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Bill Speirs

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William MacLeod Speirs 8 March 1952 – 23 September 2009 was a Scottish trade union leader, a socialist and internationalist He was General Secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress

Speirs was a key figure in left-wing Scottish politics, chairing the Scottish council of the Labour party at the 1987 general election, and being a prominent member of various groups of the Bennite left, eg the Labour Co-ordinating Committee and Scottish Labour Action

Speirs was also a high-profile advocate of Scottish devolution, eg he was instrumental in the creation of Scotland United, was a member of the Scottish Constitutional Convention, and was a member of the group that drafted the key document Scotland's Parliament, Scotland's Right in 1995


  • 1 Early life, education and work
  • 2 Scottish TUC
  • 3 Scottish Labour Party
  • 4 Personal life
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Early life, education and work

Bill Speirs was born in Dumbarton and grew up in Renfrew He went to school at the John Neilson Institution in Paisley and took a first class honours degree in Politics as the University of Strathclyde

After graduating he continued with research at university and then worked as a lecturer at Cardonald College

Scottish TUC

Bill Speirs began his career with the Scottish Trades Union Congress when he was appointed to the post of Assistant Secretary in 1978 He became Deputy General Secretary in 1988, succeeding John Henry In 1998, he became General Secretary, following Campbell Christie He retired from the STUC in 2006 due to ill health

Scottish Labour Party

Bill Speirs was a lifelong member of the Labour Party He was active in the National Organisation of Labour Students NOLS when he was at university He served on the party's Scottish Executive in the late 1970s and the 1980s and was Chair of the Scottish Labour Party in 1987 In 1994, he was a signatory of the statement that launched the Scottish campaign for the retention of Clause IV, which in turn led to the creation of the Campaign for Socialism

Personal life

With his first wife Lynda, Bill had two children: a daughter, Jaki; and a son, David The marriage ended in 1990

In October 2002, Bill married his partner Pat Stuart in Glasgow

Bill died in Glasgow on 23 September 2009 following a long illness


  1. ^ Wilson, Brian 27 September 2009 "Bill Speirs obituary" London: The Guardian Retrieved 2009-10-08 

External links

  • Bill Speirs - Daily Telegraph obituary
  • BBC: Union champion Speirs dies at 57 - Wed 23 Sep 2009
  • STV: Tributes paid to trade unionist Bill Speirs - report & video - Wed 23 Sep 2009
  • Obituary - Wed 23 Sep 2009 The Herald
  • Obituary - Thu 24 Sep 2009 The Scotsman
  • Bill Speirs: Trade union leader, socialist, internationalist - Obituary Fri 25 Sep 2009 Morning Star
  • Obituary - Cathy Peattie MSP in The Citizen Campaign for Socialism - Thu 24 Sep 2009
  • George Gallloway pays tribute at Bill's funeral STV Video
  • An Appreciation in the Scotsman by Gordon McDougall
Political offices
Preceded by
Campbell Christie
General Secretary of the STUC
Succeeded by
Grahame Smith

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