Eric Joyce
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Falkirk MP Eric Joyce: Labour must reopen Unite inquiry

29 October 2013 Last updated at 13:48 GMT

Falkirk's MP claimed a union "interfered with witnesses" during an inquiry into Labour's selection of a candidate to succeed him.

Eric Joyce, who now sits as an independent, said Unite's "political purpose at the moment is to move the Labour Party to the left." He said the union wants to put its own "friends and professional colleagues" into seats, so they would "effectively be Unite MPs".

And the MP, who wants Labour to reopen its investigation into the union's role in the Falkirk candidate selection, said it was "really important that the leadership of the Labour Party don't bottle it out".

Mr Joyce warned Labour it needed to "deal with very great threat the leadership of Unite is at the moment".

Earlier this year Labour suspended the selection process and launched an investigation into Unite's recruitment drive to the local party after allegations of vote-rigging.

That found no wrongdoing, but emails from constituency party chairman Stevie Deans, seen by the Sunday Times, raised new questions about the inquiry outcome.

Unite declined an interview but told the BBC no member of the union put pressure on witnesses during Labour's initial inquiry into allegations of rigging in Falkirk. It said in a statement: "There is no evidence even in the emails that have been printed by the Sunday Times that Mr Deans did anything untoward at all."

Daily Politics interview - Jack Straw: Unite put politics before members

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