Yorkshire regional secretary wins union’s controversial leadership election

Steve Murphy has emerged triumphant in construction union Ucatt’s controversial leadership election.

Murphy, the union’s Yorkshire regional secretary, defeated London regional secretary Jerry Swain in the ballot by 5,475 to 3,529 votes.

Sources claimed Murphy was the union leadership’s preferred candidate for the post and was seen as a “safe pair of hands”.

The union’s election has been dogged by controversy, after the union’s selection committee chose to bar former general secretary Alan Ritchie and workers’ campaigner Mick Dooley from the ballot in October.

In a dramatic twist, Ritchie sought a High Court injunction last month to block the election but was unsuccessful.

Dooley is also challenging the union’s decision to bar him from the ballot with unions’ watchdog the Certification Office.

Only 9,055 votes were cast out of a possible 48,146 eligible voters – a turnout of 18.8%.

The low number of eligible voters is less than half of Ucatt’s claimed membership of 120,000.