4 weeks ago
Paul Yaw Boateng was born 14 June 1951. A British Labour Party #politician , who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Brent South from 1987-2005, he became the UK's first #mixedrace Cabinet #mMinister in May 2002, when he was appointed as Chief Secretary to the #Treasury. Following his departure from the #HouseOfCommons , he served as the British High Commissioner to #SouthAfrica from MAR2005 - MAY2009. He was introduced as a member of the #HouseOfLords in 2010.
Boateng was born in #Hackney , #London of mixed #Ghanaian and #Scottish #heritage ; his family later moved to #Ghana when Boateng was 4 years old. His father, Kwaku Boateng, was a #lawyer and cabinet minister under #KwameNkrumah. There, Boateng attended #Accra Academy High School. Boateng's life in Ghana came to an abrupt end with the jailing of his father in 1966 after a #coup against Nkrumah. His father was imprisoned without trial for 4 years. Boateng, then 15, and his sister fled to #Britain with their mother.
They settled in Hemel #Hempstead where he attended Apsley Grammar School. He read law at the University of #Bristol and began his career in #civilrights , originally as a #solicitor , though he later retrained as a #barrister. He worked primarily on #social and #community cases, starting under renowned civil rights advocate Benedict Birnberg, involving women's rights, housing and police complaints, including a period from 1977-1981 as the legal advisor for the Scrap Sus Campaign.
Boateng was also an executive member of the National Council for Civil Liberties. He represented #CherryGroce , a mother of 6 who was shot and paralysed by a police officer during a raid on her home in the search for her son.
He became a partner at the firm B M Birnberg & Co, and as a barrister, he practised at Eight King's Bench Walk.
Boateng was elected to the Greater London Council for Walthamstow in 1981, which was then under the leadership of Ken Livingstone. Boateng was only the 2nd person of #AfroCaribbean #descent to be elected to the GLC. As chair of the GLC's police committee and vice-chair of its #ethnic minorities committee, he advocated greater Accountability