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Owen Paterson

MP
Official portrait of Mr Owen Paterson crop 2.jpg
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
In office
4 September 2012 – 14 July 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Caroline Spelman
Succeeded by Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
12 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime Minister David Cameron
Preceded by Shaun Woodward
Succeeded by Theresa Villiers
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
In office
2 July 2007 – 11 May 2010
Leader David Cameron
Preceded by David Lidington
Succeeded by Shaun Woodward
Parliamentary Private Secretary to
the Leader of the Opposition
In office
13 September 2001 – 6 November 2003
Leader Iain Duncan Smith
Preceded by John Whittingdale
Succeeded by Graham Brady
Member of Parliament
for North Shropshire
Assumed office
1 May 1997
Preceded by John Biffen
Majority 16,355 (29.4%)
Personal details
Born
Owen William Paterson

24 June 1956 (1956-06-24) (age 63)
Whitchurch, Shropshire, England
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s)
Rose Ridley (m. 1980)
Children 3
Education Radley College
Alma mater Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Website owenpaterson.org
Owen Paterson
Paterson speaking in 2013

Owen William Paterson (born 24 June 1956) is a British Conservative Party politician who was the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2012 to 2014. He was first elected as the Member of Parliament for North Shropshire at the 1997 general election.

Paterson was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet of David Cameron in 2007 as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. During the formation of the Coalition Government in 2010, he was appointed to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, where he remained until being moved to DEFRA in 2012. He has since been more widely known as a leading supporter of Brexit and an outspoken critic of the European Union.

In 2014, he established and became the Chairman of UK 2020, a right-wing think tank based in Westminster. In 2016, Paterson became part of Leave Means Leave's political advisory board.

Personal life

Paterson married Rose Ridley, the daughter of Matthew Ridley, 4th Viscount Ridley and sister of Matt Ridley in 1980. They have two sons and a daughter. They are Felix, Ned and Evie. Paterson speaks fluent French and German. He lives near Ellesmere, north Shropshire and also has a house in Drôme, France.

Paterson is a keen horse rider and racer. He has ridden across Turkmenistan and most recently Mongolia. His daughter, Evie, is a successful eventer who won the British Junior Eventing Championships in 2008, aged 16. In January 2018 he fell from a horse while riding and broke 3 vertebrae in his back.

In February 2014, he suffered from a detached retina and required urgent surgery to prevent loss of sight in that eye.


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