Fresh controversy in Scotland as regional secretary election is suspended just FIFTEEN MINUTES before declaration of result / MiroNovak

FOLLOWING NEWS EARLIER this week that the FBU’s executive council member for the Scottish region, Chris McGlone, had been suspended from office, there is fresh controversy in the region after the union’s head office suspended the election for the key post of regional secretary just 15 minutes before it was due to close.

There were two candidates in the election: incumbent Denise Christie and challenger Ian Sim. Christie is widely seen as the favoured candidate of the union’s head office and is known to be a close ally of general secretary Matt Wrack. She has held the regional secretary post for four years and, in 2019, unsuccessfully challenged McGlone for the executive council position. Sim, who currently serves as the area secretary for the west of Scotland, has previously expressed criticism of the FBU leadership and is seen as the ‘change’ candidate.

Insiders have suggested that the election was tight, with some predicting that Sim would secure victory.

The suspension of the election just minutes before the result was due to be declared is bound to cause much disquiet across the region. It may also raise suspicions about the motives for the decision.

Under the union’s rule book, an election may be suspended in circumstances where a candidate (or potential candidate) has been suspended from office as a result of a disciplinary inquiry. However, it does not appear that either Christie or Sim has been suspended.

This leaves the possibility that the election was suspended as a consequence of concerns over the integrity of the process itself – but, so far, no evidence to that effect has emerged.

It is also not clear at this stage whether or not the executive council was consulted on the decision to suspend the election.

One thing, however, is certain: the discontent towards the Wrack leadership that exists across large parts of the Scottish region – the largest region of the union – is unlikely to have been tempered as a result of the events of the past few days.