Brendan Barber

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Sir Brendan Barber
Brendan Barber, Tolpuddle 2012.JPG
Barber speaking at the Tolpuddle Martyrs' Festival and Rally in 2012
Chair of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service
Assumed office

Vince Cable

Sajid Javid

Greg Clark
Preceded by Ed Sweeney
10th General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress
In office
Preceded by John Monks
Succeeded by Frances O'Grady
Deputy General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress
In office
Preceded by John Monks
Succeeded by Frances O'Grady
Personal details
Born (1951-04-03) 3 April 1951 (age 67)
Southport, England
Alma mater City University London

Sir Brendan Paul Barber (born 3 April 1951) is a British trade union official. He 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. He also serves on the board of the Banking Standards Board (2015–), the Board of Transport for London (2013–), the board of Britain Stronger in Europe (2015–), the Council of City University, London and the board of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts (2014–).

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. he began working at the TUC[2] 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.[3] Frances O'Grady was elected his successor.[4]


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.[5][6]

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. Archived from the original on 25 July 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  2. ^ Stevenson, Alexander (2013). The Public Sector: Managing The Unmanageable. Kogan Page. ISBN 978-0-7494-6777-7.
  3. ^ "Brendan Barber to retire as TUC General Secretary". Trades Union Congress. 18 April 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  4. ^ Claire Bolderson (7 September 2012). "Profile: Frances O'Grady, the new TUC general secretary". BBC. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  5. ^ "No. 60534". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 2013. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Birthday Honours: Adele joins Blackadder stars on list". BBC. Retrieved 14 June 2013.

External links[edit]

Trade union 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
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Ed Sweeney
Chair of Acas
2014 – present
Succeeded by