Chris Patten

Biography of Chris Patten

Christopher Francis Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes (born 12 May 1944), is a British Conservative politician and administrator. He is the current chairman of the BBC Trust, and was the last Governor of British Hong Kong.

Patten 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 significant expansion of Hong Kong's social welfare system.

From 1999 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.

Lord Patten is a Roman Catholic and oversaw Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United Kingdom in September 2010. In 2010, “The Tablet” named him as one of Britain’s most influential Roman Catholics.

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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