DOUG McAVOY, general secretary of the NUT teachers' union, retires in June. Some 70 NUT activists met in Nottingham on Saturday to try to choose a candidate of the left to stand for the position.
John Illingworth chaired the meeting. He had earlier been voted for as the left's candidate, but has unfortunately been forced to withdraw because of ill health.
Many present argued the left needs to build on the new political mood that the anti-war movement and the stirrings of industrial confidence have created.
Three candidates put their names forward. The voting was: Alex Kenny, east London, 32 votes; Ian Murch, Bradford, 19 votes; and Martin Powell-Davies, Lewisham, 13 votes.
Martin withdrew, but a second vote was not taken. Unfortunately no other candidate withdrew at this stage so there are, at the moment, two left candidates.
Activists need to continue arguing for a single candidate who will present a genuine left alternative to the two candidates from the union's national apparatus, Steve Sinnott and John Bangs.