Pressure on British former ministers intensifies in child sex policy

LONDON, March 2 (UPI) -- A former British cabinet minister tried to defend a policy lowering the age of consent in Britain in the 1970s to 10, a letter indicates.

Deputy leader of Labor Party: Daily Mail smearing her

LONDON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Harriet Harman, deputy leader of the British Labor Party, said Monday the Daily Mail's stories about her alleged ties to a pedophile group are a "smear."

Politicians suspended over lobbying claims

LONDON, March 23 (UPI) -- Three members of Britain's Parliament have been suspended from the Labor Party for allegedly agreeing to accept cash to influence policy, officials said.

Former health secretary's son arrested

LONDON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The 21-year-old son of a British judge and former national health secretary has been charged with cocaine possession in London, police said.

British hospitals delay surgeries for cash

LONDON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Nearly half of England's National Health Service hospitals are purposefully delaying surgeries to save money, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

Hewitt: U.K. doctor pay should be capped

LONDON, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- There should have been a cap on British doctors' pay-for-performance earnings, British Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said this week.

Britons to be assessed for health

LONDON, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- British health officials want all Britons to have their health and fitness assessed five times in their lives to determine their likelihood of disease.

Health official: Smoke ban by 2007

LONDON, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- A top British health official says it is only a matter of time before there is a complete ban on smoking in public places in England and Wales.

British man victim of sex discrimination

LONDON, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Former British Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt broke discrimination law by giving a job to a woman rather than a better-qualified man, a court has ruled.

Hewitt.: U.K. hospitals have bad hygiene

LONDON, May 14 (UPI) -- British hospitals are dirtier than food factories, says Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt.

U.K. launches anti-bullying initiative

LONDON, March 24 (UPI) -- Britain initiated the world's biggest project to combat bullying and discrimination in the workplace, the Guardian reported Wednesday.

Patricia Hope Hewitt (born 2 December 1948) is an Australian-born British politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Leicester West since 1997, and served in the Cabinet until 2007, most recently as Health Secretary.

Born in Canberra, Australia, she is the daughter of Sir Lenox Hewitt, a leading civil servant in the Australian Prime Minister's Office and later chairman of Qantas. She was educated at Canberra Girls' Grammar School (formerly Canberra Church of England Girls' Grammar School) , and the Australian National University. She went on to study at both Newnham College, Cambridge and Nuffield College, Oxford where she was awarded two master's degrees. She speaks French and is a keen gardener.

Initially a Conservative, she moved to the left, becoming a committed equality activist and feminist. In 1981, she married William (Bill) Jack Birtles, a lawyer, in Camden; they have a daughter (born September 1986) and a son (born February 1988). In 1971, she became Age Concern's Press and Public Relations Officer, before joining the UK's National Council for Civil Liberties (now Liberty) initially as a women's rights officer in 1973, and for nine years from 1974 as the General Secretary. She endured long-term surveillance by MI5 because of this, branded a "Communist sympathiser" by MI5 because of her relationship with Birtles in the 1970s. In 1990 the Council of Europe ruled that this surveillance had breached the European Convention of Human Rights. She was a member of the advisory panel of the New Statesman magazine for ten years from 1980, and is a former school governor at the Kentish Town Primary School.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Patricia Hewitt."
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