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Chris Patten

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Chris Patten is currently Co-Chair of the International Crisis Group and of the Anglo-Indian Round Table, and is Chancellor of Oxford and Newcastle universities. As a British MP from 1979 to 1992 he served as Minister for Overseas Development, Secretary of State for the Environment and Chairman of the Conservative Party, being described afterwards as 'the best Tory Prime Minister we never had' (Observer). In 1998-9 he chaired the Independent Commission for Policing in Northern Ireland, and from 1999 to 2004 he was European Commissioner for External Relations. He is probably best known for being the last Governor of Hong Kong (1992-7), about which he wrote in East and West (1998). Both that and his most recent book, Not Quite the Diplomat: Home Truths about World Affairs (2005), were No. 1 international bestsellers. He was made a Companion of Honour in 1998 and a life peer in 2005.