Kenneth Clarke

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Kenneth Harry "Ken" Clarke QC MP (born 2 July 1940) is a British Conservative politician, currently Member of Parliament for Rushcliffe, Secretary of State for Justice, and Lord Chancellor. He was first appointed a minister in Edward Heath's government, in 1972, and is one of Britain's best-known politicians. Since 1997 he has been President of the Tory Reform Group.

Clarke was a minister throughout the 18 years of successive Conservative governments from 1979 to 1997, serving in the cabinets of both Margaret Thatcher and John Major. After the Conservative defeat in the 1997 general election Clarke became a backbencher. He has contested the Conservative Party leadership three times—in 1997, 2001 and 2005—and was defeated each time. Although he was considered popular with the general public, his famously pro-European integration views conflicted with the Conservative Party's scepticism of the EU. Notably, he is President of the Conservative Europe Group and Vice-President of the European Movement UK.[1] Despite this conflict, and his involvement with the tobacco industry Conservative leader David Cameron returned Clarke to the Shadow Cabinet in March 2009 as Shadow Business Secretary. When Cameron became Prime Minister in May 2010 he appointed Clarke as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, after appointing Vince Cable, a Liberal Democrat, Business Secretary.

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