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Thursday, January 21, 1999 Published at 14:46 GMT

UK Politics

Ex-Labour minister John Golding dies

The former Labour minister and trade union leader John Golding has died, it was announced on Thursday.

Mr Golding, who was the husband of current MP Llin Golding, died on Wednesday aged 67. The cause of death was not immediately known, though he had been ill for several weeks with septicaemia.

Llin Golding succeeded her husband in a by-election in his Newcastle-under-Lyme seat when he retired to take up a union job. He was MP for the seat from 1969 to 1986, and technology minister, a whip and an employment minister in the 1970s.

He was general secretary of the National Communications Union from 1986 to 1988, during which time he was on the Trades Union Congress council.

He also advised the TUC on employment law and labour market policies. TUC general secretary John Monks said: "John Golding made an enormous contribution to both the trade union movement and the Labour Party. He was a politician and trade unionist to his fingertips."

"John was unique in modern times as a union general secretary who came to office with the experience of a lengthy spell as an MP.

"He was a moderniser before modernisation became fashionable and one of the most astute political operators of his generation."

Labour Party general secretary Margaret McDonagh said Mr Golding served the party and "the wider Labour movement with great energy and determination over many years".

"He stayed loyal to the party in the most difficult of times and was one of the first union general secretaries to recognise that the future of the Labour Party's relationship with the unions would be based around the participation of ordinary trade unionists and not simply block votes at conferences."

Oliver Reynolds, Labour party secretary in Mr Golding's former constituency of Newcastle-under-Lyme, said: "He was working right up until recent months, electioneering, campaigning on local issues."

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