McAlpine director confirms Olympic blacklist checks

Grant Prior 11 years ago

Sir Robert McAlpine director Cullum McAlpine confirmed blacklist checks were made on potential Olympic Stadium workers during a grilling in Parliament today.

MPs on the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee launched a barrage of questions at the construction grandee.

But Mr McAlpine was ordered not to answer a string of contentious points by his lawyer because of an ongoing legal action by alleged victims of the blacklist.

McAlpine confirmed his role as first chairman of the Consulting Association from 1993-96.

But he insisted his role was purely on the financial side “to ensure it (the association) didn’t lose money and it survived for the first three years.”

The Consulting Association was formed with records which were bought for £10,000 from the infamous blacklisting body the Economic League.

The association was owned and run by Ian Kerr who died last month.

Mr McAlpine said a number of contractors were unhappy about the deal and had been assured by Kerr that “political and other references” on individuals would be removed.

The committee confirmed that a new bundle of evidence had recently been submitted by Kerr’s family.

Sir Robert McAlpine was the largest user of information held by the association in the 12 months before it was shut down for breaching data regulations in 2009.

Mr McAlpine said: “We had a lot of big projects on and were recruiting.”

He confirmed that checks were made on people applying to work on major sites including the Olympic Stadium.

He said: “In 2008 when we started groundworks we did check the workers who came onto the site.

“Nobody was affected and nobody was refused employment.

“By the time the main project started the Consulting Association had been raided”

Mr McAlpine said his board had decided the association was a “legal and above board enterprise” providing a “reference service” for members.

He said information would only be submitted on workers if they had been disruptive on site or broken the industry’s Working Rule Agreement.

He added: “Reporting health and safety issues would not be disruptive.

“Anyone doing that should not be on that list.

“McAlpine has never operated, or sought to operate, a blacklist.

“The Consulting Association was only used as a member’s reference in relation to sabotage and unlawful activities.

“That’s the way it was set up and it is unfortunate that some of the other references were not removed.”



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