Magazine
Latest Issue

Fixer or fighter? Inside the political personality of Len McCluskey

Unite boss Len McCluskey is often painted as a left-wing ideologue. But does he have a more pragmatic side? And what might that mean for Brexit?

By Donald Macintyre   October 2019

Illustration: Tim McDonagh

Given the Durham Miners’ Association’s roots in 19th-century Methodism, it’s unlikely that any speaker at its annual Gala, traditionally a family outing, had exclaimed from the podium, “you should fucking well be ashamed of yourself,” until Len McCluskey did this summer.

It had been a bad week for the Labour leadership. Protests were multiplying after a BBC Panorama programme on the party’s handling of anti-semitism complaints. McCluskey was venting his outrage at deputy leader Tom Watson for criticising Jennie Formby, the party’s general secretary and ally…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect