Tom Sawyer, Baron Sawyer

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Lawrence "Tom" Sawyer, Baron Sawyer (born 12 May 1943) is a British trade unionist and Labour Party politician. He was General Secretary of the Labour Party from 1994 to 1998.

Sawyer was educated at Dodmire School, Eastbourne Comprehensive School and Darlington Technical College.

After his education, Sawyer worked in engineering, before moving into trade unionism. He became a National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) Officer in 1971, becoming their Northern Regional Officer in 1975. In 1981, he was made Deputy General Secretary of NUPE and served through its merger to become UNISON until 1994. In this role he served as a National Executive Committee Member of the Labour Party between 1981 and 1994 and was made Chair of the Party in 1991.

In 1994, Sawyer became General Secretary of the Labour Party and led the Party successfully into the 1997 General Election. He stood down at the 1998 Party Conference and was created a Life Peer as Baron Sawyer, of Darlington in the County of Durham on 4 August 1998.[1] He is now a director of several companies and public sector bodies.

In November 2004, it was announced that Lord Sawyer would become the next chancellor of the University of Teesside, replacing former Conservative MP and member of the European Commission, Leon Brittan.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Jo Richardson
Chair of the Labour Party
1990–1991
Succeeded by
Tony Clarke
Preceded by
Larry Whitty
Labour Party General Secretary
1994–1998
Succeeded by
Margaret McDonagh
Academic offices
Preceded by
Leon Brittan
Chancellor of the University of Teesside
2005–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent