Unite calls special meeting over alleged overspend on £50m building project
Union denies wrongdoing after contracts for Birmingham complex given to firms investigated for bribery
, Liverpool’s mayor.The Flanagan Group is under investigation by Merseyside police in connection with Operation Aloft, an inquiry into the sale of council-owned land in Liverpool to developers. Paul Flanagan, head of the group, was arrested in September on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery. Anderson and his son David have also been arrested.
Following a report in the Times, the union vehemently denied any wrongdoing. It said there was no connection between the Merseyside investigation and the Birmingham project and that McCluskey had had nothing to do with the tendering process.Executive members will expect to hear from McCluskey and other key officials about the building, which includes a 170-bedroom Marriott-branded hotel, a conference room, an education centre and regional offices for the union.
Reports in 2015 said the building would cost the union £35m, money it would recover by hiring out conference facilities and by holding its own conferences on the site in Birmingham Science Park, Aston.Unite executive members expect to hear from the general secretary, Len McCluskey, pictured, and other key officials. headtopics.com
Photograph: Andy Hall/the ObserverAccording to the Times, in 2012 senior members of the union had been told that the total cost of the Birmingham development would be £7m, but that the total costs were now more than £50m.A leaked email to executive members on Thursday said: “Following on from the statement circulated last weekend regarding the Birmingham project, a special meeting of the executive council has been convened for Friday 29th January commencing at 12 noon.”
Another email sent last week to executive members said a proposal to discuss the Birmingham project in March would be brought forward after the allegations in The Times. Read more: The Guardian »
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