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SNP-supporting fire union chief in heavy defeat

John Duffy suffered a heavy defeat to election rival Stephen Thompson. Picture: Contributed

John Duffy suffered a heavy defeat to election rival Stephen Thompson. Picture: Contributed

  • by ANDREW WHITAKER
 

THE SNP-supporting boss of the Scottish firefighters’ union has been heavily defeated in a leadership election after a bitter campaign that saw him accused of being too close to nationalist ministers.

John Duffy was ousted as Scottish FBU secretary in today’s election that saw his rival Stephen Thompson win 1,014 votes compared to the 254 he polled.

Mr Thompson told The Scotsman that “certain parts of the union felt let down” over the way the union leadership handled issues such as cuts to fire control rooms.

Mr Duffy, who is on the SNP list of approved candidates, had faced internal criticism after the Scottish FBU failed to join a strike in England and Wales over a controversial move to ­increase the firefighters’ retirement age from 55 to 60.

The FBU’s UK general secretary Matt Wrack is also reported to have been unhappy with the direction of the union leadership in Scotland under Mr Duffy.

Mr Thompson, said that he wanted a “healthier” relationship with the UK leadership after he was elected for a four year term today.


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