Unison, one of Britain’s largest trade unions, has elected its first openly gay woman as its new president.

Maureen Le Marinel, 53, a Lancashire Police employee is taking over from Chris Tansley.

Ms Marinel’s long-term commitment to the trade union movement started in 1984 after being discharged from the British Army because of her sexuality. She also initialled suffered from bullying in her following job with Lancashire Police.

Union officials, made one phone call, and all the staff who were bullying her were moved.

Her experience was so positive that it inspired her to get more involved with Unison.

“Throughout my life, fairness has always been key. Unison is not a banging on the table type of union – we want to find a fair and reasonable solution that is best for everyone,” she said in a statement. “

“This is a guiding principle that will take me through my presidential term, as I help the union, and public services, face head on some of the biggest challenges that we have faced in my lifetime.”