To John Smith House last night for Lesley Quinn’s leaving do. Appropriately large turnout of staff, MPs, MSPs, MEPs, journalists and trade unionists, given that Lesley started at the then Keir Hardie House as a shorthand typist 27 years ago. She’s been general secretary for eight years and, as she pointed out in her very funny speech, she’s done favours at some point for just about everyone in the room.
Her successor as general secretary, Colin Smyth, told of how, when he started at JSS, and Jack McConnell was gensec, Colin was told that “Jack knows where all the bodies are buried, but Lesley knows the serial numbers of all the shovels.”
Lesley herself cracked a good gag at MPs’ expense (as it were) when she denied rumours she wanted to become an MP: “Although, there is a nice suite I want out of John Lewis…”