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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Chris Mullin

Date of birth

12 December 1947

Political profile

For 20 minutes on 1 May 1997, Chris Mullin was the only MP, since his Sunderland South seat's votes are counted extremely quickly.

He joked about forming his own government, but many assumed that would be the only time he would see a red box.

He was known as a figure on the left-wing of the Labour Party.

A member of the Campaign group and a former editor of Tribune, Mr Mullin was an ally of Tony Benn in the 1980s and the doyen of many international and domestic socialist campaigns.

He is the author of numerous books, including A Very British Coup.

He was made the chair of the Commons home affairs select committee, a role for which he seemed very well suited.

Mr Mullin has long championed civil liberties and before entering Parliament was best known as a crusading journalist who was one of the first to campaign on behalf of the wrongly convicted Birmingham Six.

He became an effective and well known critic of the government, leading to surprise when he accepted a junior ministerial position in the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions in 1999.

He moved to the Department for International Development in 2001, but after the election asked to be returned to the back benches and was re-elected chair of the home affairs select committee.

In the June 2003 reshuffle, however, Mr Mullin returned to government as a Foreign Office minister.

Contact

Constituency office 0191 567 2848

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