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John Haggitt Charles Patten, Baron Patten, PC (born 17 July 1945) is a former Conservative Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon.

The Lord Patten

Secretary of State for Education
In office
10 April 1992 – 20 July 1994
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byKenneth Clarke (Education and Science)
Succeeded byGillian Shephard
Minister of State for Home Affairs
In office
13 June 1987 – 10 April 1992
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
John Major
Preceded byDavid Mellor
Succeeded byPeter Lloyd
Minister of State for Housing
In office
2 September 1985 – 13 June 1987
Prime MinisterMargaret Thatcher
Preceded byIan Gow
Succeeded byThe Hon. William Waldegrave
Member of Parliament
for Oxford West and Abingdon
Oxford (1979–1983)
In office
3 May 1979 – 1 May 1997
Preceded byEvan Luard
Succeeded byEvan Harris
Personal details
Born (1945-07-17) 17 July 1945 (age 74)
Political partyConservative
Alma materSidney Sussex College, Cambridge

Early lifeEdit

A Roman Catholic, he was educated by the Jesuits at Wimbledon College before graduating from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

Parliamentary careerEdit

He was first elected for Oxford in 1979, transferring to Oxford West and Abingdon in 1983 after boundary changes divided the seat. He stood down at the 1997 general election. The seat was subsequently won by the Liberal Democrat Evan Harris.

Patten was offered the role as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland by Margaret Thatcher but refused.[1]

Patten served as Secretary of State for Education from 1992 to 1994. He was interviewed at some length by Brian Sherratt in 1994 regarding his role as Secretary of State.[2] While he was Education Secretary, Patten described Birmingham education chief Tim Brighouse as "a madman ... wandering the streets, frightening the children." Brighouse sued, and won substantial damages which were donated to educational charities.[3]

House of LordsEdit

Patten was created a life peer as Baron Patten of Wincanton in the County of Somerset on 17 June 1997.[4]


He is married to the businesswoman Louise Patten and they have one daughter, Mary-Claire, married to Daniel Lloyd Johnson of Essex.[5]

Other workEdit

He was on the governing body of Abingdon School from 1983-1986.[6] He has been a senior advisor to Charterhouse Capital Partners since 2001.[7]


  1. ^ Michael White. "David Cameron's cabinet reshuffle: gossip, guesswork and predictions". the Guardian.
  2. ^ Radical Educational Policies and Conservative Secretaries of State, Ribbins P and Sherratt B, Cassell, 1997, pp 168-199
  3. ^ "The secrets of Saint Tim", The Guardian, 24 April 2007
  4. ^ "No. 54812". The London Gazette. 20 June 1997. p. 7187.
  5. ^ Louise Patten Archived 26 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Evening Standard, 27 August 2009
  6. ^ "The Liberator" (PDF). The Abingdonian.
  7. ^ "Lord John Patten". Charterhouse Capital Partners.

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Evan Luard
Member of Parliament for Oxford
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon
Succeeded by
Evan Harris
Political offices
Preceded by
Kenneth Clarke
as Secretary of State for Education and Science
Secretary of State for Education
Succeeded by
Gillian Shephard
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by
The Lord Baker of Dorking
Baron Patten
Followed by
The Lord Inge