The boss of the UK’s largest trade union has ordered a QC-led inquiry into the spending of almost £100m of members’ money on a controversial hotel and conference centre.
Sharon Graham, the general secretary of the Unite union, made the decision after forensic accountants concluded the building’s value was “considerably lower” than its construction costs.
Ms Graham said: “These questions need to be answered in a timely fashion and in order to ensure transparency the outcome of the inquiry will be made public.
“I will also be doing everything possible to recover all monies due back to the union.”
The project in Birmingham, which includes new union offices, was intended to save on hotel rooms and conference bills. Yet after an initial estimate of £7m, the building costs ballooned to £57m before construction even began.
Now complete, Unite has confirmed the total expenditure on the project is more than £98m.
Former boss Len McCluskey, how under saw the project tweeted that an inquiry was “sensible and will answer any questions”.