Brenda Dean, Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde

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The Right Honourable
The Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde
Personal details
Born (1943-04-29) 29 April 1943 (age 74)
Salford, England, UK
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Keith McDowall (CBE)[1]
Occupation Peer
Trade unionist

Brenda Dean, Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, PC, FRSA (born 29 April 1943)[2] is a British trade unionist and Labour Party politician.[3]

She began her career as a trade unionist as a teenager,[3] became President of the print union SOGAT in 1983, and was its General Secretary from 1985.[1] In 1991, SOGAT became part of the Graphical, Paper and Media Union. Dean stood for the general secretaryship, but was narrowly defeated by Tony Dubbins, by 78,654 votes to 72,657. Instead, she became the union's deputy general secretary, serving for a single year.[4]

She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1992. Dean was raised to the peerage in October 1993 as Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, of Eccles in the County of Greater Manchester[5][6] and was appointed to the Privy Council in 1998.[2] She was a member of the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education that published an influential report in 1997.[7]

Her autobiography, Hot Mettle, deals largely with her tenure as SOGAT General Secretary at the time of Rupert Murdoch's battles with her own and other trades unions, notably the Wapping dispute. She is a Vice-President of the Debating Group.[8]

She became a director for Labour Tomorrow on 28 June 2016,[9] an organisation that funds groups that oppose Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.[10][11]


  1. ^ a b Darryl Lundy (1 April 2009). "Profile at". The Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Privy Counsellors: 1969-present". Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "The Rt Hon Baroness Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, PC". People. Debrett's. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Peter Bain and John Gennard, A History of the Society of Graphical and Allied Trades, p.177
  5. ^ "No. 53459". The London Gazette. 18 October 1993. p. 16703. 
  6. ^ "No. 23461". The Edinburgh Gazette. 15 October 1993. p. 3189. 
  7. ^ "Higher Education in the learning society: Main Report". Education England. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  8. ^ Debating Group,; accessed 21 May 2015.
  9. ^ "LABOUR TOMORROW LIMITED - Officers (free information from Companies House)". Retrieved 2016-08-12. 
  10. ^ "Anti-Corbyn Group Amasses £250,000 Fighting Fund". Sky News. 16 August 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  11. ^ Rajeev Syal (21 September 2016). "New anti-Corbyn group is funded by former Tony Blair spin doctor". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 

External links[edit]

Trade union offices
Preceded by
Bill Keys and Owen O'Brien
General Secretary of SOGAT
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
New position
Deputy General Secretary of the Graphical, Paper and Media Union
1991 – 1992
Succeeded by
Gerry Sutcliffe