Just got the news from Kevin Coyne – one of the challengers against Derek Simpson – that he received 244 branch nominations, not far behind Simpson’s 313. (For the background see my blog earlier today). He is now calling for the runners-up to, ahem, unite with him.
Simpson, the sitting joint general secretary of Unite, is suddenly looking far from secure.
“Union workplace and branch votes published today show that Unite Regional Secretary, Kevin Coyne has won 244 nominations, within breathing distance of sitting Joint General Secretary, Derek Simpson who received 313 nominations.
The two are separated by just 69 nominations, a fraction of the nomination gap between Derek Simpson and the union’s former General Secretary, Sir Ken Jackson. That contest saw Derek Simpson win just 94 nominations compared to 351 for Ken Jackson but Simpson went on to win.
Three other candidates have received enough nominations for their names to be included on the ballot paper in the race to become the next Joint General Secretary of Unite but with 113, 93 and 76 nominations apiece, Kevin Coyne is the favourite to unseat Derek Simpson and is calling on the other candidates to join his campaign and be part of a team to reshape the union, redirecting resources to support members and delivering the merger with sister union, the transport and general workers union.”