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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Owen Paterson

Date of birth

24 June 1956

Political profile

Owen Paterson has enjoyed a rapid rise in the Conservative Party since his first election in 1997.

He has benefited from a political attitude in tune with the Tory party's current thinking.

He is one of the most Eurosceptic members on the Conservative benches and is a member of a number of Thatcherite groupings, including Conservative Way Forward and the No Turning Back group.

A businessman prior to his election, he supports a right-wing approach to regulation and taxation - he is no fan of either.

He is an ebullient and enthusiastic speaker, with an extremely partisan approach to debate.

His principal concern in the Commons has been agriculture, over which he has demonstrated a disdain for the Common Agricultural Policy. He worked hard to represent the farmers in his constituency during the foot and mouth crisis of 2001.

He was a Whip in the latter stages of the 1997 Parliament.

After being a campaign organiser for Iain Duncan Smith's leadership bid, he became the former leader's most loyal aide in 2001 as his parliamentary private secretary.

In November 2003, Michael Howard appointed him a junior shadow minister for agriculture.

Contact

patersono@parliament.uk

Constituency office 01978 710073

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