On 8th March we drew attention to a blog posting by Caroline Leneghan, who is a member of the RMT and assistant Branch Secretary of her RMT branch. Ms Leneghan claimed that a senior elected official of the union had physically and mentally abused her while they were in a relationship. At the time I wrote:
this website is not an appropriate forum to decide questions of fact, I don’t repeat the allegations: but instead I refer you to Caroline’s website .. You can then make your own mind up. I feel that there is a danger that this becoming a trial by Internet, but Caroline has already herself put this information into the public domain, and in the small world of the RMT officials and activists, there is no putting the Genie back in the bottle.
Since then, it seems that the RMT has concluded an investigation into the matter, and Steve Hedley, the man accused but whom we did not originally name, has issued his own statement. Mr Hedley makes counter-allegations against Ms Leneghan, claiming that she abused him, and has continued to harrass him after their relationship ended. You can read it in full here. Mr Hedley says:
It is with great sadness that I have to release this statement to clear my name and to protect my family and friends who have been subject to verbal assault cyber assault and even threatened with physical violence. I also truly hope that it will give men who are suffering violence and abuse in relationships some encouragement to come forward and report their abusers. I have already been contacted by a number of men in the trade union movement who have suffered domestic violence but who were afraid to make a public statement out of a misconceived shame and embarrassment about being abused.
Mr Hedley states:
The police questioned me investigated the allegation thoroughly, had the case reviewed by a senior officer and took No Further Action. Ms Leneghan also made a complaint to my employer the RMT trade union which has carried out an exhaustive investigation and found that I had “no case to answer”.