Peter Hain

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The Right Honourable
Peter Hain
MP
Peter Hain.png
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
In office
11 May 2010 – 15 May 2012
Leader Harriet Harman
Ed Miliband
Preceded by Cheryl Gillan
Succeeded by Owen Smith
Secretary of State for Wales
In office
5 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Paul Murphy
Succeeded by Cheryl Gillan
In office
24 October 2002 – 24 January 2008
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Gordon Brown
Preceded by Paul Murphy
Succeeded by Paul Murphy
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
In office
28 June 2007 – 24 January 2008
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by John Hutton
Succeeded by James Purnell
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
6 May 2005 – 27 June 2007
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Paul Murphy
Succeeded by Shaun Woodward
Leader of the House of Commons
In office
11 June 2003 – 6 May 2005
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by John Reid
Succeeded by Geoff Hoon
Lord Privy Seal
In office
13 June 2003 – 6 May 2005
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by The Lord Williams of Mostyn
Succeeded by Geoff Hoon
Member of Parliament
for Neath
Incumbent
Assumed office
4 April 1991
Preceded by Donald Coleman
Majority 9,775 (26.3%)1
Personal details
Born Peter Gerald Hain
(1950-02-16) 16 February 1950 (age 64)
Nairobi, Kenya Colony
Political party Labour (1977–present)
Other political
affiliations
Liberal (Before 1977)
Alma mater Queen Mary, University of London
University of Sussex
Religion None (agnosticism)2

Peter Gerald Hain (born 16 February 1950) is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Neath since 1991, and served in the Cabinets of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He was the Leader of the House of Commons from 2003 to 2005 and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 2005 to 2007 under Blair, and as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Secretary of State for Wales from 2007 to 2008 under Brown. In 2007, he ran for the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party, coming fifth out of six candidates, although his failure to declare donations during this contest led to his resignation in 2008. He later returned to the Cabinet from 2009 to 2010 as Welsh Secretary, before becoming Shadow Welsh Secretary in Ed Miliband's Shadow Cabinet from 2010 until 2012, when he announced his retirement from front-line politics.3

He came to the UK from South Africa as a teenager, and was a noted anti-apartheid campaigner in the 1970s. He was also Honorary Vice-President of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality.4 He was an enthusiastic supporter of the ill-fated Alternative Vote system campaign in May 2011, together with his close friend and fellow former Young Liberal Richard Burden.

Early life

Hain was born in the Kenya Colony, but moved to the Union of South Africa about a year later. His parents, Walter and Adelaine Hain, were anti-apartheid activists in the Liberal Party of South Africa, for which they were made "banned persons", briefly jailed, and prevented from working.5

When Hain was 10, he was awoken in the early hours by police officers searching his bedroom for 'incriminating documents'. At 15, Hain spoke at the funeral of John Frederick Harris, an anti-apartheid activist who was hanged for murder for the bombing of the Johannesburg main railway station, injuring 23 people and killing an elderly woman, Mrs Ethyl Rhys. Mrs Rhys's grand daughter suffered severe burns. As a result of security police harassment, Hain's father was unable to continue his work as an architect, and the family decided to leave for the United Kingdom in 1966.[1]

Life in London

Hain was educated at Pretoria Boys High School and at Emanuel School, the latter of which eventually becoming a private fee-paying institution, then Queen Mary College (University of London), graduating with a first class Bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Science in 1973 [2], and the University of Sussex, obtaining an M.Phil. [3] After university, Hain worked as a researcher for the Union of Communication Workers, rising to become their head of research.

Anti-apartheid

Hain 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 1971 director John Goldschmidt produced a film for Granada's World in Action programme featuring Peter Hain debating Apartheid in South Africa at the Oxford Union. The film was transmitted on the ITV network. In 1972 Hain was convicted of criminal conspiracy in a trial at the Old Bailey and fined £200.6

In 1972 he was sent a letter bomb that failed to explode because of faulty wiring. In 1976 Hain was tried for, and acquitted of, a 1974 bank robbery, allegedly having been framed by the South African Bureau of State Security (BOSS).78

Joining the Liberal and Labour Parties

He joined the Liberal Party and was elected chairperson and then president of the Young Liberals, but in 1977 switched to Labour. The same year, he was a founder of the Anti-Nazi League and he remains a prominent supporter of Unite Against Fascism today.

Member of Parliament

He contested Putney in the 1983 and 1987 general elections but was defeated on both occasions by Conservative David Mellor.910

He was elected to the House of Commons at the by-election in April 1991 for the Neath constituency that followed the death of the sitting member, Donald Coleman. In 1995 he became a Labour whip and in 1996 became a shadow employment minister.11

In government

After Labour's victory in the 1997 general election he joined the government, first at the Welsh Office 1997–1999, then as minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1999–2001.11

In November 1999, as Africa minister he entertained Robert Mugabe in London who told him “I know you are not one of them, Peter; you are one of us,”12 But the following day, following an attempt by Gay Rights campaigner Peter Tatchell to carry out a 'citizen's arrest' on Mugabe, Mugabe accused Hain of being Tatchell's "wife".13 In October 2000 he set up a war avoidance team to carry messages back and forth between himself and the then-Minister of Foreign Affairs in Iraq, Tariq Aziz (a matter then confidential, which has since been put on public record in an interview with Hain by the Today programme). Team members who travelled repeatedly to Iraq on behalf of Hain variously included William Morris (Next Century Foundation), Burhan Chalabi (an Iraqi-born British businessman), and Nasser al-Khalifa (the then-Qatari Ambassador to the UK).

Peter Hain during his time in office

In 2001 Hain moved briefly to the Department of Trade and Industry before returning to the Foreign Office as minister for Europe.11 He was vocal in advocating joint sovereignty of Gibraltar with Spain14 and was accused of deliberately misrepresenting the situation.15 The agreement was described by Michael Ancram in the UK Parliament,16 along with Gibraltar as a 'sell-out'171819 which was overwhelmingly rejected in a referendum in November 2002. He remains one of the most unpopular politicians ever to visit Gibraltar.20

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".citation needed

On 6 May 2005, following the 2005 general election, Hain was appointed as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, retaining his Welsh position also. Although previously a supporter of Irish unity, he has since retreated from this position. On 28 June 2007, he was appointed as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in addition to retaining responsibility for Wales. He was a proponent of the "tough love" measures designed to force claimants, including the sick and disabled, back to work. He saw it as an anti-poverty, full-employment agenda. He resigned from his post when the issue of donations made to his campaign funds were referred to the police.21

He set a level of compensation for the taxpayer funded Financial Assistance Scheme similar to that of the Industry funded Pension Protection Fund (PPF) for those whose schemes had collapses before the establishment of the PPF. Referring to the long running Pensions Action Group campaign and speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Moneybox program on the day compensation was announced, pensions expert Ros Altmann, credited Hain and Mike O'Brien with "having been very different to deal with than their predecessors and..willing and eager to engage and find a way to sort this out."22

He returned to the post of Secretary of State for Wales in June 2009.citation needed

Deputy leadership bid

On 12 September 2006, he announced his candidacy for the position of Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. In January 2007, Hain gave an interview to the New Statesman in which he made his pitch for the Deputy Leadership and referred to the Bush administration as "the most right-wing American administration, if not ever, then in living memory" and argued that "the neo-con agenda for America has been rejected by the people and I hope that will be the case for the future".23 Hain was eliminated in the second round of the Deputy Leadership election, coming fifth out of the six candidates, with Harriet Harman being the successful candidate.24

Resignation following Labour party deputy leadership donations scandal

In January 2008, The Guardian reported that Hain had failed to declare some 20 donations worth a total of over £100,000 during his deputy leadership campaign and would be investigated by the Electoral Commission.25 Hain admitted "deeply regrettable administrative failings" but faced questioning on whether the oversight was due to changes in campaign manager possibly causing "chaos" during the campaign or the desire of some donors to remain private.25 Phil Taylor, the first campaign manager, said that Hain insisted on knowing who had donated and that it was legal. His campaign only reported a separate £82,000 of donations and the Guardian believes he stopped taking a personal interest in funding once the campaign ended though there was no evidence that he deliberately broke the law.25 Isaac Kaye, who had previously paid the National Party in South Africa, also made a payment to the campaign for Labour Deputy Leadership.

Hain during Labour Party conference 2009

Taylor's successor was Steve Morgan,25 and it later emerged that four donations were channelled through a non-operating think tank, the Progressive Policies Forum (PPF) which may be connected with Morgan, who was named as a donor.26 On 12 January, Peter Hain released a statement saying that he wanted to get on with his job and it was absurd to think he had deliberately hidden anything.27 John Underwood, a trustee of the PPF, said that the donations and loans were "entirely permissible", though Hain said he would pay back a £25,000 interest-free loan.27

On 24 January 2008, he resigned from several posts including his position as Work and Pensions secretary, after the Electoral Commission referred the failure to report donations to Metropolitan Police. He cited a desire to "clear his name" as the reason for his resignation. Peter Hain was the first person to resign from Gordon Brown's cabinet. He was replaced as Secretary of State for Wales by Paul Murphy, and as Secretary for Work and Pensions by James Purnell in a forced cabinet reshuffle.28

Peter Hain's campaign failed to declare £103,156 of donations, contrary to electoral law.29 On 3 July 2008, the Metropolitan Police announced that they had referred Peter Hain's case to the Crown Prosecution Service.30 On 5 December 2008 the CPS announced that Hain would not be charged because Hain did not control the members' association Hain4Labour that funded his campaign.3132

Attempted prosecution for contempt of court

On 27 March 2012, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, John Larkin QC obtained leave from Lord Justice Higgins to bring proceedings against Hain and "Biteback Publishing" for contempt of court.33 Although Hain's book Outside In had already been passed by the Cabinet Office and the Northern Ireland Office prior to publication,34 the alleged contempt related to statements about Lord Justice Girvan's disposal of an application for judicial review while Hain was Secretary of State.3435

Hain's remarks had previously been strongly criticised by the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, Sir Declan Morgan though the decision to charge Hain with “scandalising the court”, using a law already obsolete in 1899 drew ridicule in Westminster and strong criticism from senior DUP ministers.36 According to the Attorney General, Hain's statements prejudiced the administration of justice and amounted to an unjustifiable attack on the judiciary.37 At a preliminary hearing before a Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice on 24 April 2012, Hain's counsel suggested that the action had no basis in common law and was contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights. The trial was intended to take place on 19 June 20123839 but the case was dropped on 17 May 2012 after Hain agreed to clarify comments to show he didn't question Girvan's motives or his handling of the judicial review.40

Business interests

The renewed campaign for construction of the Severn Barrage was led by Hain in 2012.41

Alternative medicine

He is a member of the Advisory Council for the College of Medicine,42 an alternative medicine lobbying organisation set up following the disbanding of Charles, Prince of Wales's Foundation for Integrated Health in the wake of a fraud investigation. Describing its mission as "to take forward the vision of HRH the Prince of Wales" and originally called "The College of Integrated Health,"43 several commentators, writing in The Guardian, The British Medical Journal and in the blogosphere, claim that this organisation is simply a re-branding of the controversial Foundation.4445 It continues to act as an alternative medicine lobby group.4346 The College has been referred to as "Hamlet without the Prince."46

Personal life

Hain lives in Resolven in the Neath Valley. He married his first wife Patricia Western in 1975, and they have two sons. In June 2003, he married his second wife, executive recruitment consultant Elizabeth Haywood, in Neath Registry Office.47

Publications

References

  1. ^ "Election 2010: Constituency – Neath". BBC (London). Archived from the original on 18 April 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010. 
  2. ^ Oliver, Jonathan (22 December 2007). "While Blair converts to Catholicism, only 8 Ministers say they believe in God". Mail Online (London: Daily Mail). Archived from the original on 3 June 2008. 
  3. ^ "Peter Hain quits: Ex-Wales and Northern Ireland secretary leaves shadow cabinet". BBC News. 14 May 2012. Archived from the original on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Robert Booth and Helen Pidd (26 February 2014). "Lobbying by paedophile campaign revealed". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Moss, Stephen (15 February 2007). "We did what we had to. We couldn't walk away". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  6. ^ http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2009/01/22/profile-peter-hain
  7. ^ Woodward, Will (22 January 2009). "Profile: Peter Hain". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 25 January 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Has Hain’s activist past helped save his job?". The First Post. 14 January 2008. Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. 
  9. ^ "UK General Election results June 1983". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resource. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "UK General Election results June 1987". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resource. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c "Peter Hain:Electoral history and profile". Guardian newspapers. Archived from the original on 8 November 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  12. ^ Philip Webster (13 May 2012). "Hain in "The Times"". The Times. 
  13. ^ "Mugabe on the BBC". BBC News. 26 June 2000. Archived from the original on 5 September 2002. 
  14. ^ "Gibraltar agreement draws closer". ABC. 30 June 2002. Archived from the original on 17 September 2002. 
  15. ^ "Conduct unbecoming any Minister of the Crown" (Press release). Gibraltar.gov.gi. 17 April 2002. Archived from the original on 19 March 2003. 
  16. ^ "Michael Ancram denounces sell out". Gibraltar.gi. 28 July 2008. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. 
  17. ^ Wilkinson, Isambard (26 July 2002). "Gibraltar to hold poll on British 'sell-out'". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2 December 2011. 
  18. ^ "Gibraltar accuses UK of preparing 'sell-out' to Spain". The Independent. 
  19. ^ "Fears of Gibraltar 'sell-out'". Mail Online (Daily Mail). 20 November 2001. Archived from the original on 21 February 2011. 
  20. ^ "Gibraltar Chronicle lead 25 January 2008". dead link
  21. ^ Andrew Grice (25 January 2008). "A passionate man pays the price of a chaotic campaign". The Independent. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2009. 
  22. ^ "MONEY BOX transcript". BBC. 7 December 2007. p. 4. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  23. ^ Martin Bright and John Kampfner (22 January 2007). Deputy leader interviews: Peter Hain. New Statesman. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2007. 
  24. ^ "Harman elected as Deputy Leader". Times Online. Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. 
  25. ^ a b c d Patrick Wintour and David Henke (10 January 2008). "Hain failed to declare £100,000 of donations". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  26. ^ "FactCheck: Is Hain's 'think tank' for real?". Channel 4 news. 11 January 2008. Archived from the original on 11 January 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2008. 
  27. ^ a b "Defiant Hain 'to get on with job'". BBC news. 12 January 2008. Archived from the original on 13 January 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  28. ^ "Hain quits jobs 'to clear name'". BBC News. 24 January 2008. Archived from the original on 27 January 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  29. ^ Alex Barker and Jim Pickard (14 January 2008). "Inquiry launched into Hain donations". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. 
  30. ^ "Hain donations file handed to CPS". BBC. 2 July 2008. Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  31. ^ CPS decides no charges for Peter Hain MP. Crown Prosecution Service. 5 December 2008. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  32. ^ "Hain not charged over donations". BBC. 5 December 2008. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  33. ^ "Attorney General obtains leave to bring contempt proceedings against Peter Hain MP". Attorney General for Northern Ireland. 27 March 2012. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. 
  34. ^ a b "Peter Hain faces contempt of court charge over book". BBC News Online (BBC News). 27 March 2012. Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. 
  35. ^ "Peter Hain prosecution: silliness in court". The Guardian. 22 April 2012. Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. 
  36. ^ "Hain contempt case to be heard in court". NewsLetter. 24 April 2012. Archived from the original on 11 May 2012. 
  37. ^ "Contempt case against Peter Hain to begin in Belfast". BBC News Online (BBC News). 24 April 2012. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. 
  38. ^ "Peter Hain faces contempt case over book's criticism of judge". The Guardian (Press Association). 27 March 2012. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. 
  39. ^ "Peter Hain's lawyer questions if legal action lawful". BBC News Online (BBC News). 24 April 2012. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. 
  40. ^ "Contempt case against Peter Hain MP dropped". BBC. 17 May 2012. Archived from the original on 17 May 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  41. ^ Evans, Bethan (9 September 2012). "Barrage bid to be looked at – again". The Weston & Somerset Mercury. Archived from the original on 1 August 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  42. ^ "Profile on College of Medicine site". Collegeofmedicine.org.uk. 14 October 2010. Archived from the original on 5 May 2011. 
  43. ^ a b David Colquhoun (25 July 2010). "Buckinghamgate: the new "College of Medicine" arising from the ashes of the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health". DC's Improbable Science. 
  44. ^ David Colquhoun (29 October 2010). "Don’t be deceived. The new "College of Medicine" is a fraud and delusion". 
  45. ^ Ian Sample (2 August 2010). "College of Medicine born from ashes of Prince Charles's holistic health charity". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 August 2010. 
  46. ^ a b Nigel Hawkes (2010). "Prince’s foundation metamorphoses into new College of Medicine" 341. British Medical Journal. p. 6126. doi:10.1136/bmj.c6126. 
  47. ^ "Peter Hain". BBC Wales. Archived from the original on 5 December 2003. Retrieved 15 August 2010. 

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Donald Coleman
Member of Parliament for Neath
1991–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Keith Vaz
Minister for Europe
2000–2002
Succeeded by
Denis MacShane
Preceded by
Paul Murphy
Secretary of State for Wales
2002–2008
Succeeded by
Paul Murphy
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
2005–2007
Succeeded by
Shaun Woodward
Preceded by
John Reid
Leader of the House of Commons
2003–2005
Succeeded by
Geoff Hoon
Preceded by
The Lord Williams of Mostyn
Lord Privy Seal
2003–2005
Preceded by
John Hutton
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
2007–2008
Succeeded by
James Purnell
Preceded by
Paul Murphy
Secretary of State for Wales
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Cheryl Gillan
Preceded by
Cheryl Gillan
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
2010–2012
Succeeded by
Owen Smith







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