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Len McCluskey rival ditches unfair dismissal lawsuit against Unite

2 min read

A rival of top Jeremy Corbyn ally Len McCluskey has dropped his claim of unfair dismissal against the union Unite. 

Gerard Coyne, the union’s former West Midlands regional secretary, has withdrawn a lawsuit claiming he was unfairly sacked over a misuse of data. 

Mr Coyne was sacked in June 2017, just a few months after standing against Mr McCluskey for the role of general secretary at the union, which is Labour's biggest financial backer.

Mr McCluskey won 45.5% of the vote against Mr Coyne’s 41.5%. 

An investigation by Unite’s chief of staff Andrew Murray found Mr Coyne had used Labour party data to contact potential supporters. 

Reacting to Coyne’s withdrawal, Howard Beckett, the union’s assistant general secretary for legal affairs, said: “We welcome the withdrawal of Mr Coyne’s case against Unite. 

“This now concludes the litany of challenges Mr Coyne has brought against the union relating to his defeat in last year’s general secretary election and his dismissal from the union for misusing his position as regional secretary.

“It should be noted that not a single one of his cases, at the employment tribunal, with the certification officer or the information commissioner has been successful.” 

A friend of Mr Coyne’s told the Guardian he had dropped the case after running out of funds. 

They said: “He is an individual and the union was employing a top barrister so the case could have cost Gerard £20,000 if he had lost. 

“He had a good case but could not risk it.” 

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