Thursday, 17 November 2016

“Apology from John Burgess to Wendy Nichols, Keith Birch and UNISON”.

In a blog post dated 21 September 2016 I suggested that UNISON representatives Wendy Nichols and Keith Birch betrayed UNISON’s publicly stated policy of supporting Jeremy Corbyn at Labour’s National Executive Committee meeting on 20th September 2016. I suggested that they voted against Mr Corbyn at that meeting and that they betrayed UNISON’s members by their actions.

I promoted the blog post on Facebook and Twitter. Consequently it achieved immediate and extensive traction and circulation on other political blogs. Further, I also published the post to the Press Association, the Guardian and the Morning Star and on other sizeable Twitter feeds including Momentum with 48,000 followers and Red Labour with 21,000 followers. I also published the post to large branches of UNISON.

I now accept that my allegations were completely untrue.

I recognise that my publications were deeply hurtful to Ms Nichols and Mr Birch, and that my publications caused them considerable harm and distress.

I apologise unreservedly to Ms Nichols and Mr Birch for my publications.

I recognise too that, given that Ms Nichols and Mr Birch were present at the National Executive Committee meeting as UNISON’s representatives, my publications reflect very badly upon UNISON itself. Accordingly, I apologise to UNISON for my publications.

I am happy to confirm I have provided Ms Nichols, Mr Birch and UNISON with undertakings not to repeat the publications detailed above and I shall make no statements about Wendy Nichols, Keith Birch and/or UNISON with regard to the National Executive Committee meeting on 20thSeptember 2016 which are at variance with this apology.

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