Lord Rosser obituary

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Richard Rosser, Lord Rosser, who has died aged 79, a long-serving former common secretary of the rail union TSSA (Transport Salaried Staffs’ Affiliation). He helped keep the soundness of the trade throughout the turbulent interval of railway privatisation within the final years of John Main’s Conservative authorities.

He spent his lifetime working with the railway trade and after retiring from the union in 2004 joined the Home of Lords, later changing into Labour’s frontbench spokesman on transport.

Rosser was a diligent, mild-mannered man, however a doughty fighter on behalf of working folks, who was credited with being a terrier on the authorities’s heels when talking on the opposition dispatch field.

As a younger man he stood as soon as for the Home of Commons, shedding narrowly because the Labour candidate for Croydon Central in February 1974. He was a member of each the Labour celebration nationwide govt (1988-98) and the final council of the Trades Union Congress (2000–04) and chaired the Blackpool Labour convention after Tony Blair’s triumphant victory in 1997.

He was born right into a household of railway fans, in Northwood, Middlesex, the youthful of two sons of Gordon Rosser, a proofreader for Solar Printers in Watford, and his spouse, Kathleen (nee Moon), who labored within the insurance coverage trade. The household selected to not personal a automobile, preferring rail journey, which might lead Richard to develop an encyclopedic data of routes and timetables. His elder brother, John, later labored at British Rail analysis headquarters in Derby.

Richard was educated at St Nicholas grammar faculty, Northwood Hills (now Haydon faculty, Pinner), leaving at 18 to work for London Transport as an industrial relations clerk. He joined the Labour celebration on the day he left faculty and the TSSA on beginning employment.

In 1966, he grew to become a analysis officer on the TSSA and in 1970 was awarded a BSc in economics as an exterior pupil at London College. He was seen as a high-flier within the union, rising by the organisation to turn out to be assistant common secretary in 1982 and common secretary seven years later.

He pursued his political pursuits as a Hillingdon councillor (1971-78), chairing the finance committee for the latter 4 years. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1978, chaired the Uxbridge bench from 1996 to 2000, and retired in 2014. He was additionally a non-executive director of the Jail and Probation Service administration board (2000–09) and chaired its audit committee from 2004.

Rosser was an enthusiastic supporter of Blair’s management of the Labour celebration and delivered a stern message to the trades union motion in 2003, warning its members that given the 40% decline in union membership that had occurred throughout the 18 years of the Conservatives in workplace earlier than 1997, they need to be much less complacent concerning the realpolitik of common elections and that to undermine a Labour authorities was “to attain an avoidable personal objective”.

After becoming a member of the Lords, he served as a member of the whips’ workplace in opposition (2010–11) and thereafter spoke from the entrance bench on defence, house affairs and transport issues. He continued to cowl the transport transient and remained an energetic working peer till final 12 months. Rosser was a member of the process and privileges committee (2005–09) and the secondary laws scrutiny committee (2008-10).

An enthusiastic supporter of non-league soccer, Rosser collected programmes from across the nation, typically with the assistance of fellow members of the Lords. From 2008 he was vice- president of the Isthmian League, changing into president in 2019.

In 1973 he married Sheena Denoon, a pc programmer. She survives him, together with their two sons, daughter and 5 grandchildren.

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