ONE OF the two candidates vying to become the next leader of Ucatt is being investigated by the union following an alleged fight with another official in the car park of its London headquarters.
London regional organiser Michael Dooley has been given 14 days to give his version of the events, which took place nearly three weeks ago outside Ucatt House in Clapham.
Mr Dooley appeared at an initial hearing on Monday to hear the complaint made by Ucatt development officer Pat Long.
Mr Dooley now has until August 9 to make a statement - four days after the runoff between himself and leadership rival Alan Ritchie is due to begin. Among the allegations made against Mr Dooley are manhandling and using threatening behaviour.
The row is threatening to overshadow the leadership second ballot, which became necessary after favourite Mr Ritchie failed to win the 50 per cent plus one he needed in the first vote to replace George Brumwell as general secretary.
In a statement, seen by Construction News, Mr Long accuses Mr Dooley of punching him following a row over the distribution of election leaflets for Mr Ritchie.
Mr Long said he was clearing the leaflets out of a van when Mr Dooley demanded to know where he got the leaflets from.
Mr Long said: 'I replied that I had got them on various sites I had been on. He did not give me time to finish the sentence and if I had had the chance I would have explained that I had an instruction from the regional secretary to remove election literature from all sites.
'Brother Dooley acted rashly and made false accusations against me and refused to hear my comments. I am highly offended by his actions, which question my character and integrity.
'I am at a loss to understand how and why I was manhandled and subjected to threatening and initimidatory behaviour and offensive language.'
Mr Dooley, who has not been suspended, said he was still planning to stand in the leadership contest and claimed he was the victim of a campaign to stop him becoming leader. He added: 'It seems it could be designed to interfere with the possibility of me winning the election.'
Ucatt declined to comment.