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So when will the Labour Party apologise to Stevie Deans?

Stevie Deans and GrangemouthYesterday, the Scottish police confirmed that they had found “no evidence of any criminality” in their inquiry into the activities of Stevie Deans, who was until three months ago full-time convenor at the Ineos plant at Grangemouth (where he’d worked for 25 years) and Chair of Unite in Scotland as well as the sometime Chair of Falkirk Labour Party.

This is the second time, allegations against Stevie Deans have been investigated and dismissed by the Scottish police, the first referral having come from the Labour Party, the second from INEOS. Unsurprisingly, Unite yesterday condemned the fact that “the police’s time has been wasted by vexatious complaints and their attentions diverted from catching real criminals and solving real crimes“.

Labour regards the whole affair as closed, especially now that Karen Whitefield, the former MSP, has been selected as the Labour candidate for Falkirk, but there is no truth and reconciliation process in Labour’s rule book. Stevie Deans may have lost his job, Karie Murphy denied the opportunity to seek the nomination, Tom Watson lost his place in the shadow cabinet, and hundreds of people recruited to the Labour Party denied any participation in the selection, but no apologies are required it seems.

The whole affair was talked up by politicians (including some then in the shadow cabinet) and bloggers associated with Progress, making allegations of ballot-rigging based on nothing more than rumour and speculation, with the express purpose of persuading Ed Miliband to smash what’s left of union influence in the party.

The Labour Party’s investigators failed to speak to Stevie Deans or Karie Murphy who were suspended without a hearing, on the basis of a secret report, and Unite the Union, and its general secretary, were subjected to months of unjustified abuse.

Ed Miliband, on the back of his condemnation of the “machine politics” he claimed was evident in Falkirk, did indeed propose the most radical change in the relationship between the party and the unions, which he continues to seek in some form in spite of the collapse of the justification for doing so.

Stevie Deans and Karie Murphy deserve some apologies.  So do Labour’s affiliated trade unions. And the biggest apologies should come from those associated with Progress. 

What we are shortly likely to get instead from those associated with Progress, whatever appears in the Collins report, is criticism of Ed Miliband for not going far enough to smash what’s left of union influence.


  1. John reid says:

    There’s a difference between acting criminally when sorting out who you’d prefer to have as your choice in a constituency by associating your union to get people to join and vote, and doing something that is buying support by using a fund,and doing something that’s against the rules of your party, which as far as I’m aware hasn’t been disputed,

    You have to get a dig at progress in, it’s the people associated with progress,who criticised Mr Deans, is it, so that’s Progress fault and then you put words in their mouths saying that they’ll say Ed won’t go far enough to smash unions support, lots of Progress people like Luke Akehurst Ellie reeves came up through the unions, former Labour Party member, Dan hodges, not associated with progress, came through the unions, and all I could see regarding Progress influence on the Falkirk affair is Peter Mandleson,and John!ann writing articles saying there should be more transparency, and that we can’t afford to have another Falkirk, something that someone who supports unite, and doesn’t read or subscribe to progress ,should agree with,

  2. Matty says:

    “doing something that’s against the rules of your party”
    Wrong again John, the official Labour Party inquiry concluded that there was no evidence of any wrong-doing or rule breaking by Stevie Deans.

  3. John reid says:

    I didn’t mention Steve deans,I said that the actions of unite were doing that ,I never said Steve,

  4. Rod says:

    The Falkirk episode serves to illustrate Miliband’s unsuitability for high office. How can he be trusted after putting the interests of his own political affiliates above those of ordinary people?

    So it is not just Stevie Deans and Karie Murphy who deserve an apology. Also the hundreds of employees at Grangemouth, where an employer felt able to join in with Miliband’s assault on ordinary people, deserve an apology.


    Ed has made it clear that he opposes “machine politics”.The NECs Code of Conduct lays down that Labours full time officials must be impartial when carrying out their duties.Sadly, Katy and I have already found evidence in at least 5 regions where ftos ignored the Code and encouraged delegates to vote for our opponents in the CAC election.They also broke the Code in relation to the NCC election.I intend to ensure that this disgusting abuse is adressed and I expect full support from Ed to end “machine politics” in our Party once and for all.

  6. James Martin says:

    The apology should come from Miliband – he was on the telly going along with the witch hunt against Steve Deans, he was the one that referred him to the police, and he was the one who was panicked into reviewing the historic link between the Party and unions on the basis of a bit of Daily Mail nonsense. The man’s a complete eejit.

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