Triesman returns

July 6, 2007

David Triesman is described, with little affection, as David "Treason" by some of his old trade union comrades.

Not so long before his appointment this week as Parliamentary Undersecretary of State in the new Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, Lord Triesman was a stalwart of the lecturers' trade union movement.

A former further education lecturer in his native North London, he became a full-time official at lecturers union Natfhe in the 1980s before his election in 1993 to general secretary of the Association of University Teachers, where he stayed until 2001.

There was little ill will when he left the AUT to become general secretary of the Labour Party. But his elevation to the House of Lords as a life peer in early 2004, and his subsequent role in a Government that introduced the top-up tuition fees so hated by unions, ensure he will not get the warmest of welcomes from some of his former colleagues now that he has returned to the sector as a Government representative.

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