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Friday, 18 October, 2002, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Stephen Dorrell

Date of birth

25 March 1952

Political profile

Once a rising star of the Tory party, Stephen Dorrell has spent the past few years on the backbenches where he has kept a fairly low profile.

It was a premature end for a successful career which saw him serve as a cabinet minister for three years.

He even considered standing for the Conservative leadership in 1997 but failed to attract enough support from his parliamentary colleagues to make a realistic bid.

He remains a leading figure on the left of the Conservatives and is active in the pro-European grouping Conservative Mainstream.

His early rebellions against aspects of Thatcherite policy, following his first election in 1979, may account for the fact that despite his clear intellectual strengths he had to wait for 10 years to enter government.

After a successful stint at the Treasury, he joined the cabinet as secretary of state for National Heritage, but was never truly happy in the role.

He swapped jobs with Virginia Bottomley to become health secretary, where he found himself having to weather the storm over CJD.

Upon Iain Duncan-Smith's resignation in October 2003, Dorrell was one of the first MPs to offer his support to Michael Howard.

Contact

cca@charnwood.tory.org.uk

Constituency office 0116 260 8609

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