Unite leadership candidate Gerard Coyne suspended from job

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Gerard Coyne, who is challenging Len McCluskey to lead Unite, has been suspended from his post as the union's West Midlands Regional Secretary.

The move was confirmed by his spokesman, although the union was making no comment.

It is understood that an email was sent to Unite members and staff in the West Midlands on Thursday afternoon informing them that Mr Coyne had been suspended from his job.

The development came as ballot papers were starting to be counted in the election for general secretary of Unite, the biggest union in the country.