United Left calls for unity after endorsing Steve Turner as GS candidate

The United Left National Coordinating Committee has endorsed Steve Turner as the group’s candidate for Unite general secretary.

On Saturday, the union’s assistant general secretary beat AGS for Legal & Politics Howard Beckett by just three votes. There were reports of Beckett supporters being denied a vote in the online ballot, prompting a discussion about whether he would challenge the result. Beckett has not commented publicly on the result, although he has tweeted his solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn.

Turner tweeted: “THANK YOU – I’m honoured to have received the overwhelming support of the @ULnational NCC tonight in confirming Saturdays ballot result – now to build our left, develop our manifesto and win the vote to keep our union left when the time comes for the GS election! #Solidarity”

A statement on the United Left website from chair Jim Kelly read: “The (NCC) met on Wednesday evening (22 July) to review and endorse two reports that had been submitted.

“One was from the NCC officers on the conduct of the hustings and voting process and also  a Scrutineer’s report by the independent ballot company that the NCC sourced to conduct our online ballot last Saturday. The Scrutineer’s report was put before the committee and endorsed overwhelmingly by NCC members. The NCC Officers’ Report confirming the result of the hustings vote was similarly supported overwhelmingly.

“This followed a profoundly democratic process which involved the biggest attendance at a hustings in the history of the United Left, and the largest participation of United Left membership in any selection vote ever.

“Steve Turner has now been confirmed as the United Left nominee for the position of Unite General Secretary. We will all now work collectively to put him into office when the time comes. It was a tight race with a very high turnout across our regions and nations and we would like to thank both the candidates, who put forward such excellent presentations and in-depth answers to the series of questions submitted to them by the United Left regions and nations.

“It is now time for the UL to come together and recognise the challenge ahead of us. We must now deliver a re-energised lay member vision of a fighting back, organising union: one capable of winning for our members and class post Covid. We face enormous challenges for the foreseeable future, and we will organise collectively to strengthen our activist base and grow the left in our union.

“The United Left will now work with our usual discipline across all regions and nations to ensure that our elected candidate Steve Turner is delivered into the post of General Secretary when the election is called. We call on all UL comrades to get behind Steve. Now is the time to unite and move forward.”

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