Unite re-elects leader for another five-year term

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THE general secretary of the country’s biggest trade union yesterday said he was “deeply honoured” to be re-elected for another five-year term of office.

Len McCluskey of Unite received over 144,000 votes compared with almost 80,000 for the other candidate, Jerry Hicks.

The result was much closer than expected, with the turnout just over 15 per cent.

Mr McCluskey has been general secretary since the end of 2010 and had two years of his term to run.

But he decided to hold a ballot now to avoid a re-election poll clashing with the general election in 2015. He will now be leader of Unite until 2018.

Mr Hicks, from Bristol, is an unemployed rank-and-file member of Unite. He received 163 nominations to stand in the election, compared with over 1,000 for Mr McCluskey.

Mr McCluskey said: “I’m deeply honoured that members have once again put their faith in me to lead their union.

“We are living in extraordinary times with workers facing unprecedented attacks on their living standards and their rights at work.

“Thanks to this government of millionaires, work is becoming less secure and austerity threatens the social fabric of our great nation. More than ever working people need a union which will stand up for them.”

“Unified and freed from the distraction of an internal election in 2015, I pledge to focus 
on the fighting for members and defeating this Tory-led government.”