Following a statement from the General Secretary, the majority of the UNITE Executive Council (EC) today agreed the following statement:
GENERAL SECRETARY ELECTION
The Executive Council welcomes the progress made towards creating a common Unite constitution, structure and culture over the last two years, and believes that the benefits of this are starting to be felt throughout the union and the wider labour movement.
With a devastating economic crisis unfolding, the need throughout the movement for clear and purposeful leadership will be of continuing importance. Unite's own further integration and development would also be enhanced by clarity and stability regarding the union's leadership over the next period.
The Executive Council also notes that rule 15.2 mandates that the next General Secretary election will take place in 2015, at the same time as the General Election itself is scheduled. Any outcome of the General Election will certainly raise important issues for Unite and its membership, in particular in relation to our political strategy and our links with the Labour Party, requiring strong leadership at that time. It will be no time for a vacuum such as would inevitably be the consequence of a General Secretary election campaign at the same time.
In the light of these considerations, the Executive Council resolves to hold an election for the post of Unite General Secretary as soon as practicable, and directs the Chief of Staff to bring forward proposals to this end.I expect the Chief of Staff to bring forward the proposals for the timetable and conduct of the election so that they can be decided at the Executive Council meeting which continues this week.