Len McCluskey takes on top role with Unite union

The country's biggest trade union has a new leader after one of its assistant general secretaries easily beat three rivals in an election for the role.

Len McCluskey received 101,000 votes to become the next general secretary of Unite.

Jerry Hicks, a lay member of the union, came second with 52,000 votes, beating two other assistant general secretaries. Les Bayliss came third with 46,000 and Gail Cartmail came fourth with 39,000 votes.

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Mr McCluskey, 61, is a life-long trade union activist and has held several senior posts with both Unite and the Transport & General Workers' Union.

He will take over from Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson, who have been joint general secretaries since Unite was formed.

Unite is the country's largest union with more than 1.4 million members and is the biggest union affiliate to the Labour Party.