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President of GMB union Mary Turner dies

The former dinner lady from London had been ill for years but continued in her post.

Mary Turner, the long-standing president of the GMB union and Labour Party executive member, has died.

Former GMB general secretary Paul Kenny described her as the most outstanding woman trade unionist of her generation.

The former dinner lady from London had been ill for years but continued in her post as president, chairing the GMB’s annual conference in Plymouth last month.

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The GMB president received a CBE for her political service (Fiona Hanson/PA)

Ms Turner received a CBE for her political service, particularly through the trade union movement, in recognition of her lifetime’s work for trade union members throughout the UK.

Elected GMB national president in 1997, she was a union activist in the London borough of Brent for many years and represented the GMB on the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party.

Mr Kenny said: “Mary never lost her roots. She was hard working and treated everyone the same – from prime ministers to cleaners.

“She was a powerful figure in the Labour Party as well as the trade union movement.”

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