Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said:  “While the audit of the Birmingham hotel and conference centre gave the accounts a clean bill of health, a recent expert valuation has now estimated its value as being considerably lower than the costs incurred in developing the site. This represents a potentially significant loss to Unite and has to be investigated.
 
“I am therefore commissioning an independent inquiry to be led by a QC and supported by an external law firm in order to review the costs incurred and address the question of how and why this difference has arisen. These questions need to be answered in a timely fashion and in order to ensure transparency the outcome of the inquiry will be made public. I will also be doing everything possible to recover all monies due back to the union.
 
“I expect the terms of reference and the arrangements for the scope of the inquiry to be agreed in January and I hope to be in a position to provide an update by the end of March. As it will be for the inquiry to establish the facts in this case we will not be giving out any further details that may prejudice the investigation.
 
“This inquiry is of course important but it will not detract from our absolute focus on the jobs, pay and conditions of our members.” 
 
ENDS 
 
Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
 
Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.
 
 
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org 
 
Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.