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Runner-up in UCU election calls for recount after close result

Imgage: michael_swan [CC BY-ND 2.0] via Flickr

Ewan McGaughey, who lost to Jo Grady in the leadership election, has questioned the results

The runner-up in the University and College Union general secretary election is calling for a recount of the contest’s votes.

Last week, King’s College London professor of law Ewan McGaughey finished second to the incumbent general secretary, Jo Grady. McGaughey secured 7,576 votes compared with Grady’s 7,758, after transferable votes were counted.

But in a social media video posted on 4 March, McGaughey said he had an “obligation” to ask for a recount, given the closeness of the vote, its “tiny turnout” and the fact that 148 ballot papers were deemed to be “invalid”.

He also alleged that the union’s communication channels, such as social media accounts, had been used “illegitimately, against union rules, to campaign for the [incumbent] general secretary”.

A spokesperson for the UCU said: “All UCU elections are run independently by Civica Election Services, a highly reputable scrutineer with years of experience handling complex ballots for some of the biggest trade unions and organisations in the UK. There is simply no basis whatsoever to support the claims made by Professor McGaughey.”

Following the result, Grady is due to begin her second five-year term in August. After her victory, she thanked “every member who has voted to endorse my strategy for our union’s future”.

“We have achieved so much in the past five years, including further education’s biggest pay award in a decade and the greatest pension win in UK trade union history,” she said.