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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 09:22 GMT 10:22 UK
Peter Hain
Peter Hain

Date of birth

16 February 1950

Political profile

Back in 1969, when a 16-year-old Tony Blair was still at school, Peter Hain was one of the most famous political activists in the country.

As a South African expat anti-apartheid activist, he was the leader of a campaign of direct action aimed at disrupting the all-white South African rugby team's tour of the UK.

He became chairman of the Young Liberals in 1971 and continued to be a prominent activist throughout the 1970s.

The South African security services even attempted to have him framed for a bank robbery in 1975, but he was acquitted of all charges.

He joined the Labour Party in 1977 and spent his career as a trade union official until entering the Commons at a 1991 by-election.

His left-wing credentials were established by his prominence within the Tribune Group and repeatedly underscored by his performance in the Commons.

Nonetheless, he found a place on the New Labour frontbench and became a junior Welsh Office minister in 1997, where he found himself responsible for managing Alun Michael's campaign for the leadership of Welsh Labour.

Mr Hain was moved to the Foreign Office as minister for Africa, where he enjoyed a much higher profile than is normal for that role with interventions over Zimbabwe.

After a short stint at the Department of Trade and Industry as energy minister, he returned to the FCO after the 2001 election as minister for Europe.

Mr Hain used to be known as one of the more Eurosceptic Labour MPs but soon became one of the government's most enthusiastic promoters of the prospect of British entry into the European single currency.

He replaced Paul Murphy as Secretary of State for Wales in October 2002 while still retaining his place on the Convention on the Future of Europe.

In the June 2003 reshuffle he became leader of the Commons while keeping his Wales secretary duties despite the Wales Office becoming part of the new Department of Constitutional Affairs.

Contact

Commons office: 0207 219 3925
Constituency office: 01639 630152

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