Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/18194
Cullum McAlpine arrested over blacklisting
Report from the Blacklist Support Group:
Metropolitan Police officers this morning (Friday 21st February 2014) attended the London company offices of Sir Robert McAlpine as an arrest warrant was served for Cullum McAlpine for his role in the Consulting Association scandal. This weekend is the fifth anniversary of the raid by the Information Commissioner's Office that discovered the illegal building industry blacklist.
The arrest warrant cited breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Data Protection Act.
When giving evidence to a Select Committee investigation into blacklisting Cullum McAlpine was forced to admit that he was the first chairman of the Consulting Association conspiracy (a post he held for three years) and that the first meetings of the shady organisation were actually held in his office at the Sir Robert McAlpine Limited offices in Grosvenor Crescent, Victoria.
The illegal database held secret files on 3,213 individuals which included information such as name, address, national insurance number, phone numbers, car registration and particularly recorded trade union membership and incidents where workers had complained about health and safety on building sites. Those workers that appeared on the blacklist suffered years of unemployment, repeated dismissals and financial hardship.
During the building of the Olympics stadium in 2008-9, Sir Robert McAlpine was invoiced in excess of £28,000 for blacklisting name checks - which equates to 65 name checks a day, seven days a week for the period.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating police involvement in blacklisting and has already confirmed that Special Branch "routinely provided information about prospective employees".
Six police vehicles from the Met police Emergency Response Unit visited the site at 10:45am, as a Citizens Arrest Warrant was being served by members of the Blacklist Support Group who had occupied the top floor of the construction company's office block.
Dave Smith, secretary of the Blacklist Support Group said:
"Blacklisted workers have lost their houses and our kids were on free school meals while Cullum McApline is the lord of the manor in his £4.5 million Grade 1 listed mansion in Cold Ashton.
"In any civilised society, McAlpine and his co-conspirators would be behind bars.
"We visited the birthplace of the Consulting Association to carry out a citizens arrest. We were pleased when the Met police arrived and assisted in our search for Cullum McAlpine."
Blacklisted activist Helen Steele said:
"It has been five years since this conspiracy between big business and the police was discovered. Trade unionists and environmental activists have had their human rights violated.
"But five years later, no one has been brought to justice for the crimes they have committed. It's about time Cullum McAlpine was in the dock".
Sir Robert McAlpine and seven other major construction firms involved in blacklisting are joint defendants in the High Court conspiracy case - next court date April. The other companies in the High Court action are: Skanska, Costains, Laing O'Rourke, Kier, Vinci, Carillion and Balfour Beatty.