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Patricia Hewitt MP

 Patricia Hewitt MP
Patricia Hewitt served as Member of Parliament for Leicester West from 1997 to 2005. She took over from Greville Janner (now Lord Janner) who served as MP for 27 years, following his father, Barney Janner. She was formerly Minister for Small Business and e-Commerce at the Department of Trade and Industry (1999-2001) and Economic Secretary at the Treasury (1998-1999).

Patricia Hewitt is an Australian by birth, but her husband, Bill, is Leicester-born and his father's family goes back many generations in Leicester. She was educated at the Canberra Girls' Grammar School and Newnham College, Cambridge University, UK.

Before entering Parliament she worked for several organisations. Her first job was working for Age Concern where she campaigned for a better deal for pensioners. After Age Concern she moved to Liberty who stand up for Civil Liberties and Human Rights.

From 1983 -1989 she worked with the then Leader of the opposition the Rt Hon Neil Kinnock, first as a Press and Broadcasting Office and then Policy Co-ordinator.

Patricia then worked in two think tanks until 1997. Deputy Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (1989-94); Director of Research for Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) (1994-97).

She was a member of the Social Security Select Committee before taking up her first Ministerial post as Economic Secretary at the Treasury (1998-1999). She was then appointed as Minister for Small Business and e-Commerce at the Department of Trade and Industry (1999-2001) before becoming secretary of State for Trade and industry in 2001.

Patricia and Bill have two children, one boy and one girl. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, theatre, music and gardening.