Labour right’s ‘relief’ over Unite election is pure political panto


SHARON Graham has been elected Unite General Secretary – beating the right wing candidate Gerard Coyne.

The right of the Labour Party had hoped Coyne, while being vocal as the boss of Unite, might allow them to reign free.

Graham won 46,696 votes of a total reported 124,147 cast.

Meanwhile Coyne, who was backed by Labour’s right wing factions and wrote for The Sun newspaper, finished third with 35,334.

The remaining 41,833 votes being claimed by Steve Turner, who had been the left’s anointed candidate.

Graham is likely to be less interested in internal Labour machinations than Len McCluskey or her left-wing rival for GS, Turner.

Indeed, the first female General Secretary wants to focus more on union organising than Labour party squabbles.

But Graham’s victory is not a win for Labourites of a right wing lean – indeed, it’s far from it.

Unite’s new General Secretary is looking to put the union in a position of real power when it comes to industrial relations.

Following Graham’s election trade unionist have hailed the prospects of a fighting union willing to back workers all the way.

By fighting to drive up terms and conditions in workplaces across the country, Unite and the wider trade union movement could become a mayor extra-parliamentary force of the left.

The end result is also likely to hit Labour’s purse strings, which have already taken a nosedive since Keir Starmer took power.

Outgoing Len McCLuskey cut the amount United gifted to the party in protest at the direction of travel of Starmer’s Labour.

Graham has herself warned there will be “no blank cheques” for Keir Starmer.

All together, the result does not warrant any sighs of relief from LOTO.

The outcome, even if some haven’t caught on, is worse for “centrist” Labour MPs and pundits than many are likely willing to admit.

Featured Image: Andrew Skudder @Flickr

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