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Trade unionists gather in support of activist suspended from Labour council job

TRADE unionists in Yorkshire gathered on Saturday in support of a local activist suspended for 22 months from his job by a Labour-run council.

Paul Holmes was suspended by Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire in December 2019 and is subject to a long-running disciplinary procedure.

The council has said only that the charges against him are “serious and confidential issues.”

On Saturday, a protest meeting in his support was held at the “Red Shed” Labour Club in Wakefield in West Yorkshire.

Speakers included Labour MP Jon Trickett and the former Aslef president Tosh McDonald.

Mr McDonald said: “Paul Holmes is the kind of trade union rep every worker wants.

“He does what the workers want, not what the Labour Party wants.”

Mr Holmes is secretary of the council’s branch of public service union Unison and was an unsuccessful candidate to be general secretary of the union early this year. He was elected the union’s president at a virtual executive meeting this summer.

A rally in support of Mr Holmes is planned at his next disciplinary hearing at the Cedar Court Hotel, Huddersfield, at 9am on October 8.

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