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Unite HQ raided as police probe hotel construction costs

Unite the Union’s headquarters in London have been raided by police this week in relation to a monetary crime investigation involving the development of a lodge and convention centre in Birmingham.

Sky Information reported that between 15 and 20 officers have been concerned within the search of the workplace constructing in Holborn (pictured), and left with containers of paperwork and a pc.

The raid was a joint operation by South Wales Police and the UK’s tax authority, HMRC. A spokesperson for the power stated it had carried out the search to research allegations of bribery, fraud and cash laundering.

In 2016, Unite appointed Flanagan Group to construct a 170-bed lodge in Birmingham known as the Unite Lodge and Convention Centre. Building prices for the venture proceeded to rise by £41m, leading to a £98m construct, which was accomplished in December 2020.

The union’s then-general secretary Len McCluskey instructed a gathering of the Unite government council in January 2021 that prices had risen due to its abidance to union protocol, which meant using staff who had union membership, avoiding the involvement of corporations that had a historical past of blacklisting, straight using staff and paying them not less than nationwide pay charges. The union’s government committee concluded that the straight employed labour, excessive development prices in Birmingham and a change in venture scope pushed up the value.

In April 2021, Labour MP Neil Coyle, additionally a member of the union, questioned the mismanagement of funds for the lodge venture and called for an inquiry. In December, newly appointed normal secretary Sharon Graham launched the investigation.

Unite the Union is among the largest commerce unions within the UK with 1.2 million members, together with staff from the development trade. The Birmingham venture below scrutiny included a Marriott-branded lodge, convention house, training centre and places of work for the union.

A Unite spokesperson stated: “A Unite worker is topic to a legal investigation by the police. On Wednesday 6 April, the worker’s workplace at Unite HQ in Holborn, London, was accessed and searched by the police below warrant.”

South Wales Police stated that along with London, warrants have been handed out in South Wales and the police-force areas of Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales, Dyfed-Powys and Northamptonshire.