Over 500 delegates attended the recall congress of the GMB union to discuss in detail the findings of the inquiry into allegations of corruption and fraud during the 2003 general secretary election.
The report detailed allegations against campaigns run for Kevin Curran, the former general secretary, and the current deputy general secretary, Debbie Coulter.
Unnamed Labour MPs and employers helped in the campaign. The report accuses a Newcastle firm of solicitors of mounting a “phone bank” operation to cold call members, stuffing thousands of envelopes and paying for election addresses.
Delegates expressed anger and shock at the report and the congress accepted its findings unanimously.
A series of rule changes were passed. These included allowing those holding temporary positions to stand in elections—this will enable Paul Kenny, the current acting general secretary, to stand for election.
The congress set in progress a fresh election for the union’s leadership. Rule changes were made to enable campaigning for union positions. Somewhat less progressively, candidates for the general secretary will now require nominations from 30 branches in order to stand.
Nominations for election of GMB general secretary and treasurer close on Wednesday 26 April and voting starts on Monday 8 May.