Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP
Hilary Benn is the Labour Member of Parliament for Leeds Central and the Shadow Foreign Secretary. Previously, he served as International Development Secretary, as a Minister in the Home Office, as Secretary of State at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and the Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
He was appointed Minister of State for International Development and then entered the Cabinet as Secretary of State for International Development (2003 – 2007). While at DFID, Hilary played an important part in increasing the UK’s aid budget and in winning agreement on debt relief for the poorest countries at the 2005 Gleneagles Summit. He oversaw the UK’s response to the South-East Asian Tsunami and the Pakistan earthquake, and it was his idea that resulted in the establishment of the UN central emergency relief fund which now helps the world to respond better to disasters. He also led the UK negotiating team at the 2006 Darfur peace negotiations.