Chief executive of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) Paul Broadbent has passed away suddenly aged 54.
Broadbent was known throughout the industry for his work in protecting the rights of vulnerable workers and for leading the campaign to stamp out modern slavery.
His career was spent in public service having begun as a police officer in Cumbria and reaching the role of assistant chief constable with the Nottinghamshire Police.
Colleagues at the GLAA have described him as “warm, funny and generous” and he was known as a champion for the vulnerable and exploited.
Director of operations at the GLAA, Ian Waterfield, said: “It is with profound shock and deep sorrow that the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) announces the sudden death of our chief executive Paul Broadbent.
“The GLAA family has lost its figurehead, its leader. We will grieve for Paul and his family and then set about honouring his legacy by strengthening the GLAA, building on the solid foundations he put in place and playing our part in helping eradicate labour abuse and modern slavery.
“He was a champion for the vulnerable and exploited, he recognised the real need for an organisation like the GLAA and it’s because of his vision, determination and a liberal sprinkling of the charming Yorkshireman that he was, that people of influence listened to him.
“He was a warm, funny, generous man, who cared deeply for GLAA colleagues and he believed passionately that the scourge of modern slavery and labour exploitation can be defeated by partners and organisations working together.
“His death is a shattering tragedy for those of us who knew him and the world is a far poorer place without Paul Broadbent.”