Seems there are some very uncomfortable questions being asked of one Len McCluskey and the ever spiralling costs of a development…….a hotel and conference centre.
The building by the way is being completed by a friend of McCluskey and includes the son of Joe Anderson, one David Anderson acting as the Health and Safety Consultant, and the bill has risen from £7 million to £98 million. This is an increase of some 1400%. Now I know you can expect some increase but this is bordering on criminal. How does the cost of a development rise by some 1400%?
The development that is being built in Birmingham had risen to some £57 million pounds before it had even been built. There are questions that needed to be asked here:
Why did the costs rise by some 800% before the construction had even begun.
Who signed off the growing costs of this development without a brick being laid?
What were the bidding procedures for it.
How was the winning bid decided?
What was the process of awarding the development’s key contract to Liverpool-based Flanagan Group, a firm run by McCluskey ally Paul Flanagan?
What were the bidding process for this and who made the final decision on the the health and safety contract being awarded to SSC, a company owned by David Anderson, the son of former Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson.
Mr Flanagan and both David and Joe Anderson have been arrested on suspicion of bribery as part of a Merseyside Police corruption investigation not linked to Unite.
Another question that needs asking is was this decision put to the members of the Unite Union as it is their subs that McCluskey is spending?
“I feel angry,” said Labour MP and Unite member Neil Coyle, who is among those calling for an inquiry. “I feel this is an outrageous abuse of positions to use members’ hard earned subs to fund a project that’s gone catastrophically wrong and there’s been no apologies.”
Ben Bradshaw, a former Labour cabinet minister, said: “The obvious answer to the lack of transparency is to have an independent inquiry and I think that’s absolutely the right thing to do and I think that’s what the members would expect.”
Len McCluskey has stated that the initial cost was too low but why was it signed off then? Did he not take advice on the costs? Why was it acceptable to accept a bid of £7 million pounds and then to let the costs spiral by some 1,400% and growing? There is a case to answer here and there must be an independent inquiry into what procedures were followed and who made the final decision. This cannot be just brushed under the carpet as 1400% above the original costs is outrageous.
Len McCluskey has to realise that this is not his money and it his not his to award to contracts to his friends and the relatives of Mayors, but that procedures have to be followed to get the best value for money. I have worked in bidding and there is no way this should have been allowed to go 800% above costs before a brick had been laid and there are questions to answer. Again, this is not private money, it is not the piggy bank of Len McCluskey but rather the monies of Unite members and for some of the members this money could be used elsewhere for their families, and not for friends of McCluskey.
Then again, this is the same Len McCluskey who dines out at 5* restaurants using the Unite Credit Card that the members pay for….
Union baron Len McCluskey and his close friend, Labour election supremo Karie Murphy, took time off from the campaign on Thursday night to wine and dine in style at glitzy new London eaterie Cafe L’oscar. The restaurant in Holborn is not for those on the minimum wage – the wine list includes a bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild, 1er Cru Classe, Pauillac for £2,700. The cheapest bottle of Spanish red is £38.
I have said it before and I will say it again….it must be great be a Union boss and that only a select few can afford to be socialists….the rest of us are not rich enough.
Lets not forget the flat he bought with £400,000 from the Unite Union. The union has contributed 60 per cent of the cost of the £700,000 property, located just south of the river Thames. The Unite union has defended giving its leader, Len McCluskey, £400,000 to help him buy a central London flat as “extraordinarily commonplace”. Britain’s biggest union came under fire after it emerged it put forward 60 per cent of the cost of the £700,000 property, just south of the river Thames, in February this year. One union insider said there would be “much disquiet” over the arrangement, at a time when many of Unite’s members are struggling, according to The Guardian. (Independent 2016)
So I would advise all members of the Unite Union to go and ask for a contribution to buy your house if needed, after all its your money that the head of this union seems so keen to be spending…..