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Naomi Pohl to run for General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union

By | Published on Monday 4 October 2021

Naomi Pohl

The Deputy General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union, Naomi Pohl, this morning announced her intention to run for the General Secretary role at the union, which comes up for election early next year.

The top job at the MU is an elected position, with elections taking place every five years. Current General Secretary Horace Trubridge – who had previously been Assistant General Secretary – won the most recent election in 2017. He took over from John Smith, who had been the union’s General Secretary for fifteen years by the time he stood down from the position.

At one point the union planned to extend Trubridge’s current term by three years meaning he would remain as General Secretary until 2025, when he planned to retire. After that plan was called off, Trubridge initially indicated he would stand for re-election in 2022 seeking another five year stint. However, this weekend he confirmed that this is no longer his intention. He will not now run in next year’s election, and will stand down after a new General Secretary is elected.

Confirming her intention to stand earlier today, Pohl said: “The MU’s current General Secretary Horace Trubridge has been involved in the MU’s senior management for many years and I want to pay tribute to all he’s done for the union and its members. He’s been a powerful advocate”.

“If elected to succeed him”, she added, “I would fight to achieve meaningful change on behalf of all musicians and would prioritise improving their rights and income. I have over 20 years’ experience of working in arts sector trade unions and I believe I am the best person to take the union forward as we deal with the COVID recovery and Brexit”.

Noting the particular challenges for musicians over the last two years, she went on: “This has been the worst imaginable time for musicians and I have the experience, energy and vision to take the union forward. I will build on the many relationships I have in the wider trade union movement, with music industry bodies, MPs and decision makers, and put these to good use on behalf of all musicians, wherever they’re based and however they make music”.

If elected, Pohl would be the first female General Secretary of the MU in its 128 year history. Her statement concluded: “You can’t stand aside and wait for positive change, you have to make it happen. Equality, diversity and inclusion would be at the heart of my work as MU General Secretary. All musicians deserve equal access and representation from their union. The union’s SafeSpace service for survivors of sexual harassment is my proudest achievement to date”.

The election process will formally take place between January and March next year, beginning with six regional nomination meetings around the UK before the actual vote in March. Pohl has set up a website for her election campaign here.