Alec Kitson

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Alexander Harper Kitson (21 October 1921 – 2 August 1997) was a British trade unionist and Labour Party official.

Kitson grew up in Kirknewton, from where he undertook milk deliveries to Morningside alongside Sean Connery.[1] He studied at Kirknewton School before becoming a lorry driver. He became an active trade unionist, and a full-time union official from 1945. In 1959, he was elected as General Secretary of the Scottish Commercial Motormen's Union, serving until 1971, when he took the union into a merger with the Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU)[2]

Kitson chaired the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) in 1966, and was its Treasurer from 1974 until 1981. He was also long-term member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party, serving from 1968 until 1986, and was the Chair of the Labour Party in 1980–81.[2] He unsuccessfully contested the General Secretaryship of the TGWU in 1977, serving instead its Deputy General Secretary from 1980 until his retirement in 1986.[1]

Kitson was known as an admirer of the Soviet Union, a position largely influenced by Abe Moffat. He served on the World Peace Council as a supporter of James Lamond, and visited the USSR annually from the 1950s until the 1980s.[3]

In his spare time, Kitson served on the national council of War on Want, on Corstorphine Community Council, and briefly as Chairman of Heart of Midlothian FC.[2] In retirement from his union posts, he also served as Chairman of the Board of Lothian Buses plc.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Tam Dalyell, "Obituary: Alec Kitson", The Independent, 4 August 1997
  2. ^ a b c "KITSON, Alexander Harper", Who Was Who
  3. ^ Darren G. Lilleker, Against the Cold War, p.187
Trade union offices
Preceded by
John Brannigan
General Secretary of the Scottish Commercial Motormen's Union
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
William Scholes
President of the Scottish Trades Union Congress
Succeeded by
Bill McLean
Preceded by
Harry Urwin
Deputy General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union
Succeeded by
Bill Morris
Party political offices
Preceded by
Lena Jeger
Chair of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Judith Hart