The Right Honourable
The Lord Brittan of Spennithorne
QC PC DL
Vice-President of the European Commission In office
16 March 1999 – 15 September 1999
President Manuel Marín (Acting) Preceded by Manuel Marín Succeeded by Neil Kinnock European Commissioner for External Relations In office
23 January 1995 – 15 September 1999
President Jacques Santer
Manuel Marín (Acting)
Preceded by Frans Andriessen Succeeded by Chris Patten European Commissioner for Trade In office
6 January 1993 – 15 September 1999
President Jacques Delors
Manuel Marín (Acting)
Preceded by Frans Andriessen Succeeded by Pascal Lamy European Commissioner for Competition In office
6 January 1989 – 6 January 1993
President Jacques Delors Preceded by Peter Sutherland Succeeded by Karel Van Miert Secretary of State for Trade and Industry In office
2 September 1985 – 24 January 1986
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Preceded by Norman Tebbit Succeeded by Paul Channon Home Secretary In office
11 June 1983 – 2 September 1985
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Preceded by William Whitelaw Succeeded by Douglas Hurd Chief Secretary to the Treasury In office
5 January 1981 – 11 June 1983
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Preceded by John Biffen Succeeded by Peter Rees Member of Parliament
for Richmond (Yorks)
9 June 1983 – 31 December 1988
Preceded by Timothy Kitson Succeeded by William Hague Member of Parliament
for Cleveland and Whitby
28 February 1974 – 9 June 1983
Preceded by James Tinn Succeeded by Constituency Abolished Personal details Born 25 September 1939
North London, United Kingdom
Political party Conservative Spouse(s) Diana Clemetson Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge Profession Barrister Religion Judaism
Sir Leon Brittan, Baron Brittan of Spennithorne, QC, PC, DL (born 25 September 1939, North London) is a British barrister, politician and former Conservative Member of Parliament, as well as former member of the European Commission and former Home Secretary of the United Kingdom. His brother is Sir Samuel Brittan, an economics commentator at the Financial Times and financial journalist.
Leon Brittan was born to parents of Lithuanian Jewish extraction, and was educated at the Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School and then Trinity College, Cambridge where he was President of the Cambridge Union Society and Chairman of Cambridge University Conservative Association. He started his career as a lawyer. He is a cousin of both Malcolm Rifkind and Mark Ronson.
Member of Parliament
After unsuccessfully contesting the constituency of North Kensington in 1966 and 1970, he was elected to parliament in the general election of February 1974 for Cleveland and Whitby, and became an opposition spokesman in 1976. He was made a Queen's Counsel in 1978. Between 1979 and 1981 he was Minister of State at the Home Office, and then was made Chief Secretary to the Treasury, a Cabinet position. At the 1983 election he changed his seat to Richmond. He was Home Secretary from 1983 to 1985, and was then moved to Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. He resigned over the Westland affair.
In Jeffrey Archer's 1984 novel First Among Equals Brittan was mentioned briefly as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the late 1980s. This was in the future at the time of publication – and before the Westland Affair; in reality Brittan would never hold that position.
He was knighted in 1989. He was made European Commissioner for Competition at the European Commission early in 1989, resigning as an MP to take the position. In 1995 he became European Commissioner for Trade and European Commissioner for External Affairs, also serving as Vice-President of the European Commission. Brittan resigned with the rest of the commission in 1999 amid accusations of fraud. During his time as Vice President of the European Commission, one subsequently prominent member of his official office was Nick Clegg, currently leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister.
He was created Baron Brittan of Spennithorne, of Spennithorne in the County of North Yorkshire in February 2000. He is Vice Chairman of UBS AG Investment Bank, non-executive director of Unilever and member of the international advisory committee for Total S.A.
Return to government
In August 2010, Brittan returned to the government under the Conservative-Liberal coalition acting as a trade advisor.
His wife, Diana (née Clemetson; born 1940), Lady Brittan of Spennithorne, was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2004. Leon Brittan has two stepdaughters.
- Profile of Sir Leon Brittan
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Leon Brittan
- Announcement of his introduction at the House of Lords House of Lords minutes of proceedings, 29 February 2000
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Chief Secretaries to the Treasury European Commissioners from the United Kingdom European Commissioners for External Relations European Commissioners for Trade European Commissioners for Competition
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Leon Brittan — Leon Brittan, Baron Brittan of Spennithorne, PC (* 25. September 1939 in London), ist ein Barrister, britischer konservativer Politiker, früheres Mitglied des britischen Parlaments, der britischen Regierung und der Europäischen Kommission. Sein… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Leon Brittan — es un abogado (barrister) y político inglés, nacido el 25 de septiembre de 1939 en Londres, en el Reino Unido. Fue miembro del Parlamento del Reino Unido, perteneciente al partido conservador, y miembro de la Comisión Europea. Fue vicepresidente… … Wikipedia Español
Leon Brittan, Baron Brittan of Spennithorne — Leon Brittan, Baron Brittan of Spennithorne, PC (* 25. September 1939 in London), ist ein Barrister, britischer konservativer Politiker, früheres Mitglied des britischen Parlaments, der britischen Regierung und der Europäischen Kommission. Sein… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Brittan — Leon Brittan, Baron Brittan of Spennithorne, PC (* 25. September 1939 in London), ist ein Barrister, britischer konservativer Politiker, früheres Mitglied des britischen Parlaments, der britischen Regierung und der Europäischen Kommission. Sein… … Deutsch Wikipedia
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BRITTAN, LEON, BARON — (1939– ), British Conservative politician who held a variety of senior offices in the government of Margaret Thatcher. Educated at Cambridge University, where he was president of the Cambridge Union Society in 1960, Brittan practiced as a… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Brittan, Leon — (b. 1939) British politician. Born in London, he served as minister of state, home office, secretary of state for trade and industry, and vice president commissioner of the European Communities … Dictionary of Jewish Biography
Baron Brittan of Spennithorne — Leon Brittan, Baron Brittan of Spennithorne, PC (* 25. September 1939 in London), ist ein Barrister, britischer konservativer Politiker, früheres Mitglied des britischen Parlaments, der britischen Regierung und der Europäischen Kommission. Sein… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Westland affair — The Westland affair was a political scandal for the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher in 1986. The argument was a result of differences of opinion within the government as to the future of the United Kingdom helicopter industry. The… … Wikipedia
Thatcher ministry — Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister (1979 1990) Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 4 May 1979 and 28 November 1990, during which time she led a Conservative government. She was the first woman to hold that office … Wikipedia