Patricia Hewitt

Official portrait, 2006 Patricia Hope Hewitt (born 2 December 1948) is an Australian-born British government adviser and former politician who served as Secretary of State for Health from 2005 to 2007. A member of the Labour Party, she previously served as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry from 2001 to 2005.

Hewitt's political career began in the 1970s as a high-profile left-winger and supporter of Tony Benn, even being classified by MI5 as an alleged communist sympathiser. After nine years as General Secretary of the National Council for Civil Liberties, she became press secretary to Neil Kinnock, whom she assisted in the modernisation of the Labour Party. In 1997, she became the first female MP for Leicester West, a safe Labour seat, in the East Midlands which she represented for thirteen years.

In 2001, she joined Blair's cabinet, the first of the 1997 intake of MPs to do so, as President of the Board of Trade and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, before becoming Health Secretary in 2005. During her tenure, the ban on smoking in public places became legally enforceable. In March 2010, Hewitt was suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party over the question of political lobbying irregularities, alleged by the Channel 4 ''Dispatches'' programme.

In November 2022, British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt announced that Hewitt would serve in an advisory role to the government. Provided by Wikipedia
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