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Friday, 18 October, 2002, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Sir Brian Mawhinney

Date of birth

26 July 1940

Political profile

A former Conservative big-hitter, Sir Brian Mawhinney has been keeping a low profile in self-imposed retirement on the backbenches since 1998.

First elected in 1979, he entered the Thatcher government as a junior Northern Ireland minister in 1986 and remained there until 1992.

He gained a reputation as a "safe pair of hands" and was subsequently parachuted into two troubled ministries, health and transport, to help with unpopular reforms.

His fixing skills found their greatest test when he served as Conservative chairman for two years up to the 1997 election.

His response to the role of holding together a disintegrating party was to turn his fire on Labour and he became immensely partisan.

After a brief stint as shadow home secretary under William Hague, he resigned from the shadow cabinet and pursued more extra-parliamentary interests.

He is an undogmatic Conservative and highly religious. He was a member of the General Synod for five years.

In 2003, he was appointed Chairman of the Football League. He has also announced his intention to stand down at the next general election.

Contact

Constituency office 01780 783869

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