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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 February, 2004, 15:31 GMT
Profile: Lord Butler of Brockwell
Former Cabinet Secretary Lord Butler
The peer was with Lady Thatcher during the Brighton bombing
Former Cabinet Secretary Lord Butler has been named as the head of the inquiry into intelligence behind the decision to go to war with Iraq.

The 66-year-old career civil servant has served five prime ministers: Heath, Wilson, Thatcher, Major and Blair.

He almost died with Baroness Thatcher at the Grand Hotel in Brighton when the IRA blew it up in 1984.

He is now Master of his alma mater - University College, Oxford, where he graduated with a double first.

Born Robin Butler in Lytham St Anne's on 3 January, 1938, his father was the managing director of a paint manufacturing firm.

He became head boy at Harrow School, where he won a scholarship, and then went to Oxford, where he was the winner of two rugby blues - playing for the university first XV.

Life peer

He began his 37-year career in the civil service when he joined the Treasury in 1961.

Rising through the ranks, he finished as Head of the Civil Service, before retiring in 1998. He was made a life peer and served in the House of Lords as a cross-bencher.

Following his retirement, he has thrown himself into the role of Master of University College, Oxford which he carries out with help from his wife of 42 years, Gillian. They have a son and two daughters.

Lord Butler of Brockwell is also President of the University Rugby Football Club.

His interests in Who's Who are listed as including "competitive games".

He has membership at a number of several London clubs, including the Athenaeum in Pall Mall, Brook's in St James's and the Beefsteak, near Trafalgar Square.

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