One of the UK’s largest and most powerful trade unions has cut ties with a long-term supplier over fears it was involved in crime.
The union organisation, Labour’s largest donor, told staff the decision was “primarily due to the risk of an offense being committed under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002”.
The company, which was not named by Sky News for legal reasons, said it had “recently assisted the police in certain investigations” but that “no charges of any kind have been brought against anyone linked or connected to our company in any way”.Read:Plymouth mum baffled as scaffolding put around her Plympton house
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“[We] We categorically deny any wrongdoing of any kind on the part of this company or its employees.”
A Unite spokesperson confirmed the decision and told Sky News: “The union has engaged and will continue to share any relevant information we obtain on these matters with the police and other relevant authorities.
“The Secretary-General is committed to ensuring that no stone unturned is left in uncovering the truth about these matters and that any steps necessary are taken to protect the interests of our members.”
Unite’s assistant general secretary, Gail Cartile, disclosed the union’s move in an email to employees and cited the pressure of “a round of ongoing investigations.”Read:Britain heading for third summer heatwave – how Coventry and Warwickshire will be affected
Police raided the union’s central London headquarters in April as part of an investigation into bribery, fraud and money laundering.
The officers left the building with boxes of files, papers and a computer, and the union later confirmed that a Unite employee was under criminal police investigation.
A separate investigation, led by KC, into spending £100m of members’ money on a controversial hotel and conference centre, is underway.
Secretary-General Sharon Graham, who took over from Lynn McCluskey in 2021, ordered the investigation after forensic accountants concluded the value of the building was “significantly less” than the costs of building it.
Sharon Graham is ‘determined to clean up’ a union rocked by allegations of corruption
Sharon Graham is the only reason we know so much now about the nature of Unite’s internal problems. .
Since Lynn McCluskey took over as General Secretary of the Syndicate in 2021, she has presided over the antithesis of Cover-Up.
When she ordered a Kavkaz Center-led investigation into one scandal and cut ties with a controversial contractor, she showed her resolve to clean up an organization rocked by allegations of corruption.
Allies describe it as “tough and comprehensive”.
However, she will not be judged on what these dual investigations reveal, but on how she holds those responsible to account.
Sky News understands the shortfall is around £70m.
Unite has more than 1.2 million members across many sectors, including construction, logistics, manufacturing, and transportation.