Paul Kenny

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Sir Paul Kenny
8th General Secretary of GMB
In office
24 March 2005 – 31 December 2015
Preceded byKevin Curran
Succeeded byTim Roache
President of the Trades Union Congress
In office
Preceded byMichael J. Leahy
Succeeded byLesley Mercer
Personal details
Born (1949-10-31) 31 October 1949 (age 69)
Hammersmith, London, England

Sir Paul Stephen Kenny (born 31 October 1949, Hammersmith) is the former General Secretary of the GMB, Britain's third biggest union.

Early life[edit]

He left school at 15 and went to work for Fuller, Smith & Turner's Brewery.

His first job in local government was for London Borough of Hammersmith as the park keeper of Brook Green, along with its tennis courts.

Trade unions[edit]

He became a full-time GMB official in December 1979. In 1991 he became the Regional Secretary of the GMB London Region.

GMB leadership[edit]

Kenny had been defeated by Kevin Curran in the 2003 GMB General Secretary Election to replace John Edmonds. However, he was appointed Acting General Secretary on 24 March 2005 following Curran's resignation after alleged election rigging.

In May 2006 he was elected unopposed as GMB General Secretary.

Elected again in 2010 for a further 5 years unopposed.

Between 2010 and 2016 he was the chair of the influential Trade Union & Labour Party Liaison Organisation.


Campaigns Mr Kenny has been heavily involved include ASDA, private equity companies (such as their ownership of the AA), public sector pay increases, and privatised utility companies. Led target campaigning against Blacklisting of Trade unionists by Construction industry. In August 2014, Kenny was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Kenny now lives on the Isle of Wight. He married Patricia Ward in 1969 in Hammersmith. He has two sons and four grandchildren, and supports Fulham F.C..

In the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours, Kenny was appointed a Knight Bachelor 'for services to trades unions'. Sir Paul went to Latimer Foundation School in Hammersmith, which was closed; he was transferred to St Marks School at Bishops Park in Fulham.


  1. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.

External links[edit]

Audio clips[edit]

News items[edit]

Trade union offices
Preceded by
Kevin Curran
General Secretary of the GMB
Succeeded by
Tim Roache
Preceded by
Michael J. Leahy
President of the Trades Union Congress
Succeeded by
Lesley Mercer