Paul Boateng

Paul Boateng, Baron Boateng, was born to a Ghanaian father and Scottish mother in Hackney, London, 1951. At age four his family relocated to Ghana, where they stayed for 11 years.

After returning to Britain, Boateng finished school and became a barrister. He was most noted for his work against police brutality. When he was elected to the Greater London Council in 1981 he served as chairman of the police committee, as well as vice chair of the ethnic minorities committee.

In 1987 he was elected MP for Brent South. It was after his election that he said the words "Brent South today, Soweto tomorrow."

Two years later he started his career in the treasury as a junior spokesman. He was the first black party spokesman to join the front bench. Moving upwards, he became shadow minister for the Lord Chancellor's Department in 1992.

Boateng made further history in 1997 when he was appointed to Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for the Department of Health, becoming the first Black government minister. The following year he was promoted to Minister of State for the Home Office. During his time there he worked hard to bring down crime rates.

As the first Minister for Young People, to which Boateng was appointed in 2000, he worked to improve the lives of the British youth. One of his goals was to encourage young people to be active citizens.

In 2001, he was made Financial Secretary to the Treasury. Boateng continued to make history as the first black cabinet minister when he was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 2002.

Boateng fulfilled the promise he made after being elected to parliament when in 2005 he was appointed by Tony Blair to be the High Commissioner to South Africa, the first black person to ever hold the position. He served there until 2009.

Boateng was introduced to the House of Lords in 2010. He is married and has four children.

Contact Details:

House of Lords

Tel: 020 7219 5353
Fax: 020 7219 5979