Ray Collins said:
"I am delighted and proud to have been appointed to this vitally important role by the NEC today.
"The Labour Party is a fantastic organisation and I am looking forward to working with members, stakeholders and staff to make sure we are ready to win the next general election.
"I also want to thank Chris Lennie for the great job he has done as Acting General Secretary."
Dianne Hayter, Chair of the NEC said:
"I am thrilled with Ray's appointment as General Secretary. Ray brings experience, enthusiasm and excellent organisational, financial and leadership skills to his new role. He is taking on this key role at an important time for the party.
"I look forward to working with Ray as we prepare for future challenges, and making sure that Labour's values of economic stability coupled with social justice, of action to support families and of substance are put into stark contrast with the shallow salesmanship of David Cameron."
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Ray Collins, 53, is currently Assistant General Secretary of the Transport & General Workers Union section of UNITE. In this role he has been responsible for the strategic management of the union, dealing specifically with its Constitution, Administration and Services.
Ray has been a member of the Labour Party for over 30 years and has campaigned for the party in every General Election since 1970. He is T&GWU representative on the Labour Party National Policy Forum and a member of Labour's National Constitutional Committee.
Among his personal interests, Ray enjoys swimming, reading and the cinema, and he is a committed supporter of Arsenal FC.