Len was, until 2021, the first general secretary of the powerful ‘fighting-back union’, Unite, known for its global solidarity, its strong political voice and effective organising in the
Len’s industrial and political savvy stood him apart from other leaders of his era. Under his leadership Unite became the wealthiest and most influential union in the country.
Born in the backstreets of Liverpool, his home was full of love and laughter. Storytelling and singing abounded, but books were a luxury and in short supply. Len was educated, in his
words, ‘on the Liverpool docks’. It was there that he was politicised, but at the same time he became aware of the many local writers and performers who inspired him with their art and music.
A child of the 1960s and a pupil of the beat scene in Liverpool, he embraced the cultural revolution that was happening around him in his much-loved city.
His experiences later in life would lead him to show support for many people-powered revolutions around the world, where ordinary people fought for fairness, justice, and a
better life. Known for his combative style, Len offered workers in struggle what they need most from a leader: confidence.