GMB members in mourning after passing of Torbay GMB giant

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25 Mar 2019
Press Office

Press Office

GMB Members are today in mourning after learning of the sad passing of the irreplaceable activist Paul Raybould on Saturday. 

Paul was a committed GMB Union activist for many years. He served on many bodies including the GMB Regional Council, South West TUC and was the longstanding Secretary of the Torbay and South Devon Trades Council.

Paul was an absolute Titan of the trade union movement in the South West and beyond, and will be sorely missed.

John Phillips, GMB Regional Secretary Wales and South West

Paul worked as a mental health nurse and union representative, at Torbay Hospital, and his campaigning in defence of the NHS was a big part of his life.

Standing in the 2017 general election for Labour in Torbay, he secured the Party's best result in 38 years.

He had a tireless commitment, dedication and sense of fairness to build a better world and will be sorely missed by all.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:  

"I am absolutely heartbroken to hear the news of Paul’s passing. He had GMB running through him like a stick of rock and was funny and hardworking in equal measure. 

"He was my Facebook messenger buddy and I still keep checking for a message. A lovely man. Stoic in his support of workers and our proud movement.

"RIP the Torbay GMB giant."


John Phillips, GMB Regional Secretary Wales and South West, said:

"It was with huge shock and great sadness that we received the news of Paul’s sudden passing.

"Paul was an absolute Titan of the trade union movement in the South West and beyond, and will be sorely missed.

"He always put the interests of GMB members at the heart of everything he did, and was fearless in challenging unfairness and discrimination.

"I will remember Paul as someone who was totally passionate about, and committed to delivering equality, social cohesion and a fairer society. He did not suffer fools gladly, and was renowned for his direct and uncompromising approach.

"He will always be remembered with respect and affection in this region."


Matt Roberts, GMB Regional Organiser, said:

"When I was appointed to a regional role in 2015, Paul's beloved GMB Torbay and South Devon Branch was the first full branch I was allocated to work with.

“From day one, he was incredibly supportive to the point of making me feel as if I was part of his own family. 

"He was one of a kind - a real character - and became a great and loyal friend. He would message me every single day, with his views of the daily politics, union issues, and making sure I was spending enough time with my family.  His mind was so sharp and he was never afraid to tell me if I was going wrong with something, which was greatly appreciated. 

"Paul cared deeply about Torbay - he was the best Member of Parliament that Torbay never had. He also cared very deeply about ordinary working people and their National Health Service, where he worked as a mental health nurse for many years. 

"He never stopped fighting for the underdog in his own gritty and unique style. One of his great attributes was his encouragement of others, and his kindness, and it is no accident that - far from being a one-man band - his GMB Branch has many active reps and members who he has brought on and supported.

"He leaves the Branch in a strong place and his many friends will now continue his work. We will never forget Paul."

As soon as the region is aware of any funeral details, they will publicised so that friends, comrades and colleagues from throughout GMB and the wider Labour movement can celebrate Paul's Life.



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