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Born in Nottingham in 1940, Ken Clarke was educated at Nottingham High School and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he studied law and was called to the bar in 1963. In 1970, at the age of twenty-nine, he became MP for Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire, a seat he has held ever since. He held many ministerial posts in Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet, including Secretary of State for Health and Secretary of State for Education. He subsequently served as Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer under John Major and Secretary of State for Justice and Minister without Portfolio under David Cameron. He lives in London and Nottinghamshire.
Ken Clarke needs no introduction. One of the genuine 'Big Beasts' of the political scene, during his forty-six years as the Member of Parliament for Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire he has been at the very heart of government under three prime ministers. He is a political obsessive with a personal hinterland, as well known as a Tory Wet with Europhile views as for his love of cricket, Nottingham Forest Football Club and jazz. In Kind of Blue, Clarke charts his remarkable progress from working-class scholarship boy in Nottinghamshire to high political office and the upper echelons of both his party and of government. But Clarke is not a straightforward Conservative politician. His position on the left of the party often led Margaret Thatcher to question his true blue credentials and his passionate commitment to the European project has led many fellow Conservatives to regard him with suspicion - and cost him the leadership on no less than three occasions.
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