Brendan Barber

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Brendan Barber speaking at the Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival and Rally 2012

Sir Brendan Paul Barber (born 3 April 1951) is Chair of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) Council. He is a former General Secretary of the United Kingdom's Trades Union Congress (TUC); a post he held from June 2003 until his retirement at the end of 2012. He was appointed Acas Chair in 2014, replacing Ed Sweeney, who had been in the post since 2007.

Early life[edit]

Born in Southport, Lancashire, Barber was educated at St Mary's College, Sefton (then a direct grant grammar school). Between school and university, he spent a year with VSO teaching in the Volta Region of Ghana. At City University London, he earned a BA Hons in Social Sciences in 1974, then spent the next year as the President of the Students' Union.[1]


He spent a year as a researcher for the Ceramics, Glass and Mineral Products Industry Training Board based in Harrow.[1]


In 1975 started working at the TUC as a policy officer. In 1979 he became the head of the TUC's Press and Information Department. In 1987 he became head of the Organisation and Industrial Relations Department and in 1993 he became Deputy General Secretary.[1]

He became General Secretary of the TUC in June 2003. On 18 April 2012, he announced his retirement, enabling a successor to be elected in September at Trades Union Congress 2012.[2] Frances O'Grady was elected his successor.[3]


In 2007, Barber was given an Award of Doctor of Science honoris causa by City University London. He was knighted in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to employment relations.[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

He met Mary Gray in the TUC International Dept, and they married. They have two daughters. He supports Everton F.C. and lives in Muswell Hill.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Biographical details: Brendan Barber". Trades Union Congress. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "Brendan Barber to retire as TUC General Secretary". Trades Union Congress. 18 April 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Claire Bolderson (7 September 2012). "Profile: Frances O'Grady, the new TUC general secretary". BBC. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60534. p. 1. 15 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Birthday Honours: Adele joins Blackadder stars on list". BBC. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John Monks
Deputy General Secretary of the TUC
Succeeded by
Frances O'Grady
Preceded by
John Monks
General Secretary of the TUC
Succeeded by
Frances O'Grady