Candidates line up for number two job in the NUJ

The NUJ's freelance organiser John Toner and the union's former president Michelle Stanistreet are among those standing for election to deputy general secretary of the union.

Ballot papers have been sent out today to the union's 37,000 members tand they have untll midday on 4 July to make their decision. The other candidates are union members Chris Youett and Philip Hunt.

The post of deputy general sectretary is the second most senior full-time position in the union, second only to general secretary Jeremy Dear. It carries a salary of £56,664 - compared to Dear's annual pay of £58,704.

Philip Hunt lives and works in Brussels and said he believes "journalists rights have to be actively protected".

Michell Stanistreet is a Daily Express journalist who was elected NUJ president last year. She has the backing of former NUJ general secretary John Foster.

John Toner is already a full-time NUJ employee as freelance organiser. He describes himself as someone with "real experience, a proven track record and a long record of serving grassroots members".

Chris Youett describes himself as "the people's choice" and says he will tackle issues such as "the scandal of low pay, dangerously low staffing levels, the need for a 15-year charter at the BBC and proper newsrooms throughout independent TV and independent local radio".

An open hustings featuring the four deputy general secretary candidates is taking place tomorrow (Thursday, 29 May) at the Guardian Lecture Theatre, 60 Farringdon Road, London, from 7pm.

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