Union boss Tony Woodley to step down

The joint general secretary of the country's biggest trade union is to stand down in the new year following the election of a new leader.

Tony Woodley could have stayed in office until the end of 2011 but said that was not a "sensible course of action". So he will take up a new role when Len McCluskey takes over on 31 January. The other joint general secretary, Derek Simpson, is retiring.

Mr Woodley said he would work for Unite until he reached 65 later next year, adding: "It is clear that our whole union is now ready to move on in a unified way under the new leadership chosen by our members."