Hilary Benn

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The Right Honourable Hilary James Wedgwood Benn (born November 26, 1953) is a British Labour Party Member of Parliament and Secretary of State for International Development

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Hilary Benn speaking in Oxford, January 2005

Hilary Benn is a fourth generation MP, being the son of former Labour Cabinet Minister Tony Benn. His mother was the educationalist Caroline Benn. He attended Holland Park Comprehensive School and University of Sussex where he graduated in Russian and East European Studies. While at university he married fellow student Rosalind Retey, who died tragically early in 1979. He remarried in 1982.

On leaving university, Benn became a Research Officer with the ASTMS and rose to become Head of Policy for MSF. In 1979 he was elected to the Ealing Borough Council where he was Deputy Leader from 1986 to 1990. He was the Labour candidate for Ealing North in the general elections of 1983 and 1987. Because of his father's reputation as a hero of the left, he used the slogan "A Benn, but not a Bennite".

When Labour won power in 1997, Benn was appointed as Special Adviser to David Blunkett as Secretary of State for Education and Employment. In 1999 he was quickly selected as Labour candidate for Leeds Central in a by-election, which he won on a very small turnout. Following the 2001 general election, he joined the Government as Clare Short's deputy in the Department for International Development (DFID). In May 2002, he moved to the Home Office, where he became Minister for Prisons and Probation, and in May 2003 he returned to the DFID under its new Secretary of State, The Baroness Amos. When she was appointed Leader of the House of Lords in October 2003, he replaced her as Secretary of State.

External links



Preceded by:
The Baroness Amos
Secretary of State for International Development
2003–
Succeeded by:
Current Incumbent

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