In this time of great economic and political uncertainty, the Labour party must stand as the true voice and standard-bearer of working people in this country.
As the Labour party’s largest affiliated trade union, Unite regrets but recognises that a leadership election is now likely.
While we remain of the view that this is an unhelpful process to be embarking upon at this time, we urge all sections of the party to act with dignity and respect for each other as this process unfolds.
We would urge too, that to assist the party as it moves forward to a contest, that full independent legal counsel is shared with the members of the decision making body, the NEC, to bring clarity and a common view to this process.
In the view of this union, the overwhelming argument of counsel is that Jeremy Corbyn, as the democratically elected and incumbent leader of our party, must as of right be on the ballot paper.
Moreover, we fear that a leader elected in any ballot from which Jeremy Corbyn is excluded would have no credibility in either the party or the country. Any such election would look like a sordid fix, and alien to the traditions of the Labour movement.
Therefore the only way for any challenger to Jeremy Corbyn to seek a legitimate mandate from members to lead our party is through a fair and open election in which the elected leader is able to defend himself, his record and his programme.
To do anything else would leave a stain on party unity that might prove permanent.
While it is only right that we all accept the result of a fair election whatever it is, for our party’s safe and stable future, we must never accept a fix.
For further information please contact Alex Flynn on 07967 665869 or Pauline Doyle on 07976 832861.
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.