Ecclestone and Fray join race

 Jake Ecclestone, sacked from his job as NUJ deputy general secretary in 1997, has declared his intention to run for the post of general secretary when John Foster retires.

Ecclestone tried to get his original job back in 1998 after legally forcing the union to put his name on the list of candidates. He was beaten on that occasion by the current deputy general secretary, John Fray, who has also become a candidate for Foster’s job.

Ballot papers go out at the end of September and Ecclestone and Fray will face competition from Jeremy Dear, Bernie Corbett, Chris Youett and Kevin Cooper.

Ecclestone collected £51,300 from the NUJ when he left and a further £75,000 in libel action settlements.

He said: "I am standing for two reasons – because I care passionately about the NUJ and, if elected I would bring long journalistic and industrial experience to the job and because neither of the two in-house candidates, Jeremy Dear and John Fray, has a serious background in journalism."

Ecclestone steps down from his job as assistant general secretary of the Writers’ Guild this week.

Fray said he decided to stand when Ecclestone said in Press Gazette that he was considering being a candidate.

Fray has worked for the NUJ for 11 years, eight as national broadcasting organiser and the latter three in his current role. "I believe I have the experience the job requires," he said.

"I have learned a lot while deputy general secretary, deputising for John and being more involved with the NEC. I’m in good health and I believe my record of loyalty to the NUJ is one that makes me a good candidate."

By Jean Morgan

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