Ahead of today’s (Wednesday 22 January) prime minister’s questions, Britain’s largest union, Unite, demanded an apology from David Cameron over his smears against the union’s former Grangemouth convenor Stevie Deans and claims that he was a ‘rogue’ official.
The call follows yesterday’s news that Police Scotland had found ‘no evidence of any criminality’ in a cache of emails held on the work computer of Stevie Deans and puts pressure on David Cameron over his remarks.
On 30 October 2013 during PMQs, the prime minister sought to exploit the Grangemouth dispute for political gain, using the dispatch box to claim that ‘we have a real problem with a rogue trade unionist at Grangemouth.’
The emails which formed the basis of his smears had been leaked to the Sunday Times and subsequently handed to Police Scotland by his former employer Ineos.
Commenting, Len McCluskey Unite general secretary said: “David Cameron should use prime minister’s questions to apologise for his smears and his gleeful contribution to the witch-hunt of Stevie Deans and Unite.
“He demeaned the office of prime minister in using the dispatch box to smear an ordinary working man for cheap political advantage. Had the prime minister not hid behind parliamentary privilege to hurl abuse at Stevie Deans, had he said this is a public arena, he would find himself in court for slander.
“If he has a shred of decency then the Bullingdon bully will apologise for his part in the hysteria that put Stevie and his family under siege and for the smears that were without foundation.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.