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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 January 2009

Amicus election

The nomination period for the election of the Amicus general secretary has now closed. Incumbent Derek Simpson, forced to put himself up for election following a challenge to the trade union certification officer, received most valid nominations, 161 branches and 116 workplace reps. (To get on the ballot paper a candidate needed 25 branches and 25 workplace reps from 15 different workplaces.) Kevin Coyne, the main right-wing contender came next with 94 branches and 104 workplace reps.

Most encouraging though was the response to the campaign of Jerry Hicks, the grassroots left-wing candidate, who had nominations from 59 branches and 36 workplace reps. This was well ahead of Laurence Faircloth, a right winger and regional secretary for the South West region of Unite, who gained the support of the 'official left' Gazette group. He received 44 branch nominations and 32 workplace reps, with Paul Reuter, the other right candidate, getting on the ballot paper with the fewest nominations.

This is a good result for the left and a rebuttal to those who advocated supporting the Gazette group no matter what the record of its candidate. Rank-and-file activists in Amicus have clearly identified Jerry as the candidate with the best programme to mobilise around for the ballot, which takes place in February and March.

Kevin Parslow

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