A big hitting left winger and an outspoken critic of Tony Blair, Woodley will become the leader of one of Britain's biggest trade unions when he replaces current leader Bill Morris, who retires in October after 12 years in the job. He is well known in the motor sector after representing workers during disputes at Peugeot Ryton and Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port and Luton plants.
Woodley, ranked No 46 in the latest AM Power List (April 4, 2003), has already promised to call a summit of anti-Blair leaders with the intention to “put labour back in the party”. Prior to the anouncement he said Labour was maintaining “illegal” labour laws brought in by the Conservatives. Woodley beat Blair's preferred candidate Jack Dromey, by 66,958 votes to 45,136.