Len McCluskey

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Len McCluskey is a British trade unionist. He was General Secretary of Unite the Union, the largest affiliate and a major donor to the Labour Party. As a young adult, he spent some years working in the Liverpool Docks for the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company prior to becoming a full-time union official for the Transport and General Workers' Union (T&GWU) in 1979.

McCluskey was elected as the general secretary of Unite in 2010, and was re-elected to his post in 2013 and 2017. A member of the Labour Party, McCluskey is on the party's hard left. He was a key backer and supporter of Jeremy Corbyn during his time as Leader of the Labour Party.

Manchester Cuba Solidarity connection

Manchester Cuba Solidarity 5 2021·


Len McCluskey, Navendu Mishra, Karie Murphy.

"Unions for Cuba" conference

On Saturday 2 November 2019, more than 200 trade unionists and activists attended Cuba Solidarity Campaign’s Unions for Cuba conference at the NEU headquarters in London. The vibrant conference, the largest trade union conference of solidarity with Cuba to take place in the UK for 15 years, demonstrated the strength of solidarity between British and Cuban workers.

Cuba’s delegation comprised of 14 labour movement leaders – 12 of whom were women – representing the country’s health, public administration, communications, transport, education, energy and mining sectors, and their TUC equivalent, the CTC.

British trade union speakers included general secretaries of Unite the Union and the CWU, Len McCluskey and Dave Ward, the Cuban, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan ambassadors, and contributions from many other trade unionists, labour movement and student representatives, and academics.

Susan Michie, Vice Chair of CSC opened the conference, addressing delegates of the “crucial time for solidarity with Cuba” that we are currently in.

Len McCluskey, Unite the Union General Secretary spoke of the great achievements of the Cuban Revolution over the last 60 years: “the issue that most keenly matters to me is the development of labour rights in Cuba. From trade union activists being tortured and executed under Batista, today workers and their unions organised by the CTC have a special place in Cuban life.

“Workers and their unions have to be fully consulted and involved in decision making at workplace level. The CTC and its affiliates are included in the great economic decisions that have to be made by the government”, he said.

McCluskey ended his speech with a powerful anecdote on the crucial importance of Cuba in the region:

“Some years ago, before the time of Evo Morales, a leader of the Bolivian trade unions came to visit our office. “What would you say is the most important task?” he was asked.

“The defence of Cuba” was his reply.[1]

Miami Five Freedom Tour

After sixteen years in US jails, and a two year battle against the Home Secretary for visas to visit Britain, Cuban spies Rene Gonazalez and Gerardo Hernandez finally touched down on UK soil in the early hours of Friday 7 July 2016.

In the short time they were here for the Miami Five Freedom Tour, the two Cuban intelligence officers travelled more than 2,000 miles to speak at the most prestigious events in the British trade union and labour movement calendar. Tuesday 12 July

The Miami Five members were greeted with a huge standing ovation from 900 Unite delegates when they entered the main auditorium of the Brighton Centre for the union’s annual policy conference.


Len McCluskey, Unite General Secretary, introduced the men.

"If it wasn't for Tony Woodley, Len McCluskey and all the Unite members, we wouldn't be here today", Gerardo said. Another emotional standing ovation followed their conference speeches and Unite delegates proudly held high specially designed tour posters in a huge visual display of solidarity which read “End the US blockade of Cuba. End the occupation of Guantánamo".[2]

Influence on Corbyn

From 2016, Karie Murphy was executive director of the Leader's Office, under Jeremy Corbyn. Along with Seumas Milne, Andrew Murray and Len McCluskey, she has been identified as one of the "Four Ms" whom it is claimed had significant influence on Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party.[3].

Backing Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn wrote 13 September 2015 "Thank You All For Making This Happen (The Morning Star)".

THANK YOU to the Morning Star and its readers for the most incredible support throughout this leadership campaign — and for the detailed coverage of the policy proposals that we have made and the debate that these have encouraged. The campaign began in the aftermath of the Labour election defeat in May, when the party opted for the election of a new leader, rather than an extended policy debate.

After much discussion, supporters of the Socialist Campaign Group in Parliament decided that we should attempt to put up a candidate for leader, and I was duly nominated.

The 99th event was held on Thursday night in my own constituency in Islington in the biggest church we could find. Over 1,000 people crammed in to hear from Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, my great friend and colleague John McDonnell and newly elected MPs Kate Osamor, Clive Lewis, Richard Burgon, Cat Smith and Rebecca Long-Bailey.

Touching speeches were made by a number of others, including Neil Findlay MSP and longstanding Islington members and supporters including Jan Whelan, George Durack and others. Both Jan and George nominated me when I first stood for selection in 1982.[4]

Morning Star Labour


John McDonnell, Richard Leonard, Diane Abbott, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Richard Burgon, Salma Yaqoob.

Joined on platform by Ian Lavery, Ben Chacko, Len McCluskey, Paddy Lillis, Mick Whelan, Mick Cash, Manuel Cortes, Carolyn Jones Morning Star Management Committee.

Morning Star pic


Len McCluskey with Jimmy Macintyre.

Cable St commemoration

1936 – 2016. They did not pass. They will not pass. Thousands of people gathered in jubilant and yet a determined mood on Sunday 9 October 2016 to remember and celebrate the extraordinary mobilisation by the people of the East End of London that prevented Oswald Mosely, leader of the British Union of Fascists, and his Blackshirts, from marching through their community.

Sunday’s event comprised a rally in Altab Ali Park, a march, and another rally in St George’s Gardens, adjacent to the famous mural of the Battle of Cable Street. Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, was one of the speakers, Megan Dobney, SERTUC Regional Secretary chaired the second rally and SERTUC activists were among the key organisers of the event, including Joel Kosminsky, Jonathan Havard and Dick Muskett. Many others were stewards on the day. SERTUC was proud to sponsor the event and to parade our banner at the rallies and on the march. And we pay tribute to the immense efforts of David Rosenberg in organising Sunday’s event.

Sunday was very much a day for the local community and ordinary people, and it was local groups that led the march. But among those marched was Len McCluskey, Sadiq Khan and Michael Rosen.[5]

Havana Club Rum Reception


TUC Fringe 2015 Cuba Solidarity Campaign and Venezuela Solidarity Campaign​.


Find out the latest news from Venezuela and Cuba, where peoples’ needs are put before profit and whose exemplary social achievements are an inspiration - but are under threat from US aggression.

Speakers: H. E. Teresita Vicente, Cuban Ambassador, Frances O'Grady, TUC General Secretary, Len McCluskey, Unite General Secretary, Richard Burgon MP, Francisco Dominguez, VSC Secretary plus other guests.

Morning Star contributors

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Jeremy Corbyn, Len McCluskey, Matt Wrack, Louise Raw, Richard Burgon, Emily Maiden, Diane Abbott, Ken Livingstone, Ian Lavery, Elaine Smith, Bernadette Horton, Nathan Akehurst, Michelle Ryan, Grahame Morris, John Ellison.

Morning Star conference

"For a peoples Britain, not a bankers Britain" Bishopgate March 31, 2012. Speakers include: Michael Meacher MP, Michelle Stanistreet (NUJ), Sally Hunt (UCU - tbc), Len McCluskey (Unite), Bob Crow (RMT); Kelvin Hopkins MP, Bill Greenshields (People’s Charter), Anita Halpin (Morning Star Management Committee); John Haylett (Morning Star political editor) Owen Jones (author of "Chavs: the demonisation of the working class"), Megan Dobney (SERTUC), Hugh Lanning (PCS), Paul Mackney (former UCU Gen Sec, Vice-Chair of the Coalition of Resistance.)[6]

21st Century Marxism

In 2012, Jonathan Michie was pleased to be listed third behind Len McCluskey as a speaker at the Communist Party of Britain event 21st Century Marxism. He waxed lyrical on Globalism – the death of the nation state? a seminar presented with Harsev Bains.

21st Century Marxism was convened by the Communist Party of Britain 21st and 22nd July 2012, Bishopsgate Institute London.


"People, Power & Democracy" with Romayne Phoenix, Len McCluskey, Bob Crow, Rachel Newton, Vera Polycarpou, Robert Griffiths, Liz Payne.[7]

Merseyside Morning Star supporters


Lynn Collins, David Sharkey, Carolyn Jones, Chris Guiton, Megan Dobney, Peter Middleman, Steve Gillan, Christine Blower, Ben Chacko, Len McCluskey, Jane Carolan, Gawain Little.

Morning Star rally/LP conference


Frances O'Grady, Paul Kenny, Len McCluskey, Matt Wrack, Bob Crow, Steve Gillan, Megan Dobney, Richard Bagley, Tsiaples Anastosis, John Haylett,

TUC Cuba event

September 2011 nearly 200 TUC delegates attended a lively Latin America solidarity meeting on Monday to hear from speakers on Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia and Nicaragua and mark the 13th anniversary of the arrest of the Miami Five. Chairing the meeting, NUT General Secretary Christine Blower declared it was “probably the best supported fringe at conference”.

Len McCluskey, Unite General Secretary, started by paying tribute to the Cuban Che Guevara medical brigade in Nicaragua which – organised as a result of the ALBA agreement – has performed more than four million consultations since 2007. Len noted that “whilst the prospect for trade unionists in non-ALBA countries is bleak” Cuba is leading the way in providing “real and material benefits” to the dispossessed of Latin America.

Len told delegates about a “remarkable trade union rally” in defence of the Miami Five in Los Angeles recently which was addressed by Tony Woodley. British trade unions continue to raise the issue of the Five with American unions and, with legal avenues exhausted, only this “spirit of internationalism will break through the wall of silence”.[8]

"Breaking the right wing agenda"


Morning Star "Breaking the right wing agenda".

Chair Bob Oram.

RMT/Cuba Garden Party


Communist University 2009

The Crisis of Working Class Representation


Len McCluskey supported the old Revolutionary Socialist League when it called itself Militant and tried to take over Labour.[10]



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  3. ["Listen: The end of no-deal Brexit and Labour's shifting stance". Financial Times. 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2019]
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