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Blacklisting ‘unacceptable and illegal’ – Cable

Organisations involved in blacklisting will feel “the full force of the law”, business secretary Vince Cable has warned. The statement follows further allegations of blacklisting on the £32bn Crossrail project across London.

Last week the Scottish Affairs Select Committee called for an investigation after receiving “clear proof” of the practice. Labour has supported the need for an inquiry.

Cable said: “Blacklisting is an unacceptable and illegal practice and we take any allegations of blacklisting very seriously. Perpetrators can expect to feel the full force of the law.”

Chair of the committee, Ian Davidson, wrote to Cable: “The committee has now received written evidence and held a formal committee hearing on 3 July, with Gail Cartmail of Unite, who has given us what we believe to be clear proof that blacklisting for trade union and health and safety activities has been going on within the contract for the Crossrail project run by BFK.”

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna said: “Six months ago Vince Cable promised that if new evidence came to light on blacklisting he would launch a proper investigation.

“It would be a dereliction of duty, not least to victims of blacklisting, for him to now renege on this promise. There should be a full inquiry into blacklisting as a matter of urgency – nothing less will do.”

Crossrail denies all allegations and states it has not been provided with any evidence of blacklisting.

A spokesperson said: “Since September 2012, the Unite union has made a series of unsubstantiated allegations against Crossrail Limited. Crossrail has made repeated requests to be provided with any evidence of the claims made against it by Unite but nothing has been forthcoming.

“Crossrail has asked for and received assurances from all its principal contractors providing confirmation that none have engaged in any blacklisting activity on the Crossrail project. Crossrail will co-operate fully with any investigation undertaken by the information commissioner.”

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