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Unite official seeking support for top job

Stefan Rousseau

By Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent

A leading figure in Unite has announced his intention to seek support for a bid to become the union’s next general secretary.

Steve Turner, the union’s assistant general secretary, said he was submitting his nomination to be the candidate of United Left, a broad-left organisation within the union.

The section will hold a hustings later this month, although the term of current general secretary Len McCluskey is not due to end until April 2022.

Mr Turner, who has been a union activist for 38 years, since joining the Transport and General Workers Union at the age of 19, said he was “proud and humbled” to be seeking support.

The 57-year-old has been heavily involved in dealing with job losses and other cuts in manufacturing and across industry since the coronavirus crisis struck.

A Unite spokesman said: “Len McCluskey’s term as Unite general secretary ends in April 2022. There are therefore no present plans for an election for his successor.

“Unofficial groups within the union and potential candidates are free to plan for the eventual election as they please, but for the union as a whole the priority, of course, remains protecting members’ jobs, safety and living standards through this dreadful pandemic.”

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