No criminal investigation into Unite
Evidence lacking into allegations of election rigging, say police
Unite, led by general secretary Len McCluskey, has been accused of hijacking the selection of a candidate to contest a parliamentary seat in the Scottish town of Falkirk. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
Scottish police are not to conduct a criminal investigation into allegations that the Unite union tried to rig the selection of a Labour House of Commons election candidate.
Police had been asked to examine the case by the Labour Party, which claimed that the union signed people up for the party’s Falkirk branch without their knowledge.
However, police yesterday said no criminal investigation will happen, since evidence that money was involved is lacking.
Unite immediately demanded that two of its members suspended from party membership should be reinstated, but Labour said it will now take disciplinary action against them.
Unite remained defiant in the bitter row with Labour leader Ed Miliband, saying: “Unite says what it has always said – the union broke neither Labour Party rules nor the law in Falkirk.”
Mr Miliband has been criticised for acting too slowly over Falkirk, since problems with the choice of a replacement for disgraced MP Eric Joyce were evident two months ago. Then, when he did act, he was accused of going too far, by pledging to end the automatic contributions of union members to Labour’s coffers,unless they give individual permission.