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Peter Hain

From Academic Kids

The Right Honourable Peter Gerald Hain (born February 16, 1950) is a British Labour Party politician.

He is MP for Neath in Wales and sits in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Secretary of State for Wales.

He came to the UK from South Africa as a teenager, and was a noted anti-Apartheid campaigner in the 1970s.

Peter Hain was born to South African parents in Nairobi, Kenya. His parents were anti-Apartheid activists in South Africa, for which they were made "banned persons", briefly jailed, and prevented from working. In 1966 the family fled South Africa and settled in London, where Peter's father Walter Hain made a living as an architect. Peter became chairman of the Stop the Seventy Tour Campaign which disrupted tours by the South African Rugby Union and cricket teams in 1969 and 1970. In 1976 he was tried for, and acquitted of, a 1974 bank robbery, allegedly having been framed by South African intelligence agents. He joined the Liberal Party and was elected president of the Young Liberals, but in 1977 switched to Labour. The same year, he was a founder of the Anti-Nazi League.

Hain worked as a researcher for the Union of Communication Workers, rising to become their head of research before being elected to the House of Commons at a by-election in 1991. In 1995 he became a Labour whip and in 1996 became shadow employment minister. After Labour's victory in the 1997 general election he joined the government, first at the Welsh Office, then as minister for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Robert Mugabe, whom he had supported in the struggle against white minority rule, attacked him as a "racist" for backing Zimbabwe's white farmers' rights.

He moved briefly to the Department of Trade and Industry before returning to the Foreign Office as minister for Europe. He was vocal in advocating joint sovereignty of Gibraltar with Spain, leading to him being reviled in the colony, which overwhelmingly rejected sovereignty in a referendum in November 2002. In October 2002, he joined the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Wales, but continued to represent the UK at the Convention on the Future of Europe. In June 2003 he was made Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal in a cabinet reshuffle, but retained the Wales portfolio. In November 2004 Hain caused controversy among his political rivals when he claimed that "If we are tough on crime and on terrorism, as Labour is, then I think Britain will be safer under Labour". On 6 May 2005, following the 2005 general election, Hain was appointed as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, retaining his Wales position also.

External links


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Preceded by:
Paul Murphy
Secretary of State for Wales
2002—
Succeeded by:
Current Incumbent

Template:Succession box two to one

Preceded by:
Paul Murphy
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
2005—
Succeeded by:
Current Incumbent

Template:End boxfr:Peter Hain sv:Peter Hain

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