20 July 2020 | UK NEWS
The General Secretary of Unite the Union and key Jeremy Corbyn ally Len McCluskey will reportedly end his term in office earlier than expected.
According to a report in The Times, McCluskey will be replaced a year earlier than anticipated. His term was due to finish in 2022. He was first elected to his position in 2010 and has faced two re-election campaigns since then.
McCluskey had been one of the figures highlighted in the party’s anti-Semitism scandal. After an interview on The Andrew Marr Show, he received criticism for saying he believed that people were using anti-Semitism to undermine Corbyn’s leadership:
“I’m absolutely convinced that there were those individuals who opposed Jeremy Corbyn’s election right from the beginning who used the anti-Semitism issue to undermine him – there is no doubt about that.”
Steve Turner, a former bus driver, is the current favourite to replace McCluskey. The United Left group held a hustings event on Saturday, where Turner edged out his rival Howard Beckett by winning 370 votes to 367 on a turnout of more than 65%.
United Left said the outcome of the vote had been “stringently reinforced and verified”.
Tweeting after the result, Mr Turner, the current Assistant General Secretary, thanked members and said: “38 years ago when I joined our union as a bus conductor I would never have thought I could one day have been your candidate for general secretary.
“The confidence you’ve put in me humbled me and I will never let you down!”
He also thanked his competitor, Mr Beckett, “for a great campaign between comrades”.
Mr Turner added that he looked forward to “bringing our left together as we move forward in the coming fight to keep our union left”.