MPs call for McAlpine to be taken off Big Ben contract over blacklisting case

SHARE THIS STORY
Big Ben is undergoing major restoration work
Big Ben is undergoing major restoration work
13 October 2017 1:15AM

A group of 60 MPs have signed a Parliamentary motion calling for construction giant McAlpine Ltd to be stripped of the contract to restore Big Ben because of the company's historic involvement in blacklisting.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna, who tabled the motion, said the famous clock tower was a national symbol of the UK's democracy, adding: "Awarding the contract for work on Big Ben to Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd is an insult to the victims of blacklisting in the construction sector.

"Awarding the contract for this symbolic work to a company that was at the heart of blacklisting construction workers both undermines our democracy and leaves us looking out of touch as an institution.

"We are calling on the House of Commons and Lords Commissions to rethink their decision, and award the contract for this symbolic work to another construction company that does not have a history of involvement in blacklisting."

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett commented: "Unite is currently suing Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd on behalf of victims of blacklisting having forced them and other construction firms to apologise and pay compensation after our lawsuit exposed their role in blacklisting last year.

"The Elizabeth tower and Big Ben are emblematic of the nation's democracy and sense of fair play to the rest of the world. It is a stain on our democracy that a firm with a history of blacklisting and ruining lives should be awarded such a contract."