Move comes as former general secretary continues his pursuit of a High Court injunction to halt union election
Bosses at union Ucatt have voted to launch formal disciplinary proceedings against its former general secretary Alan Ritchie over allegations he misused union expenses.
The news comes as Ritchie continues his pursuit of a High Court injunction to stop the union’s current leadership election in its tracks, after he was banned from standing for re-election last month.
Speaking outside the High Court last week, interim union leader George Guy told Building the union’s executive council had voted eight to nil the previous week to launch formal disciplinary proceedings against Ritchie, following an internal investigation into his expenses.
Ritchie strongly denies all the expenses allegations made against him. Speaking in court last Tuesday, Ritchie’s legal team claimed he had still not been made aware of the full allegations against him.
They said a letter to Ritchie dated 28 October stated he had been barred from running for re-election because “serious issues that relate to his fitness and competence were unresolved” and because he had failed to comply with the union’s internal investigation into his expenses.
But his team argued the union had broken its own rules in banning Ritchie and that he had been sick with stress and depression, which had affected his ability to comply with the union’s investigation.
The union’s election, which began on 11 November, is currently between two candidates - Yorkshire regional secretary Steve Murphy and London regional secretary Jerry Swain. A new leader is expected to be installed in January.
When asked for a response to the union’s claim that disciplinary proceedings have now begun against him, Ritchie told Building outside the High Court on Tuesday: “I haven’t received anything from them at all.”