'Job for life' to end?
Senior union leaders yesterday indicated their support for a system of electing the leader for five years instead of until retirement. Behind-the-scenes criticism of Mr Willis's leadership is re-emerging on the eve of this week's TUC meeting in Blackpool, although he confirmed last week that he would retire early. He could leave at any time in the next five years and he will come under pressure this week to 'name the day'.
The idea of a five-year term of office emerged yesterday in an article by Gavin Laird, general secretary of the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union. He believes the next TUC leader 'would certainly have more authority than he does today' if elected for a specific term.
Under the present system, unions use block votes at congress to choose the TUC general secretary. In reality, the leader is appointed on the principle of 'Buggins's turn', with the next general secretary likely to be John Monks, Mr Willis's deputy.
Mr Laird said: 'There is no justification for the general secretary of the TUC to be exempt from periodic accountability.'
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
National archives: Edward VIII’s phone calls - and how MI5 bugged them
World news in pictures
Eyewitness Ingrid Loyau-Kennett gives extraordinary account of her confrontation with Woolwich attackers
- 1 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 2 Mothers' diets may harm IQs in two-thirds of babies
- 3 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
- 4 Eyewitness Ingrid Loyau-Kennett gives extraordinary account of her confrontation with Woolwich attackers
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL might have a sinister plan as a soldier is murdered in suspected Islamic terrorist attack
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.