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Geoff Hoon

From Academic Kids

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HoonRumsfeld_Pentagon.JPG
Geoff Hoon (right) at Pentagon briefing

The Right Honourable Geoffrey William Hoon (born December 6 1953), the Member of Parliament for Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, was British Secretary of State for Defence from October 1999 until May 6, 2005. Following the 2005 General Election, he was appointed Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons.

Born in Derby, Derbyshire, he was educated at Nottingham High School and Jesus College, Cambridge, reading law.

Hoon was in charge of the MoD during a period of massive deployments of British troops, including;

Like many who have held the office before him Hoon was forced to make some difficult defence procurement decisions. The MoD is committed to competitive procurement and operates perhaps the most open defence procurement process in the world. The adherence to this policy caused significant friction between the MoD and its largest supplier, BAE Systems. Hoon, and the MoD as a whole refused the company's arguments that it should be treated as a "national champion." BAE have been accused of demanding contracts, e.g the Type 45 destroyers. Recent events have demonstrated that the MoD will not entertain such practices, following the delays to the BAe Nimrod maritime patrol jet and Astute class submarine projects BAE was force to write off 750m against the contracts.

Comment on Geoff Hoon's public persona has varied wildly from that of non-descript minister (the label Geoff Who? was applied by many national newspapers and an unflattering nickname is "Buff"), to a capable Defence Secretary and a "safe pair of hands" during and shortly after the 2003 Iraq War, to adjectives such as "slippery" and "dishonest" during the Dr. David Kelly Affair. He was widely expected to resign on the publication of the resulting Hutton Report. Whilst many were not surprised by the absence of any claim of wrong-doing on Tony Blair's behalf there was widespread disbelief that both Hoon and his permanent Secretary, Sir Kevin Tebbit, were also completely cleared of any impropriety. Hutton concluded that there was no "underhand" strategy in the naming of Kelly but that the Ministry of Defence failed to inform and advise him of the effects his name entering the public domain.

In an interview (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3654913.stm) in April, 2004 Geoff Hoon said that more could have been done to help David Kelly, who killed himself after being named as the source of Andrew Gilligan's controversial Today programme report.

On July 21 2004 Hoon announced major changes to the British armed forces. This review, Future Capabilites, is an extension of the White Paper Delivering Security in a Changing World which was published in December 2003. Although wide ranging highlights include;

See also

External links



Preceded by:
George Robertson
Secretary of State for Defence
1999–2005
Succeeded by:
John Reid

Template:Succession incumbent two to two Template:End boxnl:Geoff Hoon zh:禤智輝

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