Tony Blair's Tribute to Garfield Davies

Posted on: 5th March 2019
Tony Blair
Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Executive Chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

Garfield Davies was part of the generation of union leaders in place when I became Labour leader and in the run-up to the 1997 election. It is impossible to think of the modernisation of the Labour Party in the 1990s without remembering and recognising the contribution he made to the process. Having been through the Tory years, he was desperate for the changes a Labour government would bring, and his union, USDAW, representing hundreds of thousands of shop workers around the country, was one of the strongest supporters of the national minimum wage and was also consistently supportive of other changes we brought in which helped low-paid workers, such as tax credits, increased maternity pay and leave, and equal treatment for part-time workers.

Garfield was a true and steadfast friend; it was with great sadness that I learned of his passing, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family.