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GMB Union Elects Gary Smith As New General Secretary

Thursday, June 3, 2021


We will be different, we will be better and we will win together, says new GMB General Secretary Gary Smith 

GMB Union - Britain’s general union with 600,000 members from across all industrial sectors - has elected Gary Smith as its new General Secretary today [Thursday 3 June]. 

Mr Smith, who was the union’s Scotland Secretary, was elected with more than 50 per cent of votes cast. Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary for public services, came second with Giovanna Holt, GMB Senior Organiser, in third. 

[Please see the Notes to Editors for a full copy of the new Secretary’s Statement to the union, and the ballot scrutineers report.] 

Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said:  

“It is the honour of my life to be elected GMB General Secretary. A huge thank you to all GMB members.  

“Thank you for listening to the different visions offered by the candidates and thank you for your continuing membership of our great union. 

“Everyone, from members to staff, wants a better GMB. We must shed the practices and cultures that have blighted us in recent times and rediscover all that is good about this union. And there is so much that is good.  

“We have fantastic people, talented and committed activists, and incredible members who pay their hard-earned money to be part of an organisation that fights for justice in the workplace. 

“Let me be clear that I will work with and be guided by our union’s President Barbara Plant and our Central Executive Council to ensure the full implementation of the Monaghan Report - never again can we lose sight of the duty we have to our people. And we will now go forward together with a renewed focus on workplace organising in everything we do, building and growing from the grassroots across all our regions and nations.

“Everyone deserves to be part of a union that brings people together in good faith to build a better future and to make work better. GMB will be that union, we will be different, we will be better and we will win together.” 



Media enquiries:

GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at 

GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447077. 

Notes to Editors:

[1] New GMB General Secretary Gary Smith’s full statement to the union can be accessed at


CONTEST: General Secretary & Treasurer Election 2021  


SMITH, Gary 30,909 ELECTED  

AZAM, Rehana 16,937  

HOLT, Giovanna 13,525  

Number of eligible voters 579,612  

Total number of votes cast: 61,595  

Turnout: 10.6%  

Number of votes found to be invalid: 224  

Total number of valid votes to be counted: 61,371