Ray Collins, Baron Collins of Highbury

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Ray Collins
General Secretary of the Labour Party
In office
12 June 2008 – 19 July 2011
Leader Gordon Brown
Ed Miliband
Preceded by Peter Watt
Succeeded by Iain McNicol
Personal details
Born (1954-12-21) 21 December 1954 (age 60)
Political party Labour

Ray Edward Harry Collins, Baron Collins of Highbury (born December 21, 1954)[1] is a British life peer and trade unionist who was appointed General Secretary of the Labour Party on 12 June 2008.[2]

Collins was appointed Central Office Manager of the Transport and General Workers' Union in 1984 and held essentially the same post until 2008, being redesignated Head of Administration in the 1990s and Assistant General Secretary in 1999. He has been a member of the Labour Party for over thirty years and has campaigned for the party in every General Election since 1970. He is TGWU representative on the Labour Party National Policy Forum and a member of Labour's National Constitutional Committee.[citation needed]

In December 2007, he was named the 27th most influential LGBT person in British politics by Pink News.[3] He helped steer the TGWU into a merger with Amicus, creating Unite, one of the largest trade unions in the country.

Collins took the helm because the party was reportedly close to bankruptcy. In May 2008, Electoral Commission figures showed the party was £17.8 million in debt.[4]

On 20 January 2011, Collins was created a life peer as Baron Collins of Highbury, of Highbury in the London Borough of Islington, and was introduced in the House of Lords on 24 January 2011,[5] where he sits on the Labour benches. He was appointed a whip in 2011.[6] He was appointed Labour's Lords Spokesperson for International Development in 2013.[7]


  1. ^ "Debretts". Debretts. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  2. ^ "Labour Party press release". Labour.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  3. ^ ""The 50 most powerful LGBT people in British politics", ''Pink News'', 27 December 2007". Pinknews.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  4. ^ ""Ray Collins is new Labour general secretary", ''Pink News'', 13 June 2008". Pinknews.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  5. ^ House of Lords Minute of Proceedings for 24 January 2011.
  6. ^ Parliamentary biography.
  7. ^ "Lord Collins of Highbury - UK Parliament". Parliament.uk. 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
Party political offices
Preceded by
Peter Watt
General Secretary of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Iain McNicol