Bill Brett, Baron Brett

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For other people with the same name, see William Brett.

William Henry Brett, Baron Brett (6 March 1942 – 29 March 2012)[1] was a British Labour politician[2] and businessman. He was previously the Labour Party's spokesperson (when Labour entered opposition) for International Development.[3]

Born in Heywood in Lancashire, the son of William and Mary Brett was educated in Radcliffe Technical College, in Radcliffe, near Bury. From 1958 to 1964, he worked for British Railways, from 1965 to 1967, he was administrative assistant for Transport Salaried Staffs Association, and from 1966 to 1968 North West organiser for National Union of Bank Employees. Between 1968 and 1974, Brett was divisional officer for the Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staffs. For the Institution of Professionals, Managers and Specialists, he was Assistant General Secretary from 1980 to 1989 and General Secretary from 1989 to 1999.[4]

Also from 1989 to 1999, he was a member of the executive committee for the Public Services International, and of the General Council of the Trades Union Congress (TUC). Between 1992 and 2003, Brett was member, vice-chairman, chair of the worker group and chair of the Governing body of the International Labour Office (ILO) in Geneva. From 2004, he was director of the ILO in the United Kingdom and Ireland, although the ILO office in London has recently closed down. He was further a member of the Association of Professional, Executive, Clerical and Computer Staff (APEX) from 1960 to 1999. On 20 July 1999, he was made a life peer with the title Baron Brett, of Lydd in the County of Kent.

Brett married firstly Jean Valerie Cooper in 1961. Divorced in 1986, he married secondly Janet Winters in 1994 divorced 2006. He had a son, Martin and a daughter, Claire by his first wife, and two daughters, Judith and Hannah by his second wife.[1]

Lord Brett died on 29 March 2012 after a long illness.[1]


  • International Labour in the 21st Century (1994)


  1. ^ a b c "Lord Brett obituary". The Guardian. 4 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Opposition Front Bench | The Labour Party". Labour. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-30. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-20.  TUC Annual Report 2012 Chapter 11
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Bill McCall
General Secretary of the Institution of Professionals, Managers and Specialists
1989 – 1999
Succeeded by
Paul Noon