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Monday, 21 October, 2002, 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK
Jack Straw

Date of birth

3 August 1946

< Political profile

Jack Straw is one of the most senior members of the government and the only member of the present administration to have held more than one of the major offices of state.

He was a surprise appointment as Foreign Secretary in the reshuffle following the 2001 election.

He had been expected to exchange the Home Office for transport.

He is regarded in Westminster as a competent and reliable minister and one of the best Commons performers in the Cabinet.

He served as home secretary throughout the 1997 Parliament and was shadow home secretary for three years before Labour's election.

As home secretary, observers said he adopted a tough line on asylum, with the introduction of the voucher support system, and criminal law.

In the early 1970s he was president of the National Union of Students'.

He then served as a special adviser to Barbara Castle and Peter Shore in the Callaghan government, before his own election in 1979.

Contact

jack.straw@fco.gov.uk

Constituency office 01254 52317

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