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NI advisor Caine awarded a peerage by David Cameron

By Staff Reporter

Published 05/08/2016

Honour: Jonathan Caine
Honour: Jonathan Caine

An adviser to six Northern Ireland Secretaries of State has been awarded a peerage in David Cameron's controversial Resignation Honours list.

Jonathan Caine, who was a special adviser to Secretaries of State Tom King, Peter Brooke, Sir Patrick Mayhew, Owen Paterson and Theresa Villiers, is to become a Life Peer.

He remains at the Northern Ireland office, supporting newly appointed Secretary of State James Brokenshire

Born in a working class area of Leeds, Caine was described by Owen Paterson as "one of the foremost experts on Northern Ireland".

Mr Caine's father was a glazier and his mother a former hairdresser.

He read history at Leicester University - and was the first member of his family to go on to third-level education

He joined the Conservatives while at university, where he made a special study of the Conservative Party from 1902 to 1940.

Mr Caine was appointed to the Northern Ireland desk at Conservative HQ in 1988.

The Led Zeppelin fan supports Leeds Rhinos, Yorkshire County Cricket and enjoys his pint of beer.

In a profile of Mr Caine for this newspaper in 2014, political commentator Alex Kane said: "Jonathan Caine is typical of what special advisers used to be and should be: people who know what they are supposed to do and do it with expertise and discretion.

"That may be something to do with the fact that he doesn't want to be an MP, so feels no need to put self-serving advice before impartial judgment.

"One can't help thinking that he would have made a very interesting Secretary of State in his own right.

"One thing is certain, though. He has had a much greater influence on Northern Ireland politics than most people know - or will ever know."

Mr Cameron's resignation honours list has come under fire for offering honours to 46 aides, advisers and ministers - including his wife's fashion stylist.

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