West Bromwich's Gerard Coyne sacked by Unite union
The West Midlands regional secretary of Unite has been sacked over allegations he misused data in the union’s recent leadership race.
Gerard Coyne, from West Bromwich, stood against Len McCluskey to become leader of the union but lost by less than 6,000 votes.
During the bitter campaign Mr Coyne was viewed as the anti-Corbyn candidate, while Mr McCluskey is one of the Labour leader’s key allies.
Mr Coyne said he was notified by email that he has been sacked from his position following a disciplinary hearing. He said: “I am deeply disappointed, but not surprised at my dismissal. When you are in a kangaroo court, you are rarely surprised by the outcome.
“I have held the post for 16 years and no complaint was raised during the hearing about how I carried out that role.”
Mr Coyne initially faced seven charges, six of which he successfully challenged. The final one related to an alleged technical data breach that the disciplinary committee found had damaged relations between Unite and Labour.
Mr Coyne said: “It was always clear to me that the charges were nothing more than a stitch-up.
“My real ‘crime’ was having the audacity to challenge Mr McCluskey in the General Secretary election that he called unnecessarily.”