High profile campaigner Mick Dooley kicked out after public outburst

Former Ucatt leadership candidate Mick Dooley has been expelled from the construction workers’ union Ucatt after launching a public verbal assault.

Dooley’s expulsion follows a complaint by senior Ucatt member Terry Renshaw, who claimed an expletive-filled speech by Dooley at a London protest had undermined his 40-year campaign to overturn his arrest at the 1972 Shrewsbury Pickets.

Renshaw issued the complaint because Dooley made his speech – in which he repeatedly told the union to “go f**k yourselves” – in front of a ‘Shrewsbury Picket’ banner, which was visible in a video of the speech uploaded to YouTube.

The Shrewsbury Pickets, in which actor Ricky Tomlinson was sent to prison, was one of the UK’s most famous industrial relations disputes.

In a letter seen by Building dated 27 February, Ucatt said it had upheld Renshaw’s complaint.

The letter said: “The executive council expressed the view that there was no justification for attacking this organisation in the public place and because of the seriousness of the situation, it was decided that your membership of the union be withdrawn forthwith.”

Dooley is one of the most high profile figures in Ucatt and ran unsuccessfully for leadership of the union in 2004 and 2009.

However he successfully overturned the 2009 election result and the appointment of Alan Ritchie as general secretary, after he highlighted anomalies with the result.

Unions watchdog the Certification Office (CO) annulled the election last March, forcing Ritchie to resign.

In the election re-run last December, both Ritchie and Dooley were barred from running by the union’s executive council, on the grounds that they were ‘unfit’ to run.

The union’s former Yorkshire secretary Steve Murphy was elected leader of the union.

Dooley is currently challenging the barring of himself and Ritchie from December’s election, which could result in the CO ordering yet another re-run of the election.

Dooley said: “I will of course appeal this latest decision and Ucatt’s troubles will continue to drag on, causing more embarrassment and wasted costs to union members”.

Ucatt declined to comment.