Cyril Plant
Cyril Thomas Howe Plant, Baron Plant (27 August 1910–9 August 1986) was a British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 trade unionist.

Born in Leek, Staffordshire
Leek, Staffordshire
Leek is a market town in the county of Staffordshire, England, on the River Churnet. It is an ancient borough and was granted its royal charter in 1214.It is the administrative centre for the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council...

, he worked as a sorting clerk in the Post Office
Post office
A post office is a facility forming part of a postal system for the posting, receipt, sorting, handling, transmission or delivery of mail.Post offices offer mail-related services such as post office boxes, postage and packaging supplies...

 and spent a lot of time playing football, later becoming a referee. In 1934, he joined the Inland Revenue
Inland Revenue
The Inland Revenue was, until April 2005, a department of the British Government responsible for the collection of direct taxation, including income tax, national insurance contributions, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, corporation tax, petroleum revenue tax and stamp duty...

 and became a founding member of the Inland Revenue Staff Federation
Inland Revenue Staff Federation
-History:The Union was born in the late 19th Century, when a group of tax clerks met together to fight for higher pay, higher status and better conditions. At that time clerks were hired by surveyors of taxes, they were usually employed on a temporary basis, paid low wages and denied sick leave,...

, and was elected to its executive. In 1944, he became the union's full time assistant secretary, then deputy secretary, before becoming its general secretary in 1960. He was elected to the General Council of the Trades Union Congress
Trades Union Congress
The Trades Union Congress is a national trade union centre, a federation of trade unions in the United Kingdom, representing the majority of trade unions...

 (TUC) in 1964, and was its President
President of the Trades Union Congress
The President of the Trades Union Congress is a prominent but largely honorary position in British trade unionism.The President is elected at the annual conference of the Trades Union Congress . They officially fill the office for the remainder of the year and then preside over the following...

 in 1975. He was also active in the International Labour Office, and served on its governing body from 1969 to 1977. He also served on the Community Relations Commission, the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, as Treasurer of the Workers' Educational Association
Workers' Educational Association
The Workers’ Educational Association seeks to provide access to education and lifelong learning for adults from all backgrounds, and in particular those who have previously missed out on education. The International Federation of Workers Education Associations has consultative status to UNESCO...

 and Chairman of the Governors of Ruskin College, Oxford
Ruskin College, Oxford
Ruskin College is an independent educational institution in Oxford, England. It is named after the essayist and social critic John Ruskin and specialises in providing educational opportunities for adults with few or no qualifications...


Plant retired from his union posts in 1977 and became an advisor to the Police Federation
Police Federation
Police Federation may refer to:*Police Federation of England and Wales*Police Federation for Northern Ireland*Scottish Police Federation*Defence Police Federation...

. In 1978, he was created a life peer
Life peer
In the United Kingdom, life peers are appointed members of the Peerage whose titles cannot be inherited. Nowadays life peerages, always of baronial rank, are created under the Life Peerages Act 1958 and entitle the holders to seats in the House of Lords, presuming they meet qualifications such as...

. Denis MacShane
Denis MacShane
Denis MacShane is a British politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Rotherham since the 1994 by-election and served as the Minister for Europe from 2002 until 2005, as well as being a current Policy Council member for Labour Friends of Israel.On 14 October 2010, it was announced...

 has attributed to Plant the joke about the readership of various newspapers made famous by Yes Minister
Yes Minister
Yes Minister is a satirical British sitcom written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn that was first transmitted by BBC Television between 1980–1982 and 1984, split over three seven-episode series. The sequel, Yes, Prime Minister, ran from 1986 to 1988. In total there were 38 episodes—of which all but...

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