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New UK commissioner named

By Jim Brunsden  -  03.10.2008 / 17:04 CET
Catherine Ashton, a former parliamentary leader and advocate of social rights, will replace Peter Mandelson.
 

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Fact file

Curriculum vitae

1956: Born in Lancashire, England

1977: Graduated from University of London with a degree in economics

1977-79: administrative secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

1979-81: Business manager of Coverdale Organisation, a management consultancy

1983-89: Director of public affairs for Business in the Community

1989-98: Freelance policy adviser

1998-2001: Chair of the Hertfordshire Health Authority

1999: Given a life peerage

2001-02: Junior minister in the Department for Education and Skills

2002-04: Minister for SureStart (government programme for mothers and young children)

2004-07: Junior minister at the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs

2007: Junior minister at the Ministry of Justice

2007-08: Leader of the House of Lords

2008: European Commissioner-designate

 

Some comments on Catherine Ashton

“She's always been supportive. If you put her into our computer, you'll come up with a green light”: Ben Summerskill, chief executive of the gay-rights campaigning group Stonewall.

“I think she saw the power of business, the impact it could have on changing people's lives”: Graham Bann, director for skills and talent at Business in the Community and a former colleague of Ashton.

"Cathy Ashton was the spark that triggered the first-ever gathering of UK employers on disability in the spring of 1986”: Susan Scott-Parker, chief executive of the Employers' Forum on Disability.

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