The last senior government figure to address them was Margaret Thatcher, as Secretary of State for Education in the Heath government in the early Seventies, according to Congress House officials.
John Monks, new TUC general secretary, has invited Mr Hunt to address a meeting on 5 July on full employment as part of a relaunch of his organisation. The conference will also be addressed by Jacques Delors, president of the European Commission, and Howard Davies, secretary-general of the Confederation of British Industry.
A sign of Mr Monks's new approach is that Stephen Dorrell, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, will address a TUC conference on the public services tomorrow.
Mr Monks yesterday disclosed that the 'new model TUC', which will seek to divert attention away from strong links with the Labour Party, wanted to promote itself with all political parties as an industrial pressure group speaking for the grass roots. He announced a 'bold and decisive' change in which the TUC would seek to get closer to the concerns of working people and those without jobs.
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