| Des Browne |
|Alma mater||University of Glasgow|
|Member of||European Leadership Network, Nuclear Threat Initiative|
Bought nuclear missiles as UK Secretary of State for Defence, campaigns for nuclear disarmament after leaving power.
After the 2001 general election Browne entered Tony Blair's government as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office. He was promoted to Minister of State at the Department for Work and Pensions in 2003, before moving to the Home Office in 2004 as the minister with responsibility for immigration. He joined the Cabinet following the 2005 general election as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and became a Member of the Privy Council.
Browne was appointed Secretary of State for Defence on 5 May 2006.
An advocate of the UK Trident programme, in 2007 he successfully persuaded Parliament to vote to replace Trident nuclear missiles.
He came under criticism after allowing the Royal Navy personnel captured by Iran in spring 2007 to sell and publish their stories. Under Tony Blair's premiership, Browne was considered a supporter of the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. He received the additional responsibilities of Secretary of State for Scotland in June 2007 after Brown became Prime Minister.
Activities after leaving government
Browne is vice chairman of the Washington, DC-based Nuclear Threat Initiative, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2001 by former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, who serves as co-chair and CEO, and CNN founder and philanthropist Ted Turner. NTI's stated mission is to strengthen global security by reducing the risk of use and preventing the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
Browne is convener of the European Leadership Network for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation. and he is also convenor of the Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation, established in October 2009.
Browne was awarded a peerage in the dissolution honours list on 28 May 2010.
Controversy over appointment as envoy to Sri Lanka
In February 2009, Browne was appointed by PM Brown as the government's special envoy to Sri Lanka. However, the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa, fighting the LTTE rebel group, rejected Browne's appointment, stating that the British government made the appointment unilaterally, without consultation with the Sri Lankan government.
- Des Browne: Electoral history and profile, guardian.co.uk, accessed 28 May 2010.
- https://www.theguardian.com/guardianpolitics/story/0,3605,1184117,00.html |
- Peerages, honours and appointments, number10.gov.uk, 28 May 2010.