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Sharon Graham succeeds McCluskey as new Unite general secretary

Image credit: Unite the Union

Sharon Graham will succeed Len McCluskey who has been general secretary of the 1.2 million-strong union since 2010.

Unite the union has announced the final results of its members' vote for each of the three candidates. A total of 124,147 votes were cast of which Sharon Graham received 46,696 votes. In second place Steve Turner received 41,833 votes and in third Gerard Coyne with 35,334 votes.

Outgoing general secretary Len McCluskey said: "I thoroughly congratulate Sharon on her victory, which reaffirms her as the most formidable campaigning force in our movement.

"It's a fantastic achievement and I am very proud to be handing over to our first woman general secretary.

"I have been hugely privileged to be at the helm of Unite for the past eleven years. Sharon has been a valued and close friend and an integral part of my senior team throughout my time in office so I know from experience that she is a talented, dedicated and passionate trade unionist. I have every faith that she will run our union in a manner true to its fighting back spirit.

"Sharon comes into office at a time of great uncertainty for our members and a challenging political environment. From assaults on workers' rights to the fear that the end of furlough will bring with it increased and needless unemployment, the in-tray is full. But I know that she will build on our values and harness the talents of our great union in the service of our members and our movement."

Sharon Graham said: "I am honoured to have been elected by our members, and I understand that the trust that they have placed in me brings with it tremendous responsibility.

"Our members expect their union to be in their corner so I was proud to stand on a manifesto that pledged to put our members and our workplaces first. I will deliver on those promises.

"Unite is an incredible force for good in the UK and Ireland but I am fully aware of the huge challenges our members face in the workplace.

"As general secretary, I will put all the power of our union into defending their jobs, improving their pay and protecting their rights.

"Bad bosses take note. A strong Unite is the best defence that our members can have - my focus now is to build that strength."


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