Domestic Violence and the Morning Star

By Beth Redmond

Rory McKinnon, who had been a reporter at The Morning Star for three years, has been threatened with the sack for confronting the RMT about Caroline Leneghan’s domestic violence allegations against the union’s Assistant General Secretary Steve Hedley (see here for more).

McKinnon attended the RMT’s women’s conference in March this year as a Morning Star reporter, and in a session on organising in the workplace queried as to whether “the lack of formal investigation into the allegations against Hedley had affected women members’ perception of the union.” Alan Pottage who was speaking in the session, and is the union’s national organising co-ordinator refused to comment, and McKinnon was later removed from the conference.

Richard Bagley (editor of MS), informed McKinnon the next day that he had been suspended for “gross misconduct”.

During a disciplinary hearing six weeks later, Bagley said of the question McKinnon originally asked about the Hedley case, “it feels more like something a Daily Mail reporter would ask than someone from the Morning Star”, “this has damaged our relationship with the trade union movement” and “the paper’s priorities do not include personal controversy”.

McKinnon resigned on 25 July, and wrote a blog post revealing all of this information on 26 July. The Morning Star issued a report on 28 July, announcing the retirement of company secretary Tony Briscoe and the departure of Richard Bagley for “family reasons”.

It is truly mind boggling how a supposedly left-wing publication could behave in such a way; but the powers that be at the The Morning Star are much more concerned about their cosy relationships with trade union bureaucrats than the feelings of rank-and-file women trade union members.

About womensfightback17

Women’s Fightback is a socialist feminist paper and blog produced by members and supporters of the socialist group Workers' Liberty. Workers’ Liberty is a revolutionary socialist organisation fighting as part of the labour and student movements, and in campaigns, for a socialist alternative to capitalism, based on common ownership and democracy.


  1. The link doesn’t work. Do you have a link for the blog post on 26 July? I have only seen one dated 8/08 – which would be after the Morning Star report of 28/07.

  2. womensfightback17

    Links should be okay again now sorry about that. The blog post dated 8 August (below) was written by MacKinnon on 26 July but not published until 8 August as that was when his notice period ended I think.


    Also here is Morning Star response:

    Ta, Esther

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