Unionists criticise police account of blacklist hit and run horror

Article published: Friday, May 17th 2013

Greater Manchester Police’s description of the events leading up to a 64-year old trade unionist receiving serious injuries from a hit and run incident at an anti-blacklisting protest has been branded “disgraceful”.

George Tapp

George Tapp

Anti-blacklisting “hero” and veteran trade unionist George Tapp was left hospitalised on Wednesday evening by a savage hit and run attack at a peaceful protest outside a construction site at the Manchester City FC stadium complex.

Unite member Tapp was run down by a blue Ford Ka on Ashton New Road, suffering two broken legs and a serious head injury. Tapp is now stable in hospital but will require reconstructive surgery on one of his knees.

Up to 50 people took part in the picket to call attention to call attention to BAM Construction’s involvement in the infamous blacklisting scandal, which saw construction workers barred from employment due to their trade union activities.

Unite says that the firm, contracted to build MCFC’s £100m expansion of its training grounds, paid £38,371 to notorious blacklisting organisation the Consulting Association to run checks on workers between 1996 and 2009.

Eyewitness and Unite member Alex Halligan said Tapp had been on the road when “a car moved forward and began bumping his legs” while revving its engine. Suddenly, Halligan said, the car “sped off at some speed” for around 50 yards, carrying Tapp on the bonnet. The car then stopped, throwing Tapp to the ground before speeding away.

Two others also received minor injuries.

A statement from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said,”At around 6pm on Wednesday 13 May 2013, police were called to reports of a group of protesters stood across Ashton New Road, opposite BAM Construction site, blocking traffic travelling in both directions. On arrival, police discovered there had been a collision between a blue Ford Ka and 64-year-old man. He was taken to hospital and treated.”

Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson from North Manchester division said, “From what we can see from CCTV, protesters were blocking Ashton New Road, preventing motorists from going any further. A number of people stood in front of the Ford Ka and climbed upon the bonnet before it moved forward. The car then travelled a short distance at a slow speed before it stopped and one of the men fell off. The car reversed and drove off.

“We are working to ascertain whether any criminal offence has occurred and I would ask the driver of the car or anyone who witnessed the incident to contact police. Officers are now in the process of talking to representatives of Unite Union and BAM Construction to establish what happened last night.

“While we respect the democratic right of anyone holding a peaceful protest, if we believe individuals have behaved in an unlawful manner, we will take action.”

Halligan labelled the police account “disgraceful” with “no bearing to reality whatsoever”, rubbishing claims that Tapp had climbed onto the bonnet or that the car had moved away slowly. He added that the trade unionists were considering a complaint to the IPCC. “They’re playing games”, he said, noting that the police are not releasing the CCTV images.

Tapp is said to be “good” and “full of fight” after the incident, though he had “lost pints of blood” from a gash on his head and “can’t get out of bed for four to eight weeks” according to Halligan. “He’s a strong feller”, he added.

Salford Unison secretary Steve North echoed the criticism of GMP, saying it was “ridiculous to say he was on the bonnet” and that union solicitors were looking into the matter. “It’s very unusual to send out a message that condemnatory” after someone had been badly injured in a road incident, he pointed out.

North, who spoke to Mule after returning from a hospital visit, reported that Tapp was “doing as well as can be expected” and that he “appreciates all the support people are offering”.

North added that “we’ll all stand by him and his family”, and said Tapp was looking forward to rejoining the battle against the “flagrant human rights abuse” of blacklisting.

Manchester Trades Union Council Secretary Richard Lighten said, “Everyone’s shocked about what happened. We don’t know who did it or what the intention was.

“I hope that George gets back to fitness quickly and that whatever happens as a result of this incident people get fired up to stop the blacklisting.”

Richard Goulding

Anyone with information can phone the police on 0161 856 3981/3832 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111

Messages of support can be sent to 07949 335 390 or mailed to George Tapp at the MRI Hospital

More: News, Policing, Unions and workplace


  1. It is interesting that Manchester City Council has allowed this company to work in Manchester. Then again, this so-called Labour council only looks after property developers and not it’s residents. I hope George recovers completely from his injuries.

    Comment by Patrick Sudlow on May 17, 2013 at 7:05 pm
  2. Really saddened to hear that a staunch Trade Union Activist who is sticking up for the rights of the Trade Union members has ended up being injured in this way. Wishing you a speedy recovery George.

    Comment by Edward Garner on May 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm
  3. The driver of that blue Ford Ka should realise that they will be identified sooner or later, and that the longer they fail to own up to being the driver the worse it will look for them. And my message to brother Tapp is, get well soon, George, and don’t let the *%$£”!s get you down.

    Comment by Dave Coull on May 17, 2013 at 10:10 pm
  4. I wish George a speedy recovery .

    The fight for justice goes on .

    Comment by Dave on May 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm
  5. where is the cctv footage?

    Comment by john on May 18, 2013 at 8:56 pm
  6. Have the plod deliberately lost the cctv footage ?

    Comment by Maggie on June 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm
  7. Another example of just why the police farce can never be trusted .
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery George .
    The Fight goes on .

    Comment by Will on August 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm
  8. Idle , lazy Plod caught the car driver yet ?
    No , thought not .
    The Plod’s anti-union credentials are once again blatantly obvious .

    Best wishes George .

    Comment by Adie on August 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm
  9. Have the plod thickos arrested the driver yet ?
    They need to spend less time loitering in take-aways .

    Best wishes , George

    Comment by Ged on September 15, 2013 at 4:42 pm
  10. Plod need to get out of their cosy taxpayer-funded canteens , and attempt to catch a few crimns , if they are not too fat and lazy .
    The ones I see are too slow to catch a cold .
    idle scum .

    Comment by Dan on June 7, 2014 at 12:54 am
  11. Have the idle plods managed to catch the criminal driver yet ?
    Or are they too busy assaulting protesters , and doing the dirty work for Corporate criminals ?

    Hope George is doing fine.
    In solidarity , mate .

    Comment by Dan on November 18, 2014 at 2:01 pm

The comments are closed.