Name: Katherine "Kate" West
Avatar: Prue Leith
Age: 67 (born 1941)
Marital Status: Divorced
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Political Outlook: Progress/New Labour/Brownite
Constituency: West Ham
Year Elected: 1997
Education: Attended a Grammar school in London. Studied history at University of Oxford. Chair of the Oxford University Labour Club.
Career: Flitted between a few professional roles in her early 20s before getting married and being a stay at home mother. Didn't enjoy that a great deal. Built up a small bakery business on the side, Kate's Kakes which she expanded full time with her settlement after an acrimonious divorce. Her daughter now runs the bakery.
Political Career: Politically active as a prominent local businesswomen in the 1970s and 1980s. Initially a Labour voter, joined the SDP in 1981 and was elected as a councillor on West Ham council in 1982. Defected back to Labour in 1988. Strong supporter of Tony Blair in the 1990s, selected as Labour candidate for the new seat of West Ham in 1997. Became closer to Gordon Brown over time. Held a number of junior Ministerial roles in the 2000s before becoming Secretary of State for Health in 2008 until Labour's defeat in 2010, at which point she returned to the backbenches.
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