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The Right Honourable
 The Lord Drayson 
PC

Lord Drayson signing a memorandum. (2006)

Incumbent
Assumed office 
8 June 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Position established

Incumbent
Assumed office 
3 October 2008
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Ian Pearson

In office
6 May 2005 – 7 November 2007
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Gordon Brown
Preceded by The Lord Bach
Succeeded by The Baroness Taylor of Bolton

Born 5 March 1960 (1960-03-05) (age 50)
, United Kingdom
Political party Labour
Residence Nether Lypiatt Manor
Alma mater Aston University
Profession Businessman

Paul Rudd Drayson, Baron Drayson PC (born March 5 1960[1]) is a British businessman, amateur racing driver and politician. He is currently Minister of Science in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, where he replaced Ian Pearson.

Contents

Early life and career

After attending St Dunstan's College, Paul Drayson graduated from Aston University in Production Engineering, followed in 1986 by a PhD in robotics.[2] From 1986 to 1991 he was Managing Director of the Lambourn Food Company.

In 1993 he co-founded PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc in Oxford which specialised in the production of vaccines, and was Chief Executive until 2003 when PowderJect was acquired by Chiron Corp.

In May 2005 Lord Drayson replaced Lord Bach as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Procurement and as Government Spokesman for Defence to the House of Lords. Lord Drayson's responsibility for defence procurement in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was one of the most high profile jobs in the MoD. His remit included oversight of the Defence Procurement Agency and Defence Logistics Organisation. In December 2005 Lord Drayson published a report entitled The Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS). On 6 March 2007 Lord Drayson was promoted to Minister of State for Defence Equipment and Support. He oversaw the new Defence Equipment and Support Organisation.[3] On 29 June 2007 he also became a Minister of State in the newly created Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, combining this with his role in the Ministry of Defence. He stood down from ministerial responsibilities on 7 November 2007. His official reason for stepping down was his wish to participate in the Le Mans race, but it has been reported that the actual reasons were being left out of the loop when Prime Minister Brown decided to disband the Defence Export Services Organisation and equipment budget deficits which would make the follow-up to the DIS largely irrelevant.[4] His job as Defence Procurement Minister was transferred to Lady Taylor.[5] He rejoined the Brown government as Minister of State for Science and Innovation in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills on 3 October 2008 following a cabinet reshuffle.[6]

Between 2001 and 2002 he was the Chairman of the BioIndustry Association, and has been Chairman of the Oxford Children's Hospital Campaign since 2002. Since 2003, he has been the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Said Business School, Oxford University.

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Personal life

Drayson and his wife have five children, and live between homes in London and Nether Lypiatt Manor near Stroud in Gloucestershire, purchased for £5.75million in 2006 from TRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.[7]

Self described as a “car nut and I'm a Government minister”,[8] he drives an Aston Martin Vanquish, his wife has an Aston Martin DB9, and his collection includes a Lotus Elan. He also races a bio-ethanol powered Aston Martin DBRS9 GT3-spec race car for Barwell Motorsport[9] in the British GT Championship. He stood down as a Government minister in November 2007 to compete in the American Le Mans Series.[5]

Drayson was born blind in one eye which, under FIA rules, prevented him from acquiring an international racing licence for participation in the Le Mans 24 Hours. In light of his performance during the 2008 ALMS season and FIA rule changes, he was granted an international licence to allow him the chance of competing in the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans.[10]

Controversy

In 2002 PowderJect was awarded a £32 million government smallpox vaccine contract without competition shortly after Paul Drayson donated £50,000 to the Labour Party. Following a Parliamentary enquiry no improper activity was identified.

There were also unrefuted allegations that his company knowingly sold to the National Health Service several batches of BCG tuberculosis vaccine that failed to "meet the end of shelf-life potency criteria", in other words were stale and ineffective, risking the health of their recipients. [11]

Following his elevation to the House of Lords, made a working peer entitled Baron Drayson, of Kensington in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in May 2004, he gave the Labour Party another £500,000, raising allegations that his peerage had been "bought".

References

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Bach
Minister of State for Defence Equipment and Support
2005–2007
Succeeded by
The Baroness Taylor of Bolton
Preceded by
Ian Pearson
Minister of State for Science and Innovation
2008–present
Incumbent
New creation Minister of State for Strategic Defence Acquisition Reform
2009–present

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