Brittan, Sir Leon (brĭtˈən) [key], 1939–, British politician. Educated at Cambridge, he was elected to Parliament as a Conservative in 1974. Under Margaret Thatcher he served as home secretary (1983–85) and secretary for trade and industry (1985–86). He resigned from the government in the aftermath of the Westland helicopter affair (1986), which involved the leak of confidential communication. An advocate of the closer integration of Britain with Europe, he served (1989–99) on the European Commission of the European Community and European Union. He was knighted in 1989.
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