Amicus leadership battle ends in defeat for Blair ally

Sir
Ken Jackson, a close ally of Prime Minister Tony Blair has lost the leadership
of union Amicus.

Jackson,
seeking re-election, lost to left-winger Derek Simpson who becomes new joint
general secretary.

Simpson
won on the fourth recount by just 406 votes. He polled 89,521 votes to
Jackson’s 89,115. More than 400 ballot papers were void.

The
GMB union said the vote was part of a swing away from New Labour occurring
across the union movement.

Simpson,
a former member of the Communist Party, has been a Labour Party member for the
past 10 years. He has said he is not a "Blairite" but "not
anti-Blair either".

He
said he wants parity with the eurozone on employment legislation and plans to
press the Government for legislation to protect pension schemes.

By Quentin Reade

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