Hugh McGrillen, a long-time MSF left activist and for many years London regional secretary of the MSF, has died of cancer. Hugh, a qualified chemist, worked as an advice worker at the London Hazards Centre. He was also a member of the Irish national chess team.
In 1999 the London Region of the MSF was excluded from voting in the Labour Party mayoral ballot on the utterly spurious grounds of late payment of affiliation. Hugh and his comrades fought the exclusion.
The right wing leadership of the MSF under Roger Lyons, decided to pursue a disciplinary investigation into the London Regional Council. Hugh, along with two other MSF London activists, was suspended from union activity. Of course, Lyons and his cronies were in cahoots with the Labour Party. Terry Ashton, former Director of the London Region Board of the Labour Party, called the Regional Council "a thorn in the side" of the Labour Party.
Hugh was treated atrociously by the top brass in his union, but then politically they were poles apart. He will be very much missed by anyone on the side of working people and genuine trade unionism in the labour movement.
We extend our condolences to Hugh's family and friends.