskey as Unite’s general secretary. Coyne’s manifesto touches on expected areas — better value for membership dues; a Brexit focus on training and

Unite challenger plays his Trump card

Following Donald Trump’s surprise victory in America, Jeremy Corbyn’s team have tried to take inspiration from the new US president by pitching the Labour leader as a left-wing Trump. In a bid to jump on the populist wave, Corbyn and his supporters have gone to lengths to big up his anti-establishment credentials — even adopting a Trump-esque approach to the media. However, are these tactics about to catch up with Corbyn’s comrades? Steerpike understands union bosses are to use Trump as a dividing line in the Unite leadership election. In a speech today, Gerard Coyne — who is running for the post of General Secretary of Unite — will take aim against his rival Len

The party’s over

This leadership contest was meant to topple Jeremy Corbyn, or at the very least weaken him. It has ended up strengthening him. The Corbynites will be now emboldened to go after all those who stand in their way, from the general secretary and the deputy leader to party staff and regional organisers. They are tightening their grip over the party from top to bottom, something the Blairites never did. Alarmingly for the moderates, the party could be beyond saving by 2020. Even the Parliamentary Labour Party, a bastion against Corbynism, could be pushed hard to the left at the next election. Candidate selection will enable Momentum and co. to oust some of

Len McCluskey warns that the security services might be trying to sabotage Jeremy Corbyn

The Labour leadership election has become even more bizarre today. Len McCluskey, the leader of Unite the Union and a key Corbyn backer, has given a Guardian interview in which he suggest that the ugly behaviour of Corbyn supporters online is actually the work of the security services. He tells Decca Aitkenhead: “Do people believe for one second that the security forces are not involved in dark practices? Decca, I have been around long enough … the type of stuff that we ultimately find out about, under the 30-year rule.” When Aitkenhead challenges him on this, McCluskey continues: “Well, I tell you what, anybody who thinks that that isn’t happening

Diane Abbott says it is smear to say Labour has a problem with anti-Semitism

Labour might have hoped that the announcement of an independent inquiry into the issue of anti-Semitism in the party would have drawn a line under the matter, and let the party get back to its election message ahead of polling day on Thursday. But comments by senior Labour figures are ensuring that this row continues. This morning, Diane Abbott went on the Marr show and said that ‘It is a smear to say that Labour has a problem with anti-Semitism’—which makes you wonder why Jeremy Corbyn has set up an inquiry into the issue. If this was not enough, Unite leader Len McCluskey declared on the radio that ‘The idea

Is Jeremy Corbyn really up for a fight with Len McCluskey over Trident?

Today’s report that Len McCluskey plans to warn Jeremy Corbyn against changing Labour policy on Trident is not a surprise after the GMB’s Sir Paul Kenny used pretty fruity language to do the same on Monday. But it is significant as it shows that the plan of those in the party who do not want the Labour leader to continue in post to the next election is progressing as they’d hope. That plan is pretty rough and ready, but it does involve the unions losing faith in Corbyn’s basic competence, and not just blocking his moves to mark Labour a unilateralist party. Whether or not that plan succeeds isn’t clear.

Len McCluskey turns on Jeremy Corbyn

Either Len McCluskey is, in the Corbynista narrative, a Tory, or things are going badly wrong for the man his union endorsed for the Labour leadership. The York Press reports that the Unite leader told an audience in York that Jeremy Corbyn ‘has to come to terms with his leadership’, that he ‘can’t necessarily say the first thing that comes into his head’ and that his comments about shoot-to-kill were ‘inappropriate’. What this shows – unless Len McCluskey really is a red Tory – is that even those union bosses who have been agitating for years for Labour to move left have been shocked by how disorganised and naive his

‘Inspirational’, ‘poetic’ and ‘one of hope’ — what the comrades think of Corbyn’s speech

Jeremy Corbyn’s first conference speech as Labour leader was targeted at his core fanbase and they certainly appear happy with what he had to say. So far, this is what members of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet and his friends in the trade unions have said about the speech: Andy Burnham, shadow home secretary and Corbyn’s leadership rival: ‘I think out there the public are crying out for a different way of politics, a different style of politics, they are fed up of the soundbites the spin, they want to see authenticity, people who mean what they say and that’s what you saw today from Jeremy Corbyn. ‘He’s fought all his political life for the things

Len McCluskey uses Tory rebel David Davis to attack trade union bill

The Labour conference is currently debating a motion on the Trade Union Bill, which Shadow Business Secretary Angela Eagle made clear in her speech that the party will oppose. It gave Len McCluskey a chance to give his traditional pre-Shadow Chancellor conference speech, though this year the Unite leader didn’t need to include any pleas to the Labour leadership to listen to him. Instead, he focused all the fire of his typically impassioned and forceful speech on the Tories. He suggested that the legislation curbing the powers of trade unions and their abilities to strike was more fitting for a fascist government. The Tories will be quite used to his

The Trade Union Bill must tie up Thatcher’s unfinished business

The People’s Assembly, the self-appointed left-wing pressure group behind the recent anti-austerity demonstrations, portrays itself as the voice of the masses struggling under oppressive Tory rule. It claims that no fewer than 250,000 demonstrators went to its rally in central London in June (a figure dutifully regurgitated by broadcasters). But photographs of the event in London indicate no more than 25,000 attended. The bogusness does not stop there. Despite its demotic name, the People’s Assembly is no spontaneous uprising of the angry British public. On the contrary, the organisation, which counts the comedian Russell Brand and the Guardian columnist Owen Jones among its noisiest advocates, is bankrolled by the trade unions, those wealthy institutions

How will the Conservatives react to a Jeremy Corbyn victory?

If the bookmakers and pollsters are to be believed, there is little doubt that Jeremy Corbyn will be crowned Labour leader on Saturday. Westminster is therefore wondering: what happens next? I’ve written a piece for POLITICO Europe today looking at the personal and policy battles ahead if Corbyn is the new opposition leader. Instead of treating him as a joke, it seems the Tories would take Corbyn seriously and use the bucketloads of research they have built up over the summer to undermine and destroy him. While Conservative HQ and Downing Street are not revealing too much about their plans if Corbyn wins, insiders suggest that their core message of ‘Labour hasn’t changed’ would be continued. Repeating the same

Unite distances itself from Burnham camp after email blip

Oh dear. Andy Burnham’s efforts of late to appeal to Jeremy Corbyn’s left-wing voters may have gone to waste after an email blip this morning. Steerpike understands that he has risked the wrath of one of the unions after an official looking email was circulated to members of Unite, the trade union, urging them to vote for Burnham. With Unite backing Corbyn, members were surprised to receive the email, from Joyce Still and Steve Hibbert of the union’s executive council, asking them to support Burnham in the leadership race: @unitetheunion just rec email from Andy Burnham team in name of J Still & S Hibbert Unire Exec – why are they endorsing Andy in Unites name?