Topic: Hilary Benn

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Hilary James Wedgwood Benn (born 26 November 1953) is a British Labour politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Leeds Central since 1999, and is the current Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; he previously served in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for International Development. In June 2007, Benn ran for the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party, coming fourth behind Harriet Harman, Alan Johnson and Jon Cruddas.

Born in Hammersmith, London, Hilary Benn is a fourth generation MP as the second son of former Labour Cabinet Minister Tony Benn and the educationalist Caroline Benn. He attended Norland Place School, Westminster Under School, Holland Park School and University of Sussex where he graduated in Russian and East European Studies. In 1973, whilst at university, he married fellow student Rosalind Retey, who died of cancer at age 26 in 1979; Benn subsequently married Sally Christina Clark in 1982. He has four children, Michael, James, Jonathan and Caroline. He and his family live in Chiswick, West London.

On leaving university, Benn became a Research Officer with the ASTMS and rose to become Head of Policy for Manufacturing Science and Finance. In 1979 he was elected to the Ealing Borough Council where he was Deputy Leader from 1986 to 1990. He was the Labour candidate for Ealing North in both the 1983 General Election and 1987 General Election. On both occasions he was defeated by the Conservative candidate Harry Greenway.

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