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The following statement has been issued by the NUJ.

Following a complaint and threat of a challenge to the Deputy General Secretary ballot, the NEC will discuss ongoing issues regarding the election process at its meeting next week.

The complaint is regarding the use of redactions in one candidate’s CV section, contained within the pamphlet sent out with ballot papers. The redactions, of defamatory material, were made on legal advice. The threatened challenge by a member to the Certification Office calls for the election to be run without the redactions, claiming the NUJ is in breach of Section 48 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act.

The NUJ is confident there has been no breach. However, the multi-national nature of our elections means that even if there was legal protection under UK law the union could still face a defamation claim in Ireland or elsewhere.

The NEC will discuss all aspects of the ballot at its meeting on 14 and 15 October, including the revised election timetable.

The decision to halt the ballot last month was taken after the discovery of an error in the compilation of the membership data – this issue has now been resolved and the data externally verified.