Geoff Hoon: Wikis


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The Right Honourable
 Geoff Hoon 

In office
3 October 2008 – 5 June 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Ruth Kelly
Succeeded by The Lord Adonis

In office
28 June 2007 – 3 October 2008
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Jacqui Smith
Succeeded by Nick Brown

In office
6 May 2006 – 27 June 2007
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Douglas Alexander
Succeeded by Jim Murphy
In office
28 July 1999 – 11 October 1999
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Joyce Quin
Succeeded by Keith Vaz

In office
5 May 2005 – 6 May 2006
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by Peter Hain
Succeeded by Jack Straw

In office
11 October 1999 – 5 May 2005
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Preceded by George Robertson
Succeeded by John Reid

Member of Parliament
for Ashfield
Assumed office 
9 April 1992
Preceded by Frank Haynes
Majority 10,213 (24.3%)

Born 6 December 1953 (1953-12-06) (age 56)
Derby, United Kingdom
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Elaine Anne Dumelow
Alma mater Jesus College, Cambridge
Religion Church of England

Geoffrey William "Geoff" Hoon (born 6 December 1953) is a British Labour politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Ashfield since 1992, and served in the Cabinet as Defence Secretary, Transport Secretary, Leader of the House of Commons and Chief Whip.


Early life

Geoff Hoon was born in Derby, England, and is the son of railwayman Ernest (who also saw action in the RAF in World War II, serving in India and Burma) and June Collett. He was educated at the independent Nottingham High School (where he was a member of the Combined Cadet Force from 1967-70). Before university, he worked as a labourer in a furniture factory for a year from 1972-3. He read law at Jesus College, Cambridge, graduating in 1974, becoming the first person in his family to go to university. He was a law lecturer at the University of Leeds from 1976 until 1982, and was a warden at the all-male Devonshire Hall. He was called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1978, and was also a visiting law professor at the University of Louisville, Kentucky from 1980-1. In 1982, he became a practising barrister for two years in Nottingham.

Member of Parliament

Hoon was elected as a Member of the European Parliament for Derbyshire in 1984 and served in Brussels and Strasbourg for ten years. He was elected to the House of Commons at the 1992 general election for Ashfield following the retirement of the sitting Labour MP Frank Haynes. Hoon held the seat with a majority of 12,987 and has remained the constituency's MP since, making his maiden speech on 20 May 1992. Hoon also attended the Bilderberg Conference in Scotland in 1998.[1]

Shadow Cabinet and early government posts

In Parliament, he was promoted by John Smith in 1994 when he was appointed as an opposition whip, and in 1995 he joined the frontbench team as a spokesman on Trade and Industry. Following the 1997 general election he became a member of the government of Tony Blair as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Lord Chancellor's Department, being promoted to the rank of Minister of State in the same department in 1998. In 1999, he was briefly a minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, before entering the cabinet later in the year as the Secretary of State for Defence. He became a member of the Privy Council in 1999. He served as the Lord Privy Seal and the Leader of the House of Commons from the 2005 general election until 5 May 2006. He was appointed on that day as Minister for Europe.

Secretary of State for Defence

Geoff Hoon (right) at Pentagon briefing with Donald Rumsfeld

In a 2003 interview on the BBC's Breakfast with Frost, Hoon asserted that the UK was willing to use nuclear weapons against Iraqi forces "in the right circumstances."[2][3]

On 23 June 2003, Hoon continued to claim that two trailers found in Iraq were mobile weapons laboratories.[4] This was in spite of the fact that it had been leaked to the press by Dr David Kelly[5] and other weapons inspectors that they were nothing of the sort. The trailers were for filling hydrogen balloons for artillery ranging and were sold to Iraq by a British company, Marconi.[6]

In an interview in April 2004, Geoff Hoon said that more could have been done to help David Kelly, who committed suicide on 17 July 2003 after being named as the source of Andrew Gilligan's disputed Today programme contibution.[7]


Comments on cluster bombs

Shortly after the US/UK led invasion of Iraq began in 2003, following an admission by the Ministry of Defence that Britain had dropped 50 airborne cluster bombs in the south of Iraq and left behind up to 800 unexploded bomblets, it was put to Hoon in a Radio 4 interview that an Iraqi mother of a child killed by these cluster bombs would not thank the British army. He replied "One day they might." Hoon continued "I accept that in the short term the consequences are terrible. No one minimises those and I'm not seeking to do so," he said. "But what I am saying is that this is a country that has been brutalised for decades by this appalling regime and that the restoration of that country to its own people, the possibility of their deciding for themselves their future ... and indeed the way in which they go about their lives, ultimately, yes, that will be a better place for people in Iraq." [8]

Comments on Extraordinary Rendition

Hoon was condemned by an international delegation of European MPs for evading questions about Britain's co-operation with the CIA's so-called 'extraordinary rendition' programme.[9] Hoon, then Minister for Europe, was being quizzed in the wake of Dick Marty's Council of Europe report which found extensive involvement of European countries, including Britain, in the US kidnapping and torture programme.

Secretary of State for Transport

In the reshuffle after the sudden resignation of the Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly during the Labour Party Conference, Hoon became the Secretary of State for Transport on 3 October 2008. His old post of Labour Chief Whip was given to Nick Brown. [10]

In January 2009 Hoon gave the official go-ahead for the controversial expansion of Heathrow Airport.[11]

On the 5 June 2009 Hoon resigned from his post as Transport Secretary during a Cabinet reshuffle, claiming that he wanted to spend more time with his family.[12]

On 6 January 2010, he and fellow ex-minister Patricia Hewitt jointly called for a secret ballot on the future of the leadership of Gordon Brown .[13] The following day Hoon said that it appeared to have failed and was "over". Brown later referred to the call for a secret ballot as a "form of silliness".[14]

Expense claims

In April 2009, it emerged that he had rented out his London home and claimed expenses on his constituency house. While doing so, he had lived in state-owned, rent-free housing in Admiralty House (London).[15] Hoon asserted that he had only claimed what he was entitled to. But the financial arrangements were quite heavily criticized in the media, because his London home was registered as his main residence while it was allegedly let out to someone else.[16] In May 2009, the Daily Telegraph printed allegations that Mr Hoon had been flipping his homes in London. Flipping is a technique for Members of Parliament to switch their designated second home between several houses, allowing them to claim the maximum available from public funds for home improvements.[17]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "UK restates nuclear threat". BBC News. 2003-02-23.  
  3. ^ Geoff Hoon, interview by David Frost, Breakfast with Frost, BBC, 23 February 2003.
  4. ^ Hansard (23 June 2003). "Hansard - Written Answers - Column 696". House of Commons Hansard. Retrieved 2008-01-16.  
  5. ^ Hutton (24 September 2003). "Hutton Inquiry Hearing Transcripts - Peter Stuart Beaumont". The Hutton Inquiry. Retrieved 2008-01-16.  
  6. ^ Peter Beaumont, Antony Barnett and Gaby Hinsliff (15 June 2003). "Iraqi mobile labs nothing to do with germ warfare, report finds". The Observer.,,977916,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-24.  
  7. ^ "Hoon admits mistakes over Kelly". BBC News website. 2004-04-24. Retrieved 2008-10-03.  
  8. ^ "Hoon is 'cruel' for claims on cluster bombs By Paul Waugh and Ben Russell". The Independent. Retrieved 2003-04-05.  
  9. ^ Hoon 'unhelpful and evasive' about American rendition flights, say MEPs, by Ben Russell. The Independent, 7 October, 2006.
  10. ^ "Gordon Brown's reshuffle". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-10-03.  
  11. ^ "Go-ahead for new Heathrow runway". BBC online. Retrieved 2009-08-07.  
  12. ^ "Hoon Quits Plunging PM Further Into Crisis". Sky News. Retrieved 5 June 2009.  
  13. ^ Hewitt and Hoon's great gamble - The Guardian, January 6 2010
  14. ^ "Gordon Brown says leadership challenge was 'silliness'". The BBC. January 10th, 2010. Retrieved January 10th, 2010.  
  15. ^ "Geoff Hoon 'claimed expenses for third home'".$1285812.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-05.  
  16. ^ "Geoff Hoon in three homes expenses row". ITV. Retrieved 2009-04-05.  
  17. ^ "Cabinet ministers have made tens of thousands 'flipping' their homes". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2009-05-08.  
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Frank Haynes
Member of Parliament for Ashfield
Political offices
Preceded by
Joyce Quin
Minister of State for Europe
Succeeded by
Keith Vaz
Preceded by
George Robertson
Secretary of State for Defence
Succeeded by
John Reid
Preceded by
Peter Hain
Leader of the House of Commons
Succeeded by
Jack Straw
Lord Privy Seal
Preceded by
Douglas Alexander
Minister of State for Europe
Succeeded by
Jim Murphy
Preceded by
Jacqui Smith
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
Succeeded by
Nick Brown
Chief Whip of the House of Commons
Preceded by
Ruth Kelly
Secretary of State for Transport
Succeeded by
The Lord Adonis

Simple English

.]] Geoffrey William Hoon (born December 6, 1953) is an English politician and held several government posts. He was the Member of Parliament for the Ashfield constituency in the United Kingdom from his first elected in the 1992 general election until he retired in 2010.

He is a member of the Labour Party.


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