For the last three months I have been touring the country meeting working men and women as I campaign to be re-elected as Unite’s General Secretary.
I have been listening to their hopes and fears in the factories, bus garages, building sites and hospitals. They are worried about their jobs above all, about Theresa May’s “hard Brexit”, about the public services they can see crumbling around them after seven years of Tory austerity.
They are – every last one, no matter whether they support me or not – decent people, committed to doing their best for their families, their workplace and their communities in a troubled world. They are the sort of people who make me proud to be a trade unionist, and proud to be able to help them in their daily struggles.
Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey has accused Labour deputy leader Tom Watson of ‘skullduggery, smears and plots’ and of ‘manufacturing division’ where ‘unity is required.
Labour’s Deputy Leader has accused Len McCluskey of plotting with Momentum leader Jon Lansman to use Unite cash to allow Momentum to take over the Labour Party, a charge McCluskey has vehemently denied in a blog for the Huffington Post.
McCluskey is standing for re-election as the head of Unite, the huge Labour-affiliated trade union, and said he has been travelling round the country meeting workers, ‘the sort of people who make me proud to be a trade unionist, and proud to be able to help them in their daily struggles.’
“But there is another world,” he wrote. “But there is another world in our movement, alas. A world of skulduggery, smears and secret plots.
That is where you will find Tom Watson. When Labour has needed loyalty he has been sharpening his knife looking for a back to stab. When unity is required, he manufactures division.”
Mr McCluskey called it ‘small surprise’ that Mr Watson had ‘worked to split the Party again this week.”
He called Watson “a product of the manipulative and authoritarian culture of the old trade union right-wing, for whom power was an end in itself, and all means acceptable to attain it.”
Mr Watson yesterday accused Momentum and Unite of a ‘secret plot’ to take over the Labour Party, and was reported to have been “cheered to the rafters” as he arrived at Monday night’s weekly meeting of Labour MPs in Westminster, a meeting which was described as “explosive”.
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