Unite confirms the timetable for the general secretary...

Unite confirms the timetable for the general secretary election in 2017

06 December 2016

The Executive Council of Unite the union has today (Tuesday 6 December) agreed that the timetable for the election of the union’s general secretary will be brought forward to the first months of 2017.

This will ensure that the ballot for Executive Council (EC) members and the ballot for general secretary are conducted simultaneously, minimising the enormous costs caused to the union by the legal requirement to conduct the ballot by post and not by modern voting methods, thereby saving the union in the region of £1 million.

Following a period of candidate nominations, the ballot for both elections will commence on 27 March 2017, concluding on 28 April 2017.

General secretary Len McCluskey immediately tendered his resignation to the Unite EC, announcing his intention to stand as a candidate.

The EC also agreed that assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail, should become acting general secretary for the election period.  

Len McCluskey said: “I intend to be a candidate in the upcoming general secretary election and to submit my record to the vote of Unite members.

“Unite’s Executive Council has agreed that my resignation will take effect from 28 April, when the elections for general secretary and the Executive Council itself end.  I will remain general secretary until then – after that it is in the hands of the membership.

“This will be an election in which Unite will be under unprecedented scrutiny particularly from our enemies.  It is vital that in this period there is no lack of continuity in service or support to our membership, and that the full integrity of our procedures is not only protected, but seen to be protected.

“I welcome the Executive Council’s decision to appoint Gail Cartmail as acting general secretary taking temporary office alongside myself until the end of the general secretary election.  This will ensure that, while I am a candidate for re-election, the business of Unite remains properly managed.”


For further information please contact Unite director of communications Pauline Doyle on 07976 832861 or Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869. 

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.