Owen Paterson was appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in September 2012. He was elected Conservative MP for North Shropshire on 1 May 1997.
Owen was educated at Radley College, Abingdon and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge where he studied history.
Owen held several posts while in opposition, including Shadow Minister for Transport from 2005 to 2007 and Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 2007 to 2010. He was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from May 2010 to September 2012.
Career outside politics
He joined the British Leather Company in 1979, becoming Sales Director in 1983 and Managing Director in 1993.
Owen is married with 3 children.