Peter Hain was appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Secretary of State for Wales in June 2007, as part of Gordon Brown's first Cabinet.
He had been Secretary of State for Wales before, from 2002 to 2005, prior to being appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Previously, he was made Minister of State at the Department of Trade and Industry in 2001 and became Minister for Europe at the FCO later that year. Mr Hain was also Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1999 to 2001, and a junior minister at the former Welsh Office from 1997 to 1999.
He played a leading role in the campaign to secure a 'Yes' vote in the 1997 devolution referendum in Wales.
He is a former head of research with the Union of Communication Workers and a former chairman of the Tribune newspaper. He was made a Labour Whip in 1995.
Born in Nairobi and brought up in South Africa, Mr Hain was educated at Pretoria Boys High School, University of London and Sussex University. He achieved international prominence as a result of his work in the anti-apartheid movement.