The Unite union has suspended three high profile figures, including one of the candidates in the recent general secretary election in the Amicus section. There is now an investigation into a series of leaks to the media.
Those suspended were north west regional secretary Kevin Coyne, who came third in the recent election, Richard O'Brien director of communication and Brian Gallagher, communications department campaigns officer.
Simpson won the election unconvincingly, with left wing challenger Jerry Hicks coming second with 25 percent of the vote.
While Coyne was seen as one of the right wing candidates, activists in Unite do not want a union where bureaucratic diktats settle political arguments.
Many fear that the left in the union will suffer the brunt of attacks if such a situation is allowed to develop.