Patten will quit after stint at EU

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 December, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 December, 2000, 12:00am

Former governor Chris Patten has said he will retire from politics in four years after he finishes his term of office as a European commissioner.

In a BBC interview, the 56-year-old European Union's External Relations Commissioner ruled out a comeback in domestic British politics.

When asked if he was 100 per cent certain he would never again seek election as an MP, he said 'yes'.

Mr Patten went on to say he wanted to retire from politics: 'This is the last public service job I will do. When I finish it, I will be 60 and I would like to enjoy my 60s as much as I can. I don't want to hang around in politics forever.

'I have had two or three extraordinarily interesting jobs since losing my seat [in the constituency of Bath, western England, in 1992], but this will be the last one.'

Included in his retirement plans are writing, making television programmes and doing some 'serious gardening'.

Mr Patten became governor in 1992 after his defeat in Bath.

He was vilified as 'the sinner of 1,000 years' for his political reforms by then Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office director Lu Ping.