Brittan, Leon, Baron

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BRITTAN, LEON, BARON (1939– ), British Conservative politician who held a variety of senior offices in the government of Margaret Thatcher. Educated at Cambridge University, where he was president of the Cambridge Union Society in 1960, Brittan practiced as a barrister and became a member of the Queen's Council in 1978. He was chairman of the Conservative Party's Bow Group in 1964–65. Brittan served as a Conservative member of Parliament from 1974 to 1988 and held cabinet posts as home secretary (1983–85) and secretary of state for trade and industry (1985–86). A pro-European moderate within the Conservative Party, in 1986 he resigned from Margaret Thatcher's cabinet in protest over its alleged anti-European policy in the Westland Helicopter affair. Brittan then served as British commissioner of the European Communities from 1989 until 1993 and as a full member of the European Commission in 1993-94. Brittan was knighted in 1986 and given a life peerage in 2000. His brother sir samuel brittan (1933– ) is a well-known economics columnist on the London Financial Times.

[William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]

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Brittan, Leon, Baron

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