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Chris Patten

Personal data
Date of birth12 May 1944(age 72)
Place of birthCleveleys, England, UK
Political partyConservative
SpouseLavender Patten
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Chairman of the BBC Trust
Assumed office1 May 2011
Vice ChairmanDiane Coyle
Preceded bySir Michael Lyons
Chancellor of the University of Oxford
Assumed office20 September 2003
Vice ChancellorColin Lucas
John Hood
Andrew D. Hamilton
Preceded byThe Lord Jenkins of Hillhead
Chancellor of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne
In office5 October 1999 - 5 October 2009
Succeeded bySir Liam Donaldson
Preceded byThe Viscount Ridley
European Commissioner for External Relations
In office10 June 1999 - 22 November 2004
PresidentRomano Prodi
Succeeded byBenita Ferrero-Waldner
Preceded byLeon Brittan
Governor of Hong Kong
In office9 July 1992 - 30 June 1997
MonarchElizabeth II
Succeeded byTung Chee Hwa (as Chief Executive of Hong Kong)
See Transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong
Preceded byThe Lord Wilson of Tillyorn
Chairman of the Conservative Party
In office28 November 1990 - 10 April 1992
LeaderJohn Major
Succeeded byNorman Fowler
Preceded byKenneth Baker
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office28 November 1990 - 10 April 1992
Prime ministerJohn Major
Succeeded byWilliam Waldegrave
Preceded byKenneth Baker
Secretary of State for the Environment
In office24 July 1989 - 28 November 1990
Prime ministerMargaret Thatcher
Succeeded byMichael Heseltine
Preceded byNicholas Ridley

     Home | Office Holder | Chris Patten

Christopher Francis Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes, CH, PC (born 12 May 1944), is a former British Conservative politician, and the current chairman of the BBC Trust.

He was Member of Parliament for Bath, eventually rising to a cabinet minister and party chairman. In the latter capacity, he orchestrated the Conservatives' unexpected fourth consecutive electoral victory in 1992, but lost his own seat in the House of Commons.

He then accepted the post of Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Hong Kong, and oversaw its handover to the People's Republic of China in July 1997. As Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Patten presided over a steady rise in the living standards of ordinary Hong Kongers while encouraging a signficant expansion of Hong Kong's social welfare system.

From 2000 to 2004 he served as one of the United Kingdom's two members of the European Commission. After leaving that post, he returned to the UK and became the Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 2003, and he was made a Life Peer in 2005.

Patten is a Roman Catholic and oversaw Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United Kingdom in September 2010.

On 7 April 2011 the Queen approved Patten's appointment as the Chairman of the BBC Trust, the governing body of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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