Owen Paterson was UK Secretary of State for Environment 2012-14. Previously he was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for two years.
Before politics, Paterson joined his family leather business and became Managing Director in 1994. He travelled all over the world, becoming President of COTANCE, the European Tanners’ Confederation. It was this experience that drove his political beliefs.
Paterson is a passionate supporter of localism, free enterprise and less interference in people’s lives. He believes that taxation and bureaucracy should be minimised to give people the best chance to exercise their talents. Over the last 13 years, he has fought on behalf of his constituents, for better health provision, local Primary Schools, improved transport services, Post Offices, local Magistrates Courts and against regional police forces.
As an Opposition Agricultural spokesman he became an expert on bovine TB and campaigned for the dairy industry. He travelled all over the North Atlantic to produce a landmark Green Paper on Fisheries. As Shadow Minister for Roads, he researched best practice and the latest ideas from Europe and North America. He was Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 2007-10, after which he was appointed the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
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