Construction’s largest union Ucatt was thrown into turmoil this week after a watchdog declared its 2009 leadership election void

Alan Ritchie’s victory in the contest to lead the union was annulled by the Certification Office for Trade Unions (CO) after an investigation found ballot papers were sent to only half Ucatt’s claimed membership.

Ritchie’s defeated rival Mick Dooley has confirmed he will stand in the event that the election is re-run.

The union is considering an appeal against the decision

John Thompson, ucatt

In a statement Ucatt said Ritchie was no longer its general secretary. Interim management arrangements will be determined at a meeting of the union’s executive council early next week.

Ucatt president John Thompson said the union was considering appealing the decision.

He said: “The union is disappointed with the certification officer’s decision. The union is taking into account its implications and is considering an appeal against the decision.”

Alan Ritchie was re-appointed leader of the union two years ago after beating regional officer Dooley by 6,706 votes to 4,431.

The CO ordered the election to be re-run so the result is declared no later than 29 July if there are two candidates, and 30 September if there are more.

Since launching a complaint against the election, Dooley has been involved in disputes with the Ucatt leadership and earlier this year was sacked as regional officer for allegedly “falsifying forms”, he claims.

Dooley is due to challenge his sacking in an employment tribunal in June.

A Ucatt spokesman said: “We can confirm that Mr Dooley has been dismissed for gross misconduct.”

Ritchie declined to comment.

Dooley said: “My relationship with union managers can be rehabilitated.”