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James Moher

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James Moher httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Occupation  Former official for TGWU Former National Secretary for CWU Former Local Councillor and Cabinet Member for Brent London Borough Council
Alma maters  University College Cork (BCL), University of London (PhD)

Jim Moher is the Mary Amelia Cummings Harvey Visiting Fellow Commoner at Girton College, Cambridge researching biographical material about Walter Citrine, one of the most important Trades Union Congress and union leaders of the twentieth century and a confidant of many Prime Ministers from Baldwin to Churchill and Attlee.


Before retiring in 2014, Jim Moher had a lengthy career as a national official in the Transport and General Workers' Union and Communication Workers Union (1974-2006), and was Local Councillor and Cabinet Member for London Borough of Brent (2002-2014).

Moher was a founding member, in 2007, of the History and Policy Trade Union Forum, with Alastair Reid (Labour Historian at the University of Cambridge).

Moher is also a Visiting Fellow at King's College London.

Career history

On leaving secondary school in 1963, Jim Moher took a post as clerk in the Agricultural Credit Corporation but left in 1965 to emigrate to the UK, working on London construction sites (including the original construction of the Barbican Centre in the City of London) in order to raise funds for his future undergraduate study. This work in construction provided an early insight into the employment protection provided to workers by the labour unions.

After graduating in 1973, Moher returned to London to join the Transport and General Workers' Union under the leadership at the time of Jack Jones, as a legal officer dealing primarily with industrial law cases such as employment cases, industrial accidents, and the support for workers suffering from illness as a result of their industrial employment.

In 1985, Moher moved to the post of National Legal Secretary for the Communication Workers Union (then called the National Communications Union) under the leadership of John Golding, during the period of great conflict between the UK labour unions and Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government. As the National Legal Secretary, he was responsible for advising and assisting the Executive Council and senior officers on all aspects of union legislation and all union branches, districts and regional officials involved in dispute situations.

Moher stood as Labour candidate for the seat of Brent North in the United Kingdom general election, 1992, failing to unseat the resident Conservative candidate, Sir Rhodes Boyson. Moher was also the National Political Officer of the NCU and CWU from 1995 to 1998, and with the General Secretary and Political Fund Committee, directed the union's General Election campaign which returned over twenty 'union-sponsored' Labour MP's in 1997.

In 1995, the National Communications Union merged with the Union of Communication Workers to form the Communication Workers Union, under the leadership of Alan Johnson (later MP and Home Secretary) and Tony (now Lord) Young of Norwood Green. Following the unions merger, Moher was retained as National Legal Secretary for the enlarged organisation.

After a long and prominent involvement in local Labour politics from the 1970s, Jim was elected as a Councillor for the Fryent ward of Brent North in 2002. His book, "Stepping on White Corns - race, education, race and politics (2007)", sought to capture the atmosphere and issues of a turbulent but significant period of London politics and personalities (including Ken Livingstone as MP for Brent East). He served for twelve years as a councillor, being the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Transportation from 2010-2014. He retired from the Council in 2014, to devote more time to research and writing.

Throughout his union career Moher lectured to union activists at their residential education centres on employment law and political topics, on which he has written extensively. He taught union activists at Ruskin College Oxford from 2006-12 on the history of trade unions. In 1995, the Institute of Employment Rights published his "Trade Unions and the Law - the politics of change on government policies". He currently writes for the History & Policy Trade Union Forum and has previous written articles for the New Statesman.


Jim Moher attended secondary school at Mitchelstown Christian Brothers School (now Michelstown C.B.S. Secondary School) until 1963. After a period in London (see Career History) he attended University College Cork, graduating with a degree in Law in 1973.

In 1988, Jim Moher completed a PhD at Royal Holloway College, University of London titled "The London Millwrights and Engineers 1775-1825"

Personal life

Jim Moher was born in Ballyporeen, Ireland, in 1946. He was the third and youngest child of Daniel Moher, a carpenter, and Johanna Moher (née Hickey) who was herself the daughter of a stonemason. In 1973, he married Ruth Hewlett, who was born and brought up in Sharlston, a mining village in West Yorkshire. She graduated from London University (Westfield College) with an Honours BA in English Language and Literature. She has been a councillor for the London Borough of Brent since 2005 (after a career as a Social Worker/Manager) and has been a Cabinet Member (Children and Families), since 2010.

Jim has been a school governor at his local Wembley High Technology College since 1974, (including Chair of Governors for some years), which his daughter Joanna and son, Daniel, attended.


James Moher Wikipedia

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